By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
Here is the sixth installment in my position-by-position preview of the Boise State football team. At the bottom, I’ve posted links to the blog and newspaper preview for other positions.
TODAY: WIDE RECEIVERS
20 Mitch Burroughs, 5-9, 193, R-Sr.
15 Tyler Jackson, 6-1, 195, R-Sr.
3 Chris Potter, 5-9, 159, R-Sr.
17 Geraldo Boldewijn, 6-4, 214, R-Jr.
18 Aaron Burks, 6-3, 200, R-Jr.
34 Kirby Moore, 6-3, 203, R-Jr.
2 Matt Miller, 6-3, 215, R-So.
81 Dallas Burroughs, 5-8, 173, So.
83 Troy Ware, 6-2, 195, R-Fr.
11 Shane Williams-Rhodes, 5-6, 154, Fr.
24 Jackson Reed, 6-4, 212, Fr.
29 Taylor Pope, 6-0, 163, Fr.
Storyline: The Broncos return all but one receiver, but the loss was a big one — slot receiver Tyler Shoemaker, who had 315 more yards than any other receiver and set a school record with 16 TD catches.
Key to success: The Broncos have a smart, sure-handed collection of receivers — particularly at the top, with starters Miller, Mitch Burroughs and Moore and top backup Potter. They have shown throughout fall camp that they can make tough catches in traffic and along the sideline.
Reason for concern: The Broncos still don’t have a reliable deep threat. Boldewijn is suspended for the first four games, Dallas Burroughs struggled with drops in fall camp and Burks is improved but untested. None of the top four wideouts averaged more than 11.2 yards per catch last year. Shoemaker averaged 16.0.
Star player: Miller tied for the team lead with 62 catches last year and was second with nine TD catches. He should be better this year, with more speed and a deeper understanding of the offense.
Breakout performer: Moore is another one of those guys on this team who have waited for a big-time opportunity. He was productive behind Shoemaker but should get a chance to make a big impact this year.
Newcomer to watch: True freshman Shane Williams-Rhodes and redshirt freshman Troy Ware showed playmaking ability in camp and could carve out niches in the rotation.
— Prince on Miller and Mitch Burroughs: “Maybe the average person might look at them and not see them as a deep threat, but I wouldn’t count those guys out.”
— Prince on replacing Shoemaker: “Obviously Tyler Shoemaker had one of the greatest seasons in Boise State history as a wide receiver. We understand that the next guy has to step up. We’re definitely expecting a lot out of Kirby but also we have Chris Potter, who’s going to be playing in the slot. Not only those two guys, we have other guys you’ll get a chance to see this first game and we’ll go from there.”
— Dallas Burroughs on his camp: “I’ve done all right, but not as good as I planned. I’ve just had a couple drops. Other than that, I feel like I’ve worked on my releases and gotten that a ton better since spring.”
— Moore on producing more big plays at the receiver position: “Obviously last year we could all admit that we left some out there on the field. So over time we’ve learned a lot through spring ball and this fall camp.”
— Moore on replacing Shoemaker: “I hope to fill a lot of that void and just become a good player in the slot and have a good relationship with whoever the quarterback is and find the open holes in the defense.”
— Chris Petersen on the receivers: “We’ll make some big plays in there. Those guys have some talent. They’re a year older, a year more experienced. That crew has to take a step and help out whoever our quarterback is, but they will.”
Projected depth chart:
X receiver: Miller*, Burks/Boldewijn
Z receiver: Mitch Burroughs*, Ware/Williams-Rhodes
Slot receiver: Moore/Potter
(* indicates returning starters)
In Thursday’s paper: The Broncos say they’re more equipped to make the big play at wide receiver this year.