Two individual ex-Broncos move on

It was almost 15 months ago that Dereck Boles and Chanceller James got into a fight at a house party—the result being James losing part of his ear and Boles being booted from the Boise State squad and charged with felony mayhem (he was found not guilty last month). Both former players were in the news in a more positive way yesterday, as Boles found a new college football home and James passed his first NFL audition. Boles, the 6-3, 290-pound defensive tackle who played at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas last year, has committed to Arizona, where he’ll be reunited with former Bronco defensive coordinator Marcel Yates.

James has been signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Francisco 49ers as one of three tryout candidates (out of 56) to successfully make it through rookie minicamp over the weekend. The Niners are reportedly eyeing James as a strong safety. At 6-2, 215 pounds, he is taller and heavier than any of the team’s other current safeties. He had three interceptions as a senior—that was enough to lead the Broncos in picks.

Speaking of the 49ers, KD Cannon didn’t impress them as much as he did Boise State at the Cactus Bowl last December. The wide receiver out of Baylor, an early entrant who was expected to go in the NFL Draft, did not. Cannon was signed as an undrafted free agent by San Francisco, but he didn’t even last the weekend at rookie minicamp. He was out of there by Sunday morning. There were murmurs of attitude problems. What a way to go.

Cannon, who logged 87 catches for 1,215 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, was a one-man wrecking crew against the Broncos in the Bears’ 31-12 win in Phoenix. The 6-0, 185-pounder had 14 grabs for 226 yards, including TDs of 30 and 68 yards. One of them was a circus catch over the top of good coverage by Jonathan Moxey. But the NFL Draft committee had suggested that Cannon stay in school for his senior year. It sounds like it was good advice.

If you’ve been around awhile, you remember Nate Burleson when he was a wide receiver at Nevada, a star on some Wolf Pack teams that otherwise took it on the chin when facing Boise State. Burleson went on to a nice NFL career with Minnesota, Seattle and Detroit, making 457 catches and scoring 43 touchdowns. He also forged a reputation as a good interview and a good guy, and now he’s on one of the highest-profile Sunday pregame shows. CBS has named Burleson to the “The NFL Today” panel as the program enters its 50th year, joining James Brown, Bill Cowher, Boomer Esiason and the reassigned Phil Simms. Burleson played at Nevada from 2000-02, amassing 248 receptions and 3,287 yards.

So which of Boise State’s retired NFL players would be a candidate as a network analyst? I don’t think there would be any argument around KTIK if you said Daryn Colledge. Even during his Bronco playing days, I thought, “Man, that guy sounds like a broadcaster.” Colledge was also a great interview, and he had his chances to shine as such in the NFL, particularly as a Green Bay Packer. He has something Burleson doesn’t—a Super Bowl ring. Colledge is, of course, a frequent guest on KTIK (it would have been more frequent had he not opted to serve in the Army National Guard last year).

The College of Idaho baseball team is 24-28 this season, but it sure is peaking at the right time. As the Coyotes prepare for unknown opponents in an unknown location this coming weekend in the NAIA Championships Opening Round, four of their players have been named to the All-NAIA West Grouping North Division team. Starting pitcher Zach Draper, shortstop Bobby Wright, outfielder/designated hitter Cole Mansanarez (out of Blackfoot High) and relief pitcher Riley O’Brien made the squad.

The NHL career of former Idaho Steelhead Justin Dowling is on more solid ground now. Dowling has been signed to a two-year, two-way contract extension by the Dallas Stars. The 26-year-old forward made his NHL debut for the Stars this season, finishing with two assists in nine games. He also played in 49 games for the AHL’s Texas Stars. Dowling was an offensive force for the Steelheads in 2012-13, scoring 13 goals and adding 33 assists in 34 games.

This Day In Sports…May 9, 2010:

Forty-two years and one day after Jim “Catfish” Hunter does it, Dallas Braden throws a perfect game for the Oakland A’s in a 4-0 win over Tampa Bay. It was the 19th perfect game in big league history, but only Braden’s 18th career victory in the majors—and his first complete game. The moment was especially poignant coming on Mother’s Day, as Major League Baseball brought out the pink bats to bring awareness to breast cancer and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Braden lost his mother to cancer at the age of 14. He would last only two more years in the majors, though, with a career record of 26-36.

(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.)