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Boise State Broncos
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BOISE, Idaho The power conferences have successfully separated themselves from the have-nots of the college football world and it is annually displayed on National Signing Day.

While the top programs crow about all the five-star recruits they added, programs like Boise State scoop up three-star players and hope to develop them into front-line players.

But occasionally a player with a four-star rating signs on the bottom line.

That's what happened with Boise State as its 19-player class unveiled on Wednesday was highlighted by the signing of four-star cornerback Jermani Brown of Midlothian, Va. Even with Brown, the class was ranked just 60th nationally by 247Scout.com.

Brown was rated as the No. 10 player in the state of Virginia by ESPN and the oddness of a player in Virginia wanting to attend college in the capital city of Idaho is easily explained.

You see, Brown lived in the Los Angeles area prior to his senior season before his family relocated due to a job situation. He had already formed a tight relationship with Broncos defensive backs coach Ashley Ambrose and that led to him sideswiping away offers from power conference schools such Arizona State, Michigan State, North Carolina, Syracuse, Utah, Virginia, Washington State and Wisconsin.

"We kept in touch. The thing about Germani is he is a phenomenal athlete, and a highly intelligent kid," Ambrose, a former NFL standout, told reporters. "He's a very explosive kid who is not afraid of tackling. He's a kid that could be special later on in his career.

"He's a wonderful person to be around and always has a smile on his face."

Brown wasn't the only Boise State player to avoid the temptation of reneging on a commitment in favor of a bigger program.

Quarterback Chase Cord signed with the Broncos but had to push aside late overtures from Baylor as new Bears coach Matt Rhule saw an opportunity to poach a recruit from the Mountain West school.

But Cord relayed that his commitment to Boise State was solid and Baylor backed off.

"Two weeks before Signing Day is kind of late to show interest," Cord told reporters. "I just feel like Boise State showed so much interest and offered me so early. I really felt like a priority to them and that meant a lot to me and I was solid in my commitment and I told (Baylor) that."

Cord earlier turned down scholarship offers from Colorado, Indiana, Iowa State, Oregon State and Utah while picking the Broncos.

NAMES TO KNOW

CB Jermani Brown (Midlothian, Va.) The rare four-start recruit to sign with Boise State and it seems logical he should end up being a standout in the Mountain West. Brown was deemed one of the top 30 cornerbacks by four different recruiting services.

QB Chase Cord (Peoria, Ariz.) Three-star recruit who was ranked as the 21st best quarterback by ESPN. Passed for 2,721 yards and 38 touchdowns as senior while being intercepted just five times.

LB Breydon Boyd (Katy, Texas.) The three-star recruit was the leader of a defense that allowed just 62 points while going 16-0 during his junior season and he followed up with a strong senior campaign. Boyd is expected to be a contributor early in his career, perhaps even this fall.

WR Octavius Evans (Center, Texas) The three-star recruit was highly productive in high school with 253 career receptions for 3,200 yards and 26 touchdowns. He had 66 receptions for 852 yards and six scores last season and has the potential to play a role with the Broncos.

LB Zeke Noa (Spring Valley, Calif). Three-star recruit was two-time section Defensive Player of the Year in San Diego County. The highly athletic Noa posted 92 tackles and 9.5 sacks as a senior also scored nine touchdowns on offense.

SPRING SCENE: Spring game TBA

Boise State will certainly spend a lot of time on the defensive side in hopes of figuring out why it forced so few takeaways last season.

The Broncos intercepted just seven passes while forcing only two fumbles during a 10-3 campaign and that issue partially explains why they didn't even reach the Mountain West title game in a down year for the conference.

Boise State also needs to identify a new lead running back after standout Jeremy McNichols departed for the NFL. Sophomore Alexander Mattison will probably miss the entire spring due to shoulder surgery but he remains the favor to claim the job.

Seeing progression from junior quarterback Brett Rypien will also be a focus. Rypien stagnated a bit as a sophomore after a strong freshman campaign in 2015.





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