Spring Practice Primer: Boise State

Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Boise State.

Spring Practice Starts: Monday, March 12

Spring Game: Saturday, April 14

Three Things To Look For:

1. Moving on after Kellen Moore/Brent Pease. As the winningest quarterback in FBS history, Moore is arguably the most significant departure in Chris Petersen's tenure at Boise State. After losing offensive coordinators Brent Pease and Bryan Harsin in back-to-back seasons, Petersen hopes to limit the drop-off with another promotion from the current staff. Wide receivers coach Robert Prince will coach the offense, and try to continue the success of recent seasons with Harsin and Pease. Who the replacement for Moore will be is left to be decided, but there is plenty of competition in spring camp. Backup quarterback Joe Southwick, sophomore Grant Hedrick, redshirt freshman Jimmy Laughrea, and true freshman Nick Patti will all get their chance at the starting job before the fall.

2. D.J. Harper's time to shine. With a shakeup in the coaching staff, Boise State will need leadership in the locker room. Running back D.J. Harper, preparing for his sixth year with the Broncos, will have the opportunity to step up as an on and off-field leader of this team. Knee injuries cut both his 2009 and 2010 seasons short, but Harper has totaled 1,875 yards (5.1 yards per carry) and 25 touchdowns on his career. After playing backup to Doug Martin in 2011, the Cypress, TX native will being seeing starter's snaps this spring.

3. Finding new stars along the defensive line. Boise State lost all four starters on the defensive line, including First Team All-MWC selections Tyrone Crawford and Shea McClellin. CBSSports.com's Chadd Cripe calls defensive tackles Mike Atkinson and Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe "solid building blocks," but filling out the rest of that rotation is a big concern for the Broncos this spring. One thing that could make that process even more difficult for coaches will be three less practices in pads, a result of NCAA sanctions imposed against the athletic department.

For more on the Broncos, including 3 players under the microscope this spring, check out Chadd Cripe's Broncos RapidReports

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CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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