Four-star recruits haven’t changed Coach Pete

During Chris Petersen’s eight seasons as head coach at Boise State, the term “our kinda guy” (OKG) developed on the recruiting trail. Some grew tired of it, but it was very real. OKG meant a player who may or may not be adorned with recruiting stars, but was a precise match for the chemistry and cause of the Bronco program. Now, going into his fourth season at Washington, Petersen has access to just about any level of recruit he wants after the Huskies made the College Football Playoff. “It’s a little bit different,” Petersen said in an ESPN710 Seattle radio interveiw this week. “I do think that there’s maybe kids from further away that are interested in us, but I go back to this: We’re trying to find those kids that we think fit our culture, that have a big upside that we can develop and who buy into what we’re all about.”

Coach Pete still won’t accept a verbal commitment unless it’s 100 percent. He’s lost very few recruits once they’re in the fold over the years. “We can get anybody in the country to visit here, if we wanted to. I know that,” he said. “But is it the right fit? And at the end of the day, is the kid going to really come here? I’m not into getting second (place).” The Huskies are doing well these days in landing more high-profile recruits, though. Notes the Seattle Times’ Adam Jude, “For perspective: In eight years at Boise, Petersen and his staff signed four four-star recruits. Of the nine recruits committed to UW for 2018, seven are rated by as four-star prospects—for a class that’s ranked 15th nationally.”

Darian Thompson redshirted at Boise State in 2011 before embarking on a record-breaking career at safety, making 19 career interceptions. Then Thompson was taken in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the New York Giants and expected to jump right in the fire. Instead, he endured a second redshirt year of sorts after suffering a lisfranc injury in his foot in Week 3. Thompson played just 82 defensive snaps and logged seven tackles before being sidelined. But with training camp a month away, he is said to have made a rapid recovery and should be full strength as he competes for a starting spot in the Giants secondary. “It was extremely frustrating, but at the same time, I got to learn a whole lot last year,” said Thompson. We’ll call him a redshirt rookie.

The guy Bronco Nation is curious about on the Giants roster is Donte Deayon. Can the 5-9 cornerback really get on the field in the NFL? Deayon didn’t last year, but the Giants thought enough of him to keep him on their practice squad. Ed Valentine of fan site says Deayon is up from the diminutive 159 pounds he carried last year. “I talked to Deayon during OTAs,” writes Valentine, “and he said ‘I don’t do numbers, but I did add seven to eight pounds.’ As for a minimum weight (to play in the NFL), remember that he is a small man to begin with. He can’t add an unlimited amount of bulk, and it is possible he is already as heavy as he can safely be without losing speed or risking injuries to his legs. What it will come down to for Deayon is showing that at roughly 165 pounds he can consistently tackle bigger people.”

What did Troy Merritt’s top 10 finish last week at the Travelers Championship mean? The former Boise State star moved from No. 155 to No. 133 in the FedExCup standings, just outside the top 125 threshold required at the end of the season to retain his full-meal-deal PGA Tour card. Merritt, who was within one stroke of Jordan Spieth midway through the tournament last week, might be over the hump with one more top 10 result. He tees off this morning at the Quicken Loans National, as does fellow former Bronco Graham DeLaet, who’s No. 71 on the FedExCup list.

The rubber match of the three-game series between Boise and Salem-Keizer last night saw the Hawks score four runs in the first inning and roll from there in an 8-3 victory. Hawks starter Breiling Eusebio rode the run support to earn his third win against no defeats. Spokane comes to town tonight to start a five-game set. Former Hawk Jacob Rogers, who was a first baseman in Boise, has been picked up by the Texas Rangers organization and has been converted to a pitcher. Rogers faced his former team in Spokane a couple weeks ago—all he did was strike out all six Hawks he faced.

Both of College of Idaho’s MLB Draft picks have made their professional debuts, and each posted solid results. Riley O’Brien debuted Monday for the Princeton Rays in the Appalachian League and tossed two shutout innings, retiring all six Danville Braves he saw, including three strikeouts. Zach Draper made his first pro appearance Tuesday for the Indians in Arizona Rookie League action. Draper allowed just a double in 1 1/3 innings of work, striking out three. Elsewhere, former Northwest Nazarene star Billy King has signed as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Rays. King, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the year, hit .324 with 15 home runs this past season. He homered once for every 11.9 at-bats.

Two events down, two to go for Boise State’s Emily Chard at the US Swimming Championships in Indianapolis. Chard, the senior-to-be from Tacoma, finished 37th out of 91 competitors yesterday in the women’s 200-meter freestyle. She’ll compete in the 400 freestyle tomorrow and the 1,500 free on Saturday. Another Bronco senior, Emily Mathis, swam the 200 breaststroke yesterday and was sixth in her heat. Ally Kleinsorgen makes her nationals debut today in the 50-meter backstroke and will swim the 100 back tomorrow.

This Day In Sports…June 29, 1989:

Boise Hawks manager Mal Fichman is ejected in the sixth inning against the Salem Dodgers. Fair enough. But after the game Fichman was suspended for five games by the Northwest League because he came back on the field dressed as the mascot, Humphrey the Hawk, so he could still give the team instructions. It was one of the more colorful moments during the Hawks’ inaugural season at Memorial Stadium.

(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.)