Scott Slant Wednesday Weekly: The HOF case for Kellen

We can talk about Kellen Moore’s legacy until we’re blue in the face. Or blue and orange in the face. With that 50-3 record, Moore is the winningest quarterback in college football history. That should be a jumping-off point. But he also threw for 14,667 yards in his career. Kellen remains second in career touchdown passes in NCAA history—142 of them. He has the lowest interception ratio in history: just 1.7 percent. And Moore was a 2010 Heisman Trophy finalist. But College Football Hall of Fame voters are drawn to the big names, and there are lots of them on the ballot. In all, the candidates include 80 players and nine coaches from the FBS and 96 players and 33 coaches from the other divisions.

Among the quarterback group, Moore is competing with Tim Tebow, as well as some familiar figures who have been waiting a lot longer than he has, like Josh Heupel, Ken Dorsey and Alex Smith. It’s going to be a while before Moore finds out—those selected won’t be notified until early 2023. The annual Hall of Fame Awards Dinner is set for December of next year. In 54 seasons of four-year football (52 of them in the NCAA), Boise State has had only one player named to the College Football Hall of Fame: the late Randy Trautman, who ruled the defensive line from 1978-81.


With Boise State football back in session for summer conditioining and player-run practices, it’s that time of year when we talk about the bond between quarterbacks and receivers. The PRPs are where they get as many reps as they want with each other, with a chance to get to know one another’s strengths and tendencies inside-out. For Hank Bachmeier, that means getting on the same page with Stefan Cobbs, who’ll likely be the Broncos’ new feature receiver. The next most important guy for Hank in my mind is Latrell Caples, who had only four catches last year but looks like he could have four times that this year. And finally, there’s former Borah High star Austin Bolt, who’s now a full-time wideout. Bachmeier needs to learn all the different things Bolt can do out there.


Athlon Sports’ 2022 preseason All-Mountain West team is out, and Boise State’s representation is middle-of-the-pack. Of the 29 first-team slots, the Broncos have five: two on offense, two on defense and one on special teams. Expectations are high this year for Cobbs, and he gets one of the wide receiver slots. John Ojukwu is a first-teamer at tackle. On defense there’s Scott Matlock and JL Skinner, and Jonah Dalmas is the first-team placekicker. The Athlon preseason picks go four teams deep, and Boise State does have the most selections overall at 15. Not really seeing any snubs here. George Holani is second-team at running back. Bachmeier is the third-team quarterback (behind Fresno State’s Jake Haener and Utah State’s Logan Bonner).


Former Boise State star DeMarcus Lawrence wants to get back to his old on-field self in Dallas. Lawrence not only professes to be in the best possible shape now, he also feels faster, as he has shed his dreadlocks. “They grew so fast on me they got heavy,” he said in a story by Kevin Patra of “I turned 30 this year so I’m like, ‘it’s time for me to make a grown-man change.’ And I chopped them off.” Due to injuries, Lawrence played only seven gaes last season and registered just 3.0 sacks (rookie Micah Parsons led the Cowboys with 13.0). “Tank” hasn’t been to the Pro Bowl since logging his last back-to-back double-digit sack seasons in 2017-18. “Lawrence recapturing his game-wrecking ability would provide a more significant lift to the Dallas defense than any offseason addition,” writes Patra.


The USA U18 men’s basketball team has posted pinball numbers against teams from the Americas in recent years, and Boise State coach Leon Rice is witness to it right now at the 2022 FIBA U18 Americas Championship in Tijuana. After a 116-48 romp over the Dominican Republic Monday, Team USA routed Ecuador 123-41 Tuesday. Puerto Rico should provide a stiffer test tonight. Rice is an assistant with the USA squad, which is going for its sixth straight title in the tournament. Rice is getting to work with top-level talent on the 12-player roster, including Kel’el Ware, a versatile 7-foot Oregon commit who’s ranked eighth in ESPN’s Top 100, and Jared McCain, a Duke commit and a three-point deadeye at shooting guard.


The Illawarra Hawks of the NBL in Australia have a rundown of where they say its stars are headed now that the Aussie pro season is over. And, according to the club, former Boise State star Justinian Jessup is going to get another long look from the Golden State Warriors, who drafted him in the second round two years ago. In his second season Down Under as part of the NBL’s “Next Stars” program designed to develop NBA talent, Jessup averaged 13.3 points in 30 games and shot 36 percent from three-point range. It looks like he’s headed for the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League July 7-17—and maybe the California Classic (hosted by the Warriors) July 2-3.


Troy Merritt had a chance to catch his breath yesterday after a wild three-day PGA Tour odyssey. We start with Saturday, when Merritt holed out from the sand on No. 18 at the Memorial Tournament with a shot that went viral. Then Sunday, Merritt went into the final round tied for 28th and exited in a tie for 53rd after a rare 80. The front nine was disastrous for the former Boise State star: five bogeys and a double-bogey to put him seven-over at the turn. On Monday he turned around and played a U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier in nearby Springfield, OH, and was among eight players to punch a ticket to the 122nd U.S. Open in Brookline, MA, next week. This will actually be the third straight U.S. Open for Merritt.


Few golfers on the PGA Tour have gone through the agony Graham DeLaet has. Persistent back pain and related injuries have kept the Boise State Hall of Famer off the competitive course for most of the past four seasons. DeLaet has finally reached the point of no return, retiring Tuesday from pro golf. DeLaet chose the week of the RBC Canadian Open to make the announcement (he may be an Eagle resident now, but he’s a proud native of Weyburn, Saskatchewan). DeLaet earned more than $11 million in his career and notched 33 top 10 finishes. He’ll stay connected to the sport as an analyst for major events on Canada’s TSN. It was a big news day in Boise State golf, as men’s coach Dan Potter resigned Tuesday to “pursue other interests in the Boise community.” The well-liked Potter will be tough to replace.


How often do we really pay attention to the MLB Draft, especially since the Boise Hawks are no longer a big league affiliate? Not much, since there’s hardly ever an Idahoan going in the first couple of rounds. But former Rocky Mountain High pitcher Gabriel Hughes bears watching. ESPN’s new mock MLB Draft has Hughes, now a standout at Gonzaga, as the 13th overall pick (going to the L.A. Angels). Hughes, a sophomore, was 8-3 in 15 starts for the Bulldogs this season with an ERA of 3.21. Opposing hitters batted just .209 against the 6-4 righthander.Hughes was a two-time Idaho Gatorade Player of the year at Rocky. The Zags’season just ended in the NCAA Regionals.


We’ve seen it happen with Emma Bates and Allie Ostrander in recent years—a solid time at NCAA Regionals launching a national championship run. It’ll be a daunting task this week for Boise State’s Kristie Schoffield, but she could contend in the women’s 800-meters at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene. Schoffield clocked the fastest time of the NCAA West Preliminary Round when she ran a school-record 2:01.41 in the quarterfinals in Arkansas. At Hayward Field, she’ll run in the 800 semifinals Thursday night.


Winter Games or Summer Games—it didn’t matter. Sun Valley native Muffy Davis excelled in the Paralympics. And now Davis has been named to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame. Davis, the former Idaho State Legislator, is being honored for her accomplishments in Para Alpine skiing and cycling. She was a seven-time Paralympics medalist. The induction ceremony is set for June 24 at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs.

This Day In Sports…brought to you by POOL SCOUTS…perfect pools, scout’s honor!

June 8, 2018: The word “dynasty” is applied to the Golden State Warriors after they win their third NBA championship in four years with a 108-85 rout of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry were alternately dominant in the sweep of the Cavs (with a dose of Klay Thompson). For Cleveland’s LeBron James, it was his eighth straight appearance in the NBA Finals, but he could not will the Cavaliers’ rollercoaster roster to a single victory after almost single-handedly upsetting the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)

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