Over the last two years there was so much hype about Nick Patti that his leaving is second only to Petersen’s exiting to Washington. Now we know how the Soviet Union felt when Barnyshnikov defected.
Aaron Baltazar bolting for who knows where was a tough one also. It looked like he and Patti would be seniors together at Boise.
Does this all mean a program in crisis? Not really. You build the possibility of crisis into a program. I think we’re secure at quarterback and running back. Sure we don’t have the back-ups we thought we would have, but great programs find a way to win without all the pieces in place. (Just picked up JUCO standout Thomas Stuart)
This past season was one of the first times in recent Bronco history that a quarterback went down with an injury. Hedrick stepped in and the argument can be made he was equally as effective as Southwick.
Anemic play calling can’t be blamed on anybody but the coaches.
It might be added that Kellen Moore would have had a difficult time with the offensive structure instituted the past two years. Southwick and Hedrick both looked uncomfortable at times with what was called. At times I wondered if OC Prince was watching the same game I was at.
Likely Patti coming into his red-shirt freshman year thought of himself as the heir apparent to Joe Southwick. In fact many during the 2012 year were asking for Southwick’s head on a platter in favor of Patti. Hedrick was never a part of any discussion by any of the local pundits, fan blogs, watering holes, or the airwaves.
Southwick’s brilliant performance in the MAACO bowl against UW in 2012 sealed Patti’s fate and positioned him as a back-up this year. Did anyone really think Hedrick was going to roll over and play third?
We don’t know much about Ryan Finley, but it could be that Patti might have envisioned him as too much of a threat as the starter after Hedrick‘s graduation? Did the recruiting of Jalen Green send a message that Boise was going to go out and find a top-notch q-back and forget the plans they had for Patti?
Green is gone. He‘s committed to three schools that I know of. (He’s burned more bridges than the Nazis did retreating over the Rhine in WW II.) Can you imagine Green calling audibles or running an option, he’d never make up his mind.
All the hand-wringing about the loss of Patti presupposes Hedrick might sustain an injury and we don’t have anyone to turn to after the 2014 season.
Finley was a highly sought-for recruit. He was recruited by only PAC 12 and Big Ten schools, that’s impressive. Indiana and UCF were the biggest programs besides Boise who recruited Patti. Finley was rated far better than Patti. It appears losing Finley would have been far worse than losing Patti.
Anyway the reason for Patti leaving may have been something as simple as the inversion.
Aaron Baltazar is the mystery. Boise fans seemed to really take to him like they did Ian Johnson. He was starting over Ajayi because of his fumblitus. When Baltazar went down with a season ending injury Ajayi turned it up a notch. He clearly became the Bronco’s No. 1 running-back again and looked like nobody was going to take it away from him.
Baltazar came to school ready to play. No way was he going to red-shirt. He may have seen himself playing behind Ajayi for two more years leaving him only one year to shine.
Losing Baltazar is a jolt. Next year Boise State may have had two running backs with more than a thousand yards rushing each.
Without Baltazar we are still very deep at running back. Returning will be Devon Demas, Jack Fields, and Derrick Thomas. It also looks like a recruit from Norco, California will be on the roster next year. If Charles Bertoli improves as much from 2012 to 2013 he will be a force by which to be reckoned. That said, I think his work ethic and determination will give the other backs something to emulate. He leaves it all on the field.
As far as the q-back situation is concerned, Boise State has garnered a reputation that allows them to pick and choose top-rated recruits. There is plenty of talented high school talent who want to come to The Blue. Between now and the National Signing Day Boise State coaches will be taking a look at a lot of q-back prospects. They won’t be latching hold of the first ones that come along. He’s going to have to be the right one.