Boise State receiver declared eligible
Kellen Moore is about to get a big new downfield target.
Boise State coach Chris Petersen said Monday the NCAA has reinstated wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn, one of three Broncos with Dutch ties who have missed games this season due to eligibility issues.
Boldewijn, the biggest and fastest member of the Bronco receiving corps, is practicing with the team this week and is expected to play Friday night when the No. 5 Broncos (4-0) travel to Fresno State.
For Boise State, the deep, vertical threat Boldewijn could open up new opportunities in the passing game. So far this season, Moore hasn't connected on many throws deep down field, and his longest completion so far is a 38-yarder two weeks ago against Tulsa.
''It'll be fun,'' Moore said Monday. ''He deserves some opportunities. He brings some stuff that the other guys can't. He's got some talents that hopefully we can showcase.''
In 13 games last season, Boldewijn had 11 catches for 160 yards, including a 48-yarder.
Heading into this season, Boldewijn was considered the Broncos' best bet to stretch defenses and replace Titus Young, whose speed and deep ball skills gave opposing secondaries fits.
But the day before Boise State's opener at Georgia, school officials announced that Boldewijn, safety Cedric Febis and defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe were suspended pending NCAA eligibility issues. All three players from Amsterdam had played their senior seasons in Boise high schools before signing to play with the Broncos, and all three played backup roles last year.
Febis was reinstated in time for the second game at Toledo; Tjong-A-Tjoe's status is still pending.
At the time of the suspensions, Petersen said the inquiry was not related to academic or team rule violations. Athletic officials said the university is expected to release a comprehensive statement on the three players later in the week.
Boldewijn has been taking part in individual drills with Moore and working with the practice squad. Petersen said it's too soon to forecast what kind of immediate impact the sophomore could have on the Bronco offense.
''We'll fit him in there and give him some things and we'll see,'' Petersen said. ''We just feel really bad for these kids. These kids are sitting here trying to work this out ... missing games. It's really hard on them.''
But Moore may be the biggest beneficiary of the return of Boldewijn, who showed a knack for making big, game-changing plays during spring and fall workouts. Moore is coming off his worst performance in a brilliant career, and having a true deep threat could open up the kind of short and middle passing routes that showcase his pinpoint accuracy and ability to pick apart opposing defenses.
In Saturday's 30-10 blowout over Nevada, Moore was 19 of 33 for 142 yards, a career low. He also missed a handful of open receivers and threw back-to-back interceptions in the second half, but he was also victimized by some drops, including a 51-yarder to Mitch Burroughs that could have gone for a touchdown.
''Having another guy like Geraldo, a big target, really should help,'' said left guard Joe Kellogg.