Don’t sell Broncos undrafted free agents short

With undrafted free agents in the conversation so much this week, here’s a “Where are they now?” on one of Boise State’s most successful such players. Chris Carr played nine seasons in the NFL after not being selected in the 2005 draft. He began with Oakland, with which he scored his only pro touchdown. And it was memorable—a 100-yard pick-six of Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger in 2006. After retiring following the 2013 season, Carr earned his law degree from George Washington University and is now an attorney at Washington D.C. firm Zeman and Petterson, which specializes in humanitarian, family, and business-immigration services. Now, Boise State’s alumni magazine, Focus, salutes Carr and his wife for creating the “Chris and Sarah Carr Honors College Scholarship” to support honors students regardless of major.

The UDFA out of Boise State with the longest NFL career was Quintin Mikell, who was signed by Philadelphia iafter going undrafted in 2003. Mikell lasted 11 seasons in the league, making 695 tackles with 12 interceptions and nine fumble recoveries—and an appearance with the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX (that’s No. 39). So you don’t want to sleep on the Broncos’ undrafted free agents, Brett Rypien, Jabril Frazier, Durrant Miles, Sean Modster and A.J. Richardson. Modster’s exam is underway now at Baltimore’s rookie minicamp. The rest of the Boise State crew will be camping next weekend.

FOUR QUARTERBACKS LEFT IN DENVER

Rypien’s prospects in Denver improved yesterday when the Broncos released former Colorado State quarterback Garrett Grayson. That leaves three other QBs on the roster: Joe Flacco, Drew Lock and Kevin Hogan. Directly in front of Rypien is a competition with Hogan for the No. 3 spot. Grayson was a third-round pick by New Orleans in 2015. He also spent time with the Falcons before being signed to Denver’s practice squad last October. Grayson has never taken a regular-season NFL snap. As for Rypien, let’s reflect on the fact he wasn’t drafted. It was nothing against Boise State, Hey—not a single Group of 5 quarterback was selected last weekend. The only guy outside the 10 Power 5 QBs in the draft was Easton Stick of FCS champion North Dakota State.

AVOIDING 8:30—SO FAR

With the release of the Mountain West’s national television package yesterday, we know a little more about Boise State’s schedule. The conference confirmed that the Broncos’ home opener against Marshall will be played Friday, September 6. The Air Force game on the blue turf has also been moved to a Friday, on September 20. Both of those games will have manageable 7 p.m. kickoff times, and both will be on ESPN2. The regular-season finale has also been switched to Friday—that’ll be the day after Thanksgiving now at Colorado State, to be shown on CBS Sports Network. The only 8:30 kickoffs—so far—are all on the road: Saturday games at UNLV, San Jose State and Utah State.

GOALTENDING CAN STILL WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS

Goaltender Tomas Sholl kept a stiff upper lip while the Idaho Steelheads fell behind Tulsa three games-to-none in the ECHL Mountain Division finals. Sholl gave up only five goals over those three contests, including a masterful performance in Game 3 that ended up a 1-0 loss. Then he stopped 33 of 35 Oilers shots he faced Wednesday night to keep the Steelies alive in a 4-2 win. If Idaho is going to stage a miracle comeback in this series, there’s a lot on the shoulders of Sholl. Game 5 is set for tonight in CenturyLink Arena, and the Steelheads hope like heck another trip to Tulsa is necessary.

A tweet about the agenda at the 2019 AHL Team Business Meetings in Charlotte was making the rounds locally Thursday. That’s because it included this item mentioned by Andrew Zadarnowski, a beat writer for the Montreal Canadiens: “Location of Seattle AHL affiliate (rumoured to be current ECHL Idaho Steelheads).” That would bump the Steelheads up to the highest level of minor league hockey. If something like this were to happen, it probably wouldn’t be until at least the 2020-21 season, a year before Seattle’s first NHL campaign. But that’s just me talkin’.

THE 2019 WNIT COMES CALLING

Boise State women’s basketball has enough brand equity now to draw its first invitation to the annual Preseason WNIT beginning November 26. The Broncos will be part of the 16-team field that includes 12 teams that reached the postseason in March. Boise State is one of five that played in the NCAA Tournament. One of the others is (drum roll) Oregon State, featuring former Mountain View star Destiny Slocum. The Beavers, of course, got past the Broncos 80-75 in overtime in the first round of this year’s NCAA’s. All Preseason WNIT action will take place at campus sites, with each team guaranteed three games in the event. The bracket will be announced later this spring.

A GLIMMER OF HOPE FOR BRONCO SOFTBALL

I think I have the Mountain West women’s softball pennant race figured out. First-place Colorado State comes in for Boise State’s last three home games of the season beginning today at Dona Larsen Park. These are the final games in conference for the Rams, while the Broncos will still have three left next week. To defend their Mountain West title, Boise State would have to sweep CSU this week and Fresno State next week—and hope San Jose State loses a couple of times. Conversely, Colorado State can clinch the crown with a sweep of the Broncos.

Also of note: Boise State’s Allie Ostrander, the two-time defending national champion in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, made her season debut in the event Thursday night in the presitigious Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford. All Ostrander did was run a 9:45.66, the fastest time in the country by a collegiate woman this year and the third-fastest in the world.

This Day In Sports…brought to you by ZAMZOWS…Nobody Knows Like Zamzows!

May 3, 1997: Idaho native and former Les Bois Park jockey Gary Stevens wins his third and final Kentucky Derby, riding Silver Charm to victory at Churchill Downs. The one-time Capital High wrestler would take the Preakness Stakes two weeks later, one of three times he won two legs of the Triple Crown in the same year. Stevens retired from horse racing in late 2005, but he resumed his career in 2013 and won the Preakness Stakes and Breeders Cup Classic that year at the age of 50.

(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.)