Boise State returns 45 lettermen and likely to unveil at least a few new standouts
These are arguably the four most important positions on a football team:
Editor's note: This is the sixth in a series previewing the college football season.
Cornerback, left tackle, defensive tackle and quarterback.
And Boise State has to replace all of them this fall; two, corner and left tackle, a bit unexpectedly, since Orlando Scandrick and Ryan Clady left a year early for the NFL Draft. That's one of those problems success brings, as five consecutive WAC championships gradually created a higher level of recruits willing to play on the blue.
running back ian johnson is one prime-timer who decided to stick around for his senior season. johnson was given a fifth-round grade by the nfl, and figured it'd be better to go back to school and try to regain the league title wrested away by hawaii last fall. he's among 12 starters and 45 lettermen back in the fold.
Quarterback Kellen Moore is not one of those veterans. For the first time in school history, a freshman will start at quarterback. He'll have some spiffy receivers to throw to in Jeremy Childs, Austin Pettis and Titus Young -- that is, if a nearly brand new offensive line (one returning starter, guard Andre Woodruff) gives him time.
"We feel like Kellen gives us the best chance right now," coach Chris Petersen said upon announcing Moore had won the job. "I can't wait to watch him play because I think he's got a tremendous feel for the game. We just feel this guy is extremely ready to go."
Moore beat out senior Bush Hamden in a close competition that probably tipped toward Moore because of his upside.
Coach: Chris Petersen (23-3)
2007 record: 10-3, 7-1 (second in WAC)
Hawaii series: BSU leads 6-3
Kyle Wilson is expected to replace Scandrick as the shutdown corner, and the Broncos are strong at linebacker with three returning starters, including Kyle Gingg. He led BSU in tackles last year.
End Mike T. Williams is another defensive stalwart.
Sophomore Kyle Brotzman is considered one of the strongest kickers in the nation.
As in past years, Boise State's success will hinge on the emergence of players many people who follow college football and even the WAC closely know little or nothing about at this point.
And this year, more than usual will be in some key positions.