By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
KELLOGG, GERKE TO WORK AT CENTER
Boise State senior left guard Joe Kellogg, a two-year returning starter, will take some snaps at center this fall to help the Broncos build depth in the wake of Cory Yriarte’s injury. Junior Spencer Gerke, who started two games at left guard last year, and redshirt freshman Marcus Henry also will rotate through the position.
Yriarte started eight games last season. Coaches learned about a week before fall camp that he wouldn’t be able to play this season because of a knee injury sustained during summer conditioning. The senior’s career is over.
“That certainly hurts,” offensive line coach Chris Strausser said. “Although he didn’t go through spring ball, he’s the guy we were counting on. … We have a bunch of guys inside who have had some experience at center. We just need to build that depth up.”
Junior Matt Paradis entered fall camp as the starting center. He started one game last season and spent spring ball with the first team while Yriarte was sidelined.
Kellogg spent the spring of 2010 at center when incumbent Thomas Byrd was out and impressed coaches enough that he landed a starting spot at guard in the fall. Gerke also has practiced at center.
“Matt’s been pretty healthy for us, but he’s not a guy who’s been 100 percent healthy,” Strausser said, “so I think it’s important for us to get a guy who can go in and be a starter. … Center in its own way is one of the harder positions to play, but there’s a lot of carryover between guard and center.”
VAN GINKEL TO MISS CAMP
Boise State redshirt freshman kicker Jake Van Ginkel will not practice with the team during fall camp, which began Saturday morning.
Van Ginkel will rejoin the team when school begins Aug. 27. The team can only have 105 players on the field in camp but can expand the roster during school.
That leaves sophomore Dan Goodale, senior Michael Frisina and true freshman Sean Wale competing for the kicking job in camp.
Van Ginkel was recruited last year with the idea that he could become the starter. He redshirted instead and was not allowed to travel to the bowl game for unspecified reasons.
OTHER ROSTER NOTES
— Offensive lineman Mario Yakoo, who was slated to grayshirt when he signed, has joined the team. Three players still are expected to grayshirt and join the team in January — linebacker Chris Collins, offensive lineman Archie Lewis and wide receiver D.J. Dean. Yakoo replaced Yriarte on late notice. He didn’t participate in the summer program. “He was excited,” Strausser said. “He wanted to come up.”
— Cornerback Deon’tae Florence has joined the team as a scholarship recruit. Florence is a sophomore transfer from College of the Desert. He committed in May but didn’t sign officially until this week.
— Walk-ons who joined the team Saturday (all freshmen except where noted): RB Jamel Hart (West Covina, Calif.), CB Trey Corta (Homedale High), WR Jackson Reed (Timberline High), WR Taylor Pope (La Quinta, Calif.), RB Charles Bertoli (St. Helena, Calif.), snapper Jake Holsteen (Mediapolis, Iowa; Ellsworth Community College; junior), snapper Kevin Keane (Moorpark, Calif.; Ohio Wesleyan; sophomore), OL Shane Wickes (Reno, Nev.), Kellen Buhr (Capital High), TE Avery Westendorf (Cole Valley Christian High) and TE Brennyn Dunn (Preston High).
— DE Demarcus Lawrence has switched to No. 8. WR Shane Williams-Rhodes, a true freshman, will wear No. 11 — Kellen Moore’s old number.
— True freshman Armand Nance has moved to the defensive line. He originally was slated to play fullback.
— It looks like the Broncos are operating with 82 scholarships in camp. They could use 85 pending the result of the appeal of NCAA sanctions, but coach Chris Petersen said he would take the penalty to avoid dragging it out.
— I have an updated position-by-position roster at the bottom of this file.
CAMP BEGINS WITH VETS
The Broncos’ veterans practiced Saturday morning. The newcomers and select veterans go Saturday afternoon. The first two days of camp are in shorts and helmets by NCAA rule.
There weren’t many highlight plays in the morning. Senior wide receiver Chris Potter might have had the best, making a leaping grab in tight coverage. Tailback D.J. Harper also had a nice run.
The newcomers practiced in the afternoon. It’s an impressive group, including the walk-ons. Wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes looked quick, as advertised, and defensive end Darien Barrett provided a pass rush in the 2-minute drill.
The defensive line has a little different look in camp.
Redshirt freshman Sam Ukwuachu still is playing the stud end (Shea McClellin last year), but sophomore Demarcus Lawrence has moved to the other side. Senior Darren Koontz, who has bounced between end and tackle during his career, played end in the spring but will play both spots this fall.
Ukwuachu is 230 pounds. He came to Boise State at 203.
His key to success this fall: “Basically, just eat, eat, eat, eat,” he said. “Other than that, being physical.”
Koontz is the utility man. The Broncos appear to have more depth at end, so he may end up playing more tackle. He hasn’t played the position regularly since 2009.
He had a strong spring at end.
Koontz expects to bounce between positions for a while and eventually settle where “we need more help.”
“I always think I prefer one and when I switch I get all bummed out,” he said, “but then I get used to that one. It’s all the same to me.”
POSITIONS TO WATCH
In today’s paper, I’ve got a look at the four candidates for the starting quarterback job. Here is the link.
I also wrote quick previews of five other positions to watch but it didn’t make the paper. Here it is:
Five more positions to watch
Defensive line: The Broncos lost their top five players and will be counting on a handful of guys who haven’t played at this level before, like ends Demarcus Lawrence, Sam Ukwuachu and Beau Martin.
Nickel: Like quarterback, this is a deep, talented group that needs a playmaker to emerge. Senior Dextrell Simmons, a former junior-college transfer, and true sophomore Corey Bell should be more comfortable this fall — and that could show in their play.
Right guard: The other four spots on the offensive line appear set (unless Joe Kellogg moves to center), leaving a long list of guys with starting experience to compete for one spot.
Tailback: Seniors D.J. Harper and Drew Wright need some help from the freshmen. Newcomers Jack Fields and Devan Demas, standouts from Texas high schools, could contribute immediately.
Kicker: The position that plagued the Broncos in 2011 remains unresolved going into camp. Newcomer Sean Wale joins the competition.
Here is my updated position-by-position roster. I don’t have sizes for the walk-ons yet. (Bolds are used to separate the classes within each position.)
16 Joe Southwick, 6-1, 192, R-Jr.
9 Grant Hedrick, 6-0, 191, R-So.
14 Jimmy Laughrea, 6-1, 201, R-Fr.
8 Nick Patti, 5-10, 189, Fr.
7 D.J. Harper, 5-9, 205, R-Sr.
39 Drew Wright, 5-9, 208, R-Sr.
27 Jay Ajayi, 6-0, 219, R-Fr.
26 Devan Demas, 5-9, 176, Fr.
21 Jack Fields, 5-10, 196, Fr.
6 Jamel Hart, Fr.
35 Charles Bertoli, Fr.
20 Mitch Burroughs, 5-9, 193, R-Sr.
15 Tyler Jackson, 6-1, 197, R-Sr.
3 Chris Potter, 5-9, 160, R-Sr.
17 Geraldo Boldewijn, 6-4, 211, R-Jr.
18 Aaron Burks, 6-3, 201, R-Jr.
34 Kirby Moore, 6-3, 203, R-Jr.
2 Matt Miller, 6-3, 215, R-So.
81 Dallas Burroughs, 5-8, 172, So.
83 Troy Ware, 6-2, 192, R-Fr.
11 Shane Williams-Rhodes, 5-7, 160, Fr.
24 Jackson Reed, Fr.
29 Taylor Pope, Fr.
88 Chandler Koch, 6-2, 250, R-Sr.
87 Gabe Linehan, 6-4, 246, R-Jr.
86 Kyle Sosnowski, 6-2, 245, R-So.
89 Connor Peters, 6-4, 247, So.
42 Jake Hardee, 6-3, 239, R-Fr.
85 Holden Huff, 6-5, 220, R-Fr.
80 Hayden Plinke, 6-4, 240, Fr.
90 Avery Westendorf, Fr.
93 Brennyn Dunn, Fr.
47 Dan Paul, 6-1, 265, R-Sr.
49 Jamal Wilson, 5-11, 233, R-Fr.
54 Michael Ames, 6-4, 293, R-Sr.
61 Joe Kellogg, 6-3, 303, R-Sr.
64 Brenel Myers, 6-3, 284, R-Sr.
75 Faraji Wright, 6-3, 299, R-Sr.
76 Jake Broyles, 6-5, 295, R-Jr.
77 Spencer Gerke, 6-3, 300, R-Jr.
78 Charles Leno Jr., 6-4, 287, R-Jr.
65 Matt Paradis, 6-3, 292, R-Jr.
62 Chris Tozer, 6-4, 315, R-Jr.
71 Greg Dohmen, 6-3, 293, R-So.
72 Marcus Henry, 6-3, 295, R-Fr.
67 Rees Odhiambo, 6-4, 298, R-Fr.
63 Adam Sheffield, 6-3, 323, R-Fr.
73 Travis Averill, 6-4, 270, Fr.
70 Steven Baggett, 6-3, 225, Fr.
66 Mario Yakoo, 6-4, 320, Fr.
57 Shane Wickes, Fr.
60 Kellen Buhr, Fr.
41 Kharyee Marshall, 6-2, 240, R-Jr.
53 Beau Martin, 6-2, 255, R-So.
69 Tyler Horn, 6-5, 273, So.
8 Demarcus Lawrence, 6-3, 241, So.
82 Sam Ukwuachu, 6-4, 218, R-Fr.
49 Darien Barrett, 6-3, 215, Fr.
94 Sam McCaskill, 6-3, 230, Fr.
40 Armand Nance, 6-2, 245, Fr.
99 Michael Atkinson, 6-0, 311, R-Sr.
91 Greg Grimes, 6-0, 291, R-Sr.
95 Darren Koontz, 6-3, 266, R-Sr.
68 David Cushing, 6-1, 271, Sr.
43 Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, 6-3, 298, R-Jr.
58 Robert Ash, 6-3, 280, R-Fr.
98 Jeff Worthy, 6-3, 280, R-Fr.
96 Elliot Hoyte, 6-4, 273, Fr.
48 J.C. Percy, 6-0, 223, R-Sr.
33 Tommy Smith, 6-1, 236, R-Sr.
56 Dustin Kamper, 6-1, 213, R-Jr.
45 Travis Saxton, 6-1, 221, R-So.
13 Blake Renaud, 6-2, 250, So.
36 Tyler Gray, 6-4, 225, Fr.
31 Andrew Pint, 6-1, 220, Fr.
51 Ben Weaver, 6-1, 225, Fr.
6 Dextrell Simmons, 5-11, 201, Sr.
32 Jonathan Brown, 5-10, 216, R-Jr.
38 Corey Bell, 5-11, 212, So.
42 Hilton Richardson, 6-2, 222, R-Fr.
25 Chris Santini, 6-1, 208, Fr.
19 Josh Borgman, 5-7, 176, R-Sr.
4 Jerrell Gavins, 5-9, 169, R-Sr.
5 Jamar Taylor, 5-11, 198, R-Sr.
37 Ebo Makinde, 5-10, 184, R-Jr.
46 Bryan Douglas, 5-9, 168, R-So.
16 Deon’tae Florence, So.
18 Chaz Anderson, 5-10, 164, Fr.
30 Donte Deayon, 5-9, 155, Fr.
21 Trey Corta, Fr.
24 Hazen Moss, 6-0, 203, R-Sr.
10 Jeremy Ioane, 5-10, 190, R-So.
29 Lee Hightower, 6-2, 193, So.
23 Eric Agbaroji, 6-1, 201, R-Fr.
34 Taylor Loffler, 6-3, 210, R-Fr.
35 Darian Thompson, 6-1, 195, R-Fr.
28 Dillon Lukehart, 6-0, 202, R-Fr.
22 Chanceller James, 6-2, 190, Fr.
84 Michael Frisina, 5-5, 158, Sr.
41 Dan Goodale, 5-10, 189, R-So.
26 Jake Van Ginkel, 6-0, 186, R-Fr.
28 Sean Wale, 6-2, 175, Fr.
14 Trevor Harman, 6-3, 215, R-Jr.
44 Chris Roberson, 6-0, 219, Sr.
50 Jake Holsteen, Jr.
52 Kevin Keane, So.
GRAYSHIRTS (join in January)
WR D.J. Dean, 6-1, 180
OL Archie Lewis, 6-4, 255
LB Chris Collins, 6-1, 208