Boise State’s latest recruit has special ‘family’ connection to a former NFL superstar

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Early signing day has taken most of the suspense out of college football’s traditional signing period.

Boise State signed the bulk of its 2024 recruiting class in December, adding 16 high school recruits and three junior college transfers.

The Broncos’ remaining roster spots went to a handful of transfers the program added in the past month, including former USC quarterback Malachi Nelson and wide receiver Chris Marshall, who is the No. 1 JUCO recruit in the country, according to 247Sports.

The Broncos did add a couple of players Wednesday, though. Centennial (California) linebacker Syncere Brackett-Lambey signed his national letter of intent, but he’ll take a grayshirt year, which means he won’t join the team until January 2025. He’s doing that because Boise State is at its limit of 85 scholarship players, football coach Spencer Danielson said Wednesday.

Boise State also announced that former Mountain View High School standout and Meridian native Troy Grizzle is joining the program as a walk-on. He played defensive end and long snapper for the Mavericks and was named first-team 5A Southern Idaho Conference as a defensive lineman last season.

Brackett-Lambey announced his commitment Tuesday in a video he posted on social media that included an appearance from one of the most athletic quarterbacks in college football and NFL history.

Former Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick gave Brackett-Lambey a shout-out in the video. Vick, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 draft, played 13 seasons in the NFL. He was named to the Pro Bowl four times and earned Comeback Player of the Year honors after leading the Eagles to an NFC East title in 2010.

“We want to congratulate you on a stellar high school career and wish you nothing but the best moving forward,” said Vick, who has quite a few more gray hairs than he did in 2006, when he posted 1,039 rushing yards, becoming the first NFL quarterback to rush for more than 1,000 in a season.

Vick and Brackett-Lambey’s father, Dr. Trevor Brackett, are longtime friends. Dr. Brackett, a former wide receiver at Nevada, said they met in 2003 when he was in Atlanta trying to get his professional football career off the ground. He said they clicked right away and their families stayed close over the years.

So close that Brackett-Lambey calls Vick his uncle.

“He saw me in diapers, and he’s my little brother’s godfather,” Brackett-Lambey said. “He always motivated me and played a big part in my dream of playing college football coming true.”

Brackett-Lambey said his family gathered around the TV whenever one of Vick’s games was on. Whenever he got on the phone with the former Pro Bowler, he always asked the same question: Who hit you the hardest?

Vick’s answer was always the same: former Eagles safety Brian Dawkins.

NFL stars and Boise State Hall of Famers: Broncos find success with JUCO transfers

Leader of the defense

It’s fitting that Brackett-Lambey would ask one of the most feared quarterbacks in NFL history about a defensive player. He grew up on the defensive side of the ball, primarily playing linebacker at both Santa Margarita High and Centennial High in California, which is where he spent the final two years of his high school career.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound native of Corona, California, tallied 124 tackles and 6.5 sacks the past two years. He lined up at middle linebacker at Centennial and said the position comes with a lot of responsibility.

“As a middle linebacker, you’re the voice of the team,” said Brackett-Lambey, adding he plans to play middle linebacker at Boise State. “I’ve been raised to be a leader, so being vocal and putting in extra time has never been an issue. I love being the leader.”

Danielson said Wednesday that he’s seen Brackett-Lambey play in person and at recruiting camps, and he’s always come away impressed with his ability to lead as much as his athleticism and his nose for the ball.

“I really believe the sky is the limit for him,” Danielson said. “At linebacker, you have to lead not only yourself but the whole defense. I saw him do that time after time.”

Boise State defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said Wednesday that Brackett-Lambey’s embrace of the responsibility that comes with playing middle linebacker at such a young age bodes well for his future.

“It’s a heavy burden. and accepting it early and understanding that’s what it takes to get on the field helps to smooth the process a little bit,” said Chinander, adding that Brackett-Lambey could also see time at edge rusher.

Brackett-Lambey is a three-star recruit, according to 247Sports. Boise State offered him a scholarship on Jan. 31. He also has offers from Eastern Washington and Stony Brook.

Danielson has been recruiting him since his sophomore year in high school, according to Brackett-Lambey, who said the chance to play for the Broncos’ new head coach was a big part of why he chose the program.

“He always believed in me, even before I had any offers,” Brackett-Lambey said. “He’s a very genuine person, and he’s not just worried about how I’m going to grow as a player. He’s worried about how I’m going to grow as a man.”