The recent recruiting surge suggests that Boise State’s football camps—near and far—were fruitful. In each of the past two years, Boise State football picked up four committed recruits before June and four more over the course of June and July. This year the Broncos had landed three commits before June arrived. But with three more verbals Friday alone—from cornerback Reid Harrison-Ducros of Colleyville, TX, safety Desmond Williams of Corona, CA, and linebacker Tyson Maeva of San Diego—there have been eight players added in June alone. The total of 11 for the 2016 recruiting class before July is even here suggests the Boise State football camps a couple weeks ago, the out-of-state satellite events included, were fruitful. Harrison-Ducros represents another successful infiltration into Texas. Williams chose Boise State over Washington State. He and Maeva could be direct results of the Southern California camps.
A quote by Williams at BroncoCountry.com Friday morning has caused quite a stir, though. “With Washington State, I’m going to stay in contact with them and other schools,” Williams said. “I thought I would make this commitment to make sure I have my spot and it’s safe. I hope to still get recruited.” Maybe Bryan Harsin’s staff gives recruits a little more leeway than Chris Petersen’s, maybe not. But in the Petersen era, there would not be a door cracked open. Either you’re all aboard, or you’re not. And if you’re not, don’t commit. Williams appeared on Idaho SportsTalk Friday after giving his verbal, and it sounded like he was all in. Guess co-host Larry Polowski suggested that Williams may have received a little phone call from the Bleymaier Football Center after the BroncoCountry.com story was posted. We’ll see where he is come dotted-line time next February.
The four Utah State football players and one former softball player injured Friday afternoon when their SUV was t-boned by a semi are all in stable condition now. In fact, two have been released from the hospital. One who hasn’t was the most seriously hurt, senior noseguard Travis Seefeldt, who was named preseason All-Mountain West by Athlon. Seefeldt is a 6-2, 300-pounder who finished last season with 35 tackles, including six for loss and two sacks. He also logged two fumble recoveries and two blocked kicks. Of course, Seefeldt’s hopes of playing football for the Aggies again are the least of anyone’s worries right now.
Bulldog Stadium was a pretty impressive place in Boise State’s eyes when the Broncos first visited in 1996. But 19 years later, it looks much the same. Albertsons Stadium, on the other hand, has undergone dramatic changes since BSU moved to Division I-A. Now, new athletic director Jim Bartko says it’s finally time for Fresno State get with it. Bartko, who knows about building things (he came from a senior associate athletic director position at Oregon), unveiled a five-year, four-phase plan Friday to improve the 34-year-old facility. The stadium would get tunnels to give fans easier access to their seats, a new press box, suites and club seats, and a new football operations complex in the south end zone. That’s a lot of stuff. Now Bartko and the Bulldogs have to go out and raise $80 million.
There’s a shift in the football broadcast booth at the University of Idaho. Tom Morris, who replaced the late Bob Curtis as Voice of the Vandals 11 years ago, is stepping down to concentrate on his post as general manager of Idaho Vandal Sports Properties. Morris will be replaced by veteran Spokane sportscaster Dennis Patchin, currently the program director at the ESPN Radio affiliates in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene. Patchin will be joined by former Idaho linebacker Ryan Phillips, the 1995 Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year who went on to play for the New York Giants.
Graham DeLaet, in the hunt for his first PGA Tour victory, bookended the final round of the Travelers Championship yesterday with a double bogey on No. 1 and a bogey on No. 18. You can do the math—the former Boise State star finished three shots behind Bubba Watson, who won in a two-hole playoff over Paul Casey. The good news? By finishing fourth at Cromwell, CT, DeLaet has earned an invitation to the British Open in 2½ weeks at St. Andrews. It was DeLaet’s best result of the 2014-15 campaign, earning him $307,200 and pushing his season total to $942,167. The Travelers was his first tournament in three weeks and his first top 10 finish in more than four months.
Other golf doings: Nampa’s Tyler Aldridge struggled to a three-over 73 in the final round of the Air Capital Classic in Wichita, KS, yesterday and finished in a tie for 34th. Aldridge was able to hang on to his No. 7 spot on the Web.com Tour money list, though. Pierce Park Greens teaching pro and former Boise State golf coach Kevin Burton missed the cut at the US Senior Open in Sacramento Friday. And Caldwell’s Gabby Barker won her second Idaho Women’s Amateur championship yesterday at Purple Sage, outdistancing Amanda Myers of Idaho Falls by four strokes. The Texas Tech sophomore-to-be also won the Women’s Am in 2013.
In a state as sparsely populated as ours (comparatively speaking), the Nova-Nationals’ U19 Far West championship in girls soccer is a benchmark, the first-ever for an Idaho club. The team blended from former rivals did it decisively Friday, routing FRAM of Southern California, 5-1, in the regional final at the Simplot Sports Complex. The Nova-Nationals now advance to Youth Soccer Nationals July 21-26 in Tulsa, OK.
At the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Bishop Kelly grad Nick Symmonds won another national title in the men’s 800-meters, beating Erik Sowinski by three-tenths of a second. Symmonds trailed by five meters early, but he kicked it into his patented overdrive during the final lap and threw his arms in the air and flexed his biceps as he crossed the finish line. It was Symmonds’ sixth U.S. championship. Next stop is the World Championships in Beijing in August. Earlier at nationals, Boise State’s Jordin Andrade didn’t make it to the men’s 400-meter hurdles final, finishing 14th in the semis Friday night.
After a 6-1 loss at Everett Saturday night, the Boise Hawks turned the tables with a 6-1 win of their own yesterday. Hamlet Marte contributed two doubles, one of them knocking in a run, and now leads the Northwest League in two-baggers this season with seven. The Hawks’ highlight performance of the weekend came Friday night from Kevin Padlo, who drove in six runs, half of them on a three-run homer, in a wild 11-10 victory. That moved Padlo into the league lead in RBIs. The series at Everett continues tonight.
This Day In Sports…June 29, 1990, 25 years ago today:
For the first time since 1898, two major league pitchers throw no-hitters on the same day. Dave Stewart of the Oakland A’s whitewashed the Toronto Blue Jays 5-0, and Fernando Valenzuela of the L.A. Dodgers handcuffed the St. Louis Cardinals 6-0. For each player, it was the last great moment of his career. Stewart was dominant in the 1980’s and was coming off a World Series title with the A’s, while Valenzuela was a sensation when he burst on the scene in 1981 and was the Dodgers’ fan favorite for a decade.
(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.)