The future of Bronco football players’ athletic careers: Draft decisions, NFL and more

Boise State football players are starting to decide the future of their athletic careers after the 2021 season came to a close. 

The Broncos had seven players from this year’s team declare for the draft. These players include fifth-year nickelback Kekaula Kaniho, redshirt senior running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio, redshirt senior long snapper Daniel Cantrell, sixth-year offensive lineman Jake Stetz, receiver Octavius Evans, senior receiver Khalil Shakir and former receiver CT Thomas.

“My time at Boise State was the best I could ever ask for,” Shakir said. “This next chapter is going to be something special.”

According to PFF, Shakir is ranked as the 64th best player and the 10th best receiver in his draft class. He is also projected to be selected in the second to fourth round of the draft. Shakir also has a chance to be the highest-selected Bronco player in the draft since Ezra Cleveland was picked by the Vikings with the 58th pick in 2020.

Photo by Claire Keener | The Arbiter

Junior safety JL Skinner, redshirt junior defensive tackle Scott Matlock, redshirt sophomore running back George Holani and junior quarterback Hank Bachmeier were all draft eligible this year but decided to stay.

There will also be a handful of seniors leaving the team this year. These players are sixth-year offensive lineman Donte Harrington, fifth-year linebacker Riley Whimpey, offensive lineman Uzo Osuji, and punter Joel Velazquez. Whimpey originally planned on declaring for the draft, but decided not to after suffering another concussion against San Diego State this season.

While three seniors are leaving, safety Tyreque Jones and defensive lineman Divine Obichere have confirmed that they are staying. 

Redshirt senior offensive lineman John Ojukwu, senior cornerback Caleb Biggers, redshirt senior offensive lineman Will Farrar, redshirt senior defensive lineman Shane Irwin, redshirt senior receiver Davis Koetter, redshirt senior linebacker Ezekiel Noa, redshirt senior cornerback Damon Cole, and redshirt senior tight end Kurt Rafdal all have eligibility left, but have yet to make a decision regarding next season.

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