EAST LANSING - When Boston College offered Joe Boisture a scholarship midway through last season - Boisture's first as a starting high school QB - the Eagles didn't have to go too far back in their memory bank to find a comparison.
"They thought he resembled Matt Ryan," said Boisture's father, Marty Boisture.
Well, the B.C. Eagles should know. Ryan took Boston College into the Top 10 two years ago, finishing with a Champs Sports Bowl victory over Michigan State. Ryan was the No. 3 player taken overall in the 2009 NFL Draft, became the second rookie in NFL history to throw for more than 3,000 yards in his first season, and was named NFL Rookie of the Year.
It's a mouthful to compare a guy to Ryan. Of course, no one is predicting Michigan State's latest verbal commitment - Boisture - will be as good as Ryan. But when it comes physical measurables, style of play and mental attributes, a guy like the 6-foot-6 Boisture isn't going to have a lot of high school peers. For that reason, Spartan football fans have to be pretty pleased today that Boisture reneged on his March commitment to Boston College and gave a verbal pledge to MSU on Thursday.
As for Ryan, few predicted he would become what he was. As a high school senior in Philadelphia, he threw for just 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns. Ryan was ranked the No. 25 pro style QB in the country. Boisture's high school accolades will exceed Ryan's. But Ryan blew up in college, thanks in part to his mental grasp for the position and physical ability to deliver on what he saw.
Michigan State coaches praised Ryan's ability to maintain inventory of all receivers, across the entire width of the field, at all times, even while scrambling. And then he had the arm strength to get it to guys on time and on target.
Marty Boisture knows a few things about quarterbacking. He was a scholarship QB at Bowling Green in the mid-1970s. When asked what impresses him the most about his son, you might think you were hearing MSU coaches describe Ryan.
"He can find the receiver," Marty Boisture said of his son. "There are a lot of guys with great arms out there at 6-foot-4 or 6-foot-5, but when they are in the backfield poised to throw, a lot of quarterbacks will be looking downfield and see nothing but chaos. He (Joe Boisture) has a way of sorting out the chaos. I think things move a little bit slower for him. He doesn't throw many bad passes. Most of his interceptions last year were tips or bounced off the receiver's shoulder pads or something."
Boisture threw for approximately 1,700 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions in leading Goodrich (Mich.) High School to a 10-1 record in 2008.
Boisture is ranked the No. 5 pro style QB in the nation by Rivals.com and the No. 90 player overall. When he enrolls at Michigan State in January, he will join a quarterback stable that will include Kirk Cousins and Keith Nichol, who will be juniors when Boisture becomes eligible. Incoming freshman Andrew Maxwell will likely be a redshirt freshman, unless there are injury problems for the Spartans this fall.
Cousins and Maxwell were invited by the MSU coaching staff to watch Boisture workout at the MSU camp, Wednesday at Spartan Stadium.
"Joe knows that the competition at Michigan State right now is stiff," said Mr. Boisture. "They have two very good quarterbacks in Nichol and Cousins. We had an opportunity to meet Cousins. What a nice young man. And Maxwell, too. These are stand-up guys that Joe is going to spend a lot of time with. Cousins and Maxwell are just wonderful young men. They are bright. They are mature. And Keith Nichol wasn't available but we understand he is the same way."
Some coaches wouldn't have wanted Maxwell anywhere near a visiting Top 100 national recruit. But MSU seems to be quite transparent and honest when it comes to recruiting.
"Coach D told us prior to coming up that he wanted Joe to meet Maxwell, Nichol and Cousins," said Mr. Boisture. "Eventually it will come down to Joe and Maxwell. Both of them are very good quartebacks. Roll the dice and see what happens."
Mr. Boisture has been impressed Dantonio.
"He is a bit of a disciplinarian and Michigan State over the years maybe needed that," said Mr. Boisture. "He doesn't necessary try to be a buddy. He is more of a father figure and I have a lot of respect for him."
What did the MSU coaches say they liked about Boisture?
"After Joe was done (with his Wednesday workout at the MSU camp), Coach D said, 'You have a fabulous arm,'" said Mr. Boisture. "(QBs) Coach (Dan) Warner told Joe as we were leaving, 'Joe, if I were to pick between any of the quarterbacks that we have offered, there is no doubt that I want to coach you the most.'"
Boisture has had a good tutor from the beginning, in his father.
"Joe started out playing in the fourth grade, like everybody else," said Mr. Boisture. "We worked on fundamentals. As a quarterback, footwork is so important. We always worked on he footwork and fundamentals.
"He just got better and better and better. He is a big kid. He is at 6-6, 202 and he should probably get up to 230. He can move around in the pocket. He is not a Pat White type of quarterback, but he can move around."
Boisture showed some mobility on Wednesday.
"The Michigan State coaches came to Joe's school quite a bit but they hadn't really seen him play, seen him throw, his movement," said Mr. Boisture. "They saw some things (on Wednesday) and I think they were pleasantly surprised."
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