Seniors on Boise State’s 2019 football roster have had to jury-rig their Pro Day workouts, since the April 2 date on campus was scrapped by the pandemic.Quartrerback Jaylon Henderson’s audition came at a Meridian training facility and Meridian High, according to The Athletic’s Dave Southorn. Henderson was proud of his performance, and he’s shared it on Twitter. He measured 6-1 1/8 and 199.8 pounds. Missed 200 by “that much” (Maxwell Smart impression). Henderson then ran 4.65 seconds in the 40-yard dash and put up a 37-inch vertical leap. Solid on both counts. His throwing drills mixed video from Meridian (with a guy who looked like John Hightower his main target) with some from a Southern California location. Henderson’s skill set has CFL written all over it.
IT WOULD BE EASY TO VOTE FOR THIS ONE
Should the next Bronco football classic KBOI-KTIK broadcast be the 2001 game at Fresno State after the Twitter activities of the past few days? This Saturday it’ll be either the 2014 or 2017 Mountain West championship game victory over the Bulldogs. But it was the 2001 game that changed the trajectory of the two programs (and it wouldn’t be coming up right now without that strange tweet last Friday by Fresno State football). The Bulldogs were ranked eighth in the country and were seemingly headed for a major bowl. The Broncos were the upstarts in their first season in the WAC. Indeed, Fresno State and quarterback David Carr busted out to a 28-14 third quarter lead. But Boise State owned the fourth quarter and pulled the 35-30 upset. The thriller was on ESPN, and things haven’t been the same since.
AN ADDITION FOR THE TWO-DEEP
Boise State has another graduate transfer who appears to be a depth chart guy (although you never know who might be a late-bloomer). Uzo Osuji is headed in from Rice and at the very least will provide a reinforcement for John Ojukwu at his presumed left tackle spot. Osuji, a 6-6, 292-pounder from Coppell, TX, played in nine games for the Owls last season and started just one. I like the tongue-in-cheek theory circulating Monday: that Osuji is the player-to-be-named-later in the trade that sent Broncos basketball player Riley Abercrombie to Rice.
COMING TO A SCHOOL NEAR YOU?
This is starting to happen, and it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see it touch Boise State. At Washington State, athletic director Pat Chun, football coach Nick Rolovich and men’s basketball coach Kyle Smith are all absorbing voluntary five percent pay cuts through the end of the 2020-21 academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s more than a year. It sure looks better when it’s portrayed as “voluntary” as opposed to forced. Boise State president Dr. Marlene Tromp, a great consensus-builder, will somehow get the twain to meet at some point in her university’s athletics department.
ALL HAIL THE BOISE STATE WOMEN
During the great sports shutdown of 2020, Bob & Chris have conducted their own tournament on KTIK to determine the Athletic Moment of the Year at Boise State for the 2019-20 school year. And on a station that is men’s sports-heavy, especially football-heavy, listeners voted the Broncos women’s basketball team to the top of the podium for winning their fourth straight Mountain West tournament championship last month. And to think the coronavirus would have probably kept that from happening had the conference title game stayed on its original date. Boise State had made it as the No. 2 seed. “If that tournament hadn’t been moved up a week, second place would have felt like an underachievement,” said Broncos coach Gordy Presnell.
ARMSTRONG’S THIRD GOLD MEDAL WAS A CHARM
NBC Sports Network is replaying classic moments from the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics this week, and Boise’s Kristin Armstrong got her due last night. The network showed Armstong’s gold medal ride in the women’s time trial at the Rio Olympics almost four years ago. It came one day shy of her 43rd birthday, as you recall, and it required a fierce sprint into a headwind to overcome a 2.2-second deficit for a 5.5-second victory. Weeks earlier, she had survived an arbitration attempt by two rivals through USA Cycling to bump her off the Olympic team. Armstrong, the oldest cyclist ever to win a gold medal, retired as the most decorated athlete in U.S. Olympic cycling history. She and speed skater Bonnie Blair are the only female athletes ever to win the same event in three consecutive Olympics.
This Day In Sports…brought to you by HOFFMAN AUTO BODY…absolutely great since 1958!
April 14, 1910, 110 years ago today: William Howard Taft begins the presidential tradition of throwing out the first ball on Opening Day in Washington. Taft watched as Walter Johnson—who five years earlier was playing semi-pro ball in Weiser—pitched a one-hit shutout to lead the Washington Senators past the Philadelphia A’s, 3-0. Every President from Taft through Obama threw out at least one ceremonial first ball or pitch, either for Opening Day, the All-Star Game or the World Series.
(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.)