Wide Receiver - Boise State lost it’s top three wide receivers in Jerard Rabb, Drisan James and Legedu Naanee to the NFL, but the Broncos return a young and talented group of players at the position.
Vinny Perretta (5-9, 196) and sophomore Jeremy Childs (6-0, 196) found ways to make plays last season despite being squeezed for playing time by the three seniors.
Perretta finished fifth on the team in receiving, catching 17 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns. He heads into the season as the starter at the “Z” position, but will be shuffled between wide receiver and running back to maximize his abilities.
Childs should become the Broncos’ next big-play receiver. He showed flashes of brilliance catching 14 passes for 152 yards and a crucial touchdown at New Mexico State as a freshman. He heads into the season as the starter at the “X.”
Behind those two, Boise State has a number of young but inexperienced wide outs. In the three wide receiver set, sophomore Aiona Key (6-4, 195), junior Tanyon Bissell (5-10, 195) and junior Julian Hawkins (6-3, 229) will all see action on the inside of the formation. Key played mostly special teams as a freshman.
Junior Toshi Franklin (6-1, 182) had a breakout spring for the Broncos and vaulted himself into serious contention for playing time. He served as a sparsley used backup the last two seasons.
Junior Nick Harris (5-11, 175) caught one pass for six yards last year and is in the battle for playing time, as is sophomore Evan Surratt (6-2, 201). Surratt played mostly special teams last season after converting to wide receiver from safety.
Walk-on Michael Choate (5-11, 190) participated in spring ball and rounds out the returning players.
Two true freshmen have a legitimate chance to see some playing time this seasons. Austin Pettis (6-3, 190) and Titus Young (5-11, 170) had productive high school careers and are expected to be impact players at Boise State.
Pettis, from Anaheim, Calif., caught 72 passes for 1,079 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior at Lutheran High School, while Young, from Los Angeles, caught 66 passes for 1,359 yards and scored 20 touchdowns at University High School.
Tight End - Gone is four-year starter Derek Schouman, but the Broncos have a wealth of experience at tight end despite Schouman’s departure.
Ryan Putnam (6-2, 248), Richie Brockel (6-2, 249), senior Sherm Blaser (6-3, 240) and sophomore Chris O'Neill (6-3, 237) all have experience in big game situation and red-shirt freshman Tommy Gallarda (6-6, 236) and freshman Kyle Efaw (6-4, 223), a gray-shirt who joined the program in January, could push to replace Schouman’s big-play pass-catching ability.
Putnam and Brockel were used primarily as blockers last season, but Putnam finished with six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown, while Brockel added two catches for 22 yards. O’Neill didn’t catch any passes but played last season. Blaser sat out the year with an injury, but returns after having four catches for 49 yards and a touchdown two years ago.
Junior Peter Elliott (6-4, 219) could factor in the mix after red-shirting last season after playing two seasons of junior college football.