It took until mid-June last year for Boise State to secure more than one commit for its 2020 recruiting class, but it was a strong No. 1 in the Mountain West when it was all said and done. The Broncos hope the 2021 class follows suit, because it took even longer to get a second verbal this year. But wide receiver Jalen Richmond of Chandler, AZ, is aboard after committing without ever having physically visited the Boise State campus. Richmond took a virtual tour over the weekend, according to 247 Sports. “I had been in contact with them for months and I really connected with the receivers coach, Matt Miller,” Richmond told 247. Bingo—there’s Miller’s value to the Broncos staff. Richmond, a 6-foot, 175-pounder, had 41 catches for 725 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior last season.
A HALF-CENTURY FOR THIS, TOO
On Fridays I celebrate a great moment in Albertsons Stadium history to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the facility. We’re off this Friday, so today I take the 50th anniversary angle another direction. It was 50 years ago today that Boise State joined the Big Sky. At that time, it was a big deal. Real NCAA validation, just two years after becoming a four-year program. Highlights of the Broncos’ 26 football seasons in the Big Sky include the 42-14 win in the first game against Idaho in 1971, the 1971 Camellia Bowl victory over Chico State, three straight conference championships from 1973-75, the 28-7 road rout of Utah in 1980, the1980 Division I-AA national championship, and Pokey Allen’s unforgettable 13-2 season in 1994.
AUSTRALIA’S PHANTOM FREE AGENT SIGNING
You’ve got to be careful on the worldwide web—and Twitter. This one almost got me. There was a tweet Tuesday night from the “Perth Bandits”: “It’s not the start of free agency yet but who cares. The NBL can’t tell us what to do! We are excited to announce that Anthony Drmic will be joining the Bandits for the next 6 years!” Drmic, the former Boise State star, is indeed a free agent in Australia’s National Basketball League. But the “Perth Bandits” are a parody with a website and Facebook page—but no team. Drmic played along. He’s still a hot commodity, though. This was a real tweet from the NBL on Monday: “When free agency begins on July 15, there will be plenty of teams looking to secure the signature of sharpshooting swingman Anthony Drmic.” He’s spent the past four seasons with the Adelaide 36ers.
HUERTA BACK ON THE PITCH
Centennial High grad Sofia Huerta was set to make her debut with the OL Reign Tuesday night at the NWSL Challenge Cup in Herriman, UT, but she didn’t play in the 0-0 draw against Sky Blue FC. Huerta has no qualms about competing, though. The NWSL is the first professional team sports league in America to play since the COVID-19 shutdown began. “I do think it can be seen as risky to outsiders, but I really trust NWSL,” Huerta told KTVB’s Jay Tust. “They’ve put protocols in place to ensure our safety, and we all had the decision to decide if we wanted to play in the tournament or not. I obviously decided that I wanted to partake and I’m really excited to get going.”
This is the veteran midfielder’s first season with the Reign after four years with the Chicago Red Stars and one with the Houston Dash. Houston traded her to the Tacoma-based Reign in February. Huerta, a two-time Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year for the Patriots, has scored 28 career goals in the NWSL. Her overriding goal remains get back on the U.S. Women’s National Team and play in the World Cup and/or Olympics.
HAWKS ON HOLD UNTIL NEXT YEAR
Less than two weeks ago, Boise Hawks general manager and eternal optimist Mike Van Hise was on KTIK expressing hope that there would be a 2020 season, even if it had to start in early August and extend into October. But alas, Major League Baseball has informed Minor League Baseball that it will not be providing its affiliated teams with players this year. As a result, there will not be a Minor League Baseball season in 2020. Van Hise points out that this will be the first summer without pro baseball in the Treasure Valley since 1986. The Hawks’ 34th season will have to wait until 2021.
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July 1, 1970, 50 years ago today: Boise State officially becomes a member of the Big Sky. Yes, this is the day when new conference affiliations traditionally take effect. In 1996, Boise State and Idaho joined the Big West on July 1st. In 2001 on this day, Boise State and Idaho went their separate ways—the Broncos off to the WAC while the Vandals began to split time with the Sun Belt (for football) and the Big West (for all other sports). Idaho joined Boise State in the WAC on July 1, 2005. The Broncos went to the Mountain West on this day in 2011. And in 2014, the Vandals became members of the Sun Belt again in football and rejoined the Big Sky in all other sports. Then in 2018, Idaho football returned to the Big Sky as well.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)