You can guess which Broncos landed on the “College football’s smallest players” list at NFL.com. This had snuck by me until I saw a tweet about it from Jay Ajayi—the wrapup of NFL.com’s “15 for ’15” series on college football. Boise State landed two entries on Chase Goodbread’s list of “College football’s smallest players.” You can guess who they are. No. 4 is wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes. “Size: 5-6, 168. Buzz: A preseason candidate for the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile player, Williams-Rhodes gives the Broncos a receiver (team-high 68 catches last year), a rusher (15 for 192 yards) and punt returner (he and Donte Deayon shared the role in 2014). His weight slipped to 156 pounds by the end of last season, but he’s put on 12 pounds since then in an effort to get bigger for 2015.” If SWR weighs 168 now, that’s probably as big as he’s going to get.
No. 6. is Deayon. There’s this from Goodbread and NFL.com—“Size: 5-9, 150. Buzz: Being 150 pounds hasn’t kept Deayon from being around the football for the Broncos. He’s intercepted six passes in each of the last two years, broken up nine more in each of the last two, and gives Boise State a strong presence as a punt returner as well.” Accompanying Deayon’s synopsis is a photo of his pick-six in the Fiesta Bowl win over Arizona.
Here’s another list for you, this one from Athlon Sports: “If College Football’s Preseason Top 25 Teams Were Rock Bands.” Boise State, No. 25 in Athlon’s preseason rankings, was matched with Arcade Fire. Writes Braden Gall: “This is a North of the border group that has risen quickly from obscurity to national prominence in just a decade. No one can really tell what genre they belong to, be it the WAC, Big East, Mountain West or even the Big 12. And the city of Boise is pretty much located in Canada.” I like that choice. I actually have an Arcade Fire song, “Modern Man,” on one of my eclectic playlists. In fact, I’m going to plug it in right now.
As an independent, BYU holds its own Media Day—and that was Wednesday. Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams are said to be ready to go, and that provides optimism aplenty in Provo. Cougars coach Bronco Mendenhall nicely summed up the team’s season outlook in one statement. “Man, I love our team. A lot of things have to come together for any one particular team to have a great season,” Mendenhall said. “Our quarterback is back and healthy, and he’s a senior. That gives you a great chance. A senior running back at the same time is back and healthy. So you have those two pieces together. An offense that scored the most points I think since 2001 comes back basically intact, only missing three players. A defensive tradition with myself back involved to give us our best chance that way.”
The details of Utah State’s deal with Maverik to rename what was known as Romney Stadium were finally unveiled this week after a public records request by the Logan Herald Journal. The announcement of the change to Maverik Stadium had been announced back in April during the Aggies’ spring game. Turns out it’s much ado about nothing—$6.3 million over 22 years. No free gas or under-the-table corn dogs. It seems like Maverick made out well in this deal. When Albertsons bought naming rights for Bronco Stadium last year, it was $12.5 million over 15 years.
Boise State’s Derrick Marks wasn’t selected in the NBA Draft last night. Now the former Boise State star and his agent will wait for free agent offers. Marks worked out for 10 different teams leading up to the draft—he’ll find out which ones liked him. New Bronco Louis Jackson, the graduate transfer from Boston College, saw one of his BC teammates taken last night when Olivier Hanlan went to the Utah Jazz in the second round. Jackson and Hanlan could meet up again in Boise if the Jazz send Hanlan to the Idaho Stampede. The Mountain West did indeed land two players in the first round last night, but only one of them was expected. UNLV’s Rashad Vaughn was chosen by Milwaukee with the 17th overall pick, and Wyoming’s Larry Nance Jr. was surprisingly taken with the No. 28 overall selection by the L.A. Lakers.
Kevin Allen was a roll-of-the-dice to begin with when he was signed by Boise State out of Pratt Community College in Kansas. Coaches saw enough out of a 31-point, 17-rebound performance in first round of NJCAA Tournament to think he had a lot more of those in him. But alas, Allen’s playing time decreased steadily as last season progressed—he played in only eight games from January on and didn’t log more than five minutes in any of them. The 6-11 center ended up averaging 3.5 points and 1.7 rebounds for the Broncos. Allen is now going back to Kansas to play for Division II Emporia State (and former Boise State assistant Shaun Vandiver).
Graham DeLaet is five shots off the lead at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, CT. The former Boise State star carded a three-under 67 that included an eagle on No. 6 yesterday, but he lost a chance at the top 10 with bogeys on two of the final three holes. DeLaet is tied for 27th. Fellow former Bronco Troy Merritt came in at one-under 69. Not bad, but he’s right at the cut line going into today’s round, tied for 76th.
Tyler Aldridge is steady-as-he-goes on the Web.com Tour. The Boise State alum and Caldwell native shot a three-under 67 yesterday in the first round of the Air Capital Classic in Wichita, KS. Aldridge is tied for 20th, positioned to make the cut and further solidify his PGA Tour card outlook. But he’s not satisfied. “Just because you got your card doesn’t mean you’re going to be in every (PGA Tour) tournament,” said Aldridge recently on KTIK. “No. 1 is where you want to be.” He’s finished in the top 15 in each of his last four starts, including his first Web.com victory earlier this month at the Greater Dallas Open. Things didn’t go as swimmingly yesterday for Kevin Burton, the former Bronco golf coach. Burton turned in a nine-over 79 in the first round of the US Senior Open at Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento.
The Boise Hawks were held to four hits last night and dropped to 3-5 on the season with a 3-1 loss at Eugene. Former Hawk Justin Marra pestered his old team again, hitting a ground-rule double in the first inning to knock in the Emeralds’ second run—all they would need as it turned out. Marra scored an insurance run in the third after rapping a triple. Two ex-Hawks pitchers shut Boise down over the final three innings as Corbin Hoffner threw two scoreless innings and Sam Wilson added a perfect ninth for his first save of the season. Hoffner and Wilson made a combined 60 appearances for the Hawks the past two seasons.
Around the horn: In the Youth Soccer Far West Regionals, one Idaho team has advanced to a championship match so far. The girls U19 Nova-Nationals face FRAM from Southern California this morning at the Simplot Sports Complex. All five Boise State entries were in action last night as the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships opened in Eugene. Emma Bates finished 11th in the 10,000-meters, and only one other Bronco advanced out of the prelims, Jordin Andrade in the 400-meter hurdles. And the 2015 Idaho Women’s Amateur begins play today at Purple Sage in Caldwell. Meridian’s Haley Nist won the 2014 title by nine strokes, and she’s in the field this year.
This Day In Sports…June 26, 1990, 25 years ago today:
Jennifer Capriati beats Helen Kelesi 6-3, 6-1 in the first round to become the youngest winner of a match in Wimbledon history. The 14-year-old Capriati would make it to the fourth round before falling to Steffi Graf. Capriati had reached the semifinals of the French Open earlier that month, losing to eventual champion Monica Seles. Injuries and off-court problems would essentially end Capriati’s pro career at the age of 28.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)