BOISE — Tommy Football is coming to Boise.
The Boise State football team got an oral commitment from junior college quarterback Tommy Stuart Sunday morning. He made the announcement official on his Twitter page, @TommyFootball1.
Stuart, a 6-foot-0, 195-pound freshman from Butte College, will enroll in classes for the spring semester beginning Tuesday.
“Boise State has always been a dream school of mine,” Stuart told the Idaho Press-Tribune Sunday. “My father played at Idaho State so I’ve known the state not great, but pretty well for someone who is from Maryland. I just can’t say enough about my decision to enroll in Boise in the spring.
“I’m really thrilled about the whole thing and I can’t say enough about the coaching staff, coach (Bryan) Harsin and coach (Mike) Sanford and the rest of the coaching staff. They really made me feel at home, as well as the other recruits. It’s going to be exciting.”
Boise State was in need of depth at the quarterback position with the graduation of Joe Southwick and the likely transfer of Nick Patti. The Broncos had only two quarterbacks on scholarship — senior Grant Hedrick and redshirt freshman Ryan Finley — heading into spring practice.
It’s unclear whether or not Stuart will be on scholarship or on the team as a preferred walk-on. He wouldn’t provide an answer and said coaches asked him not to talk about it. It’s possible his status could be based on how many players Boise State gives scholarships to on the upcoming Feb. 5 signing day.
Stuart passed for 29 touchdowns and three interceptions and rushed for another seven scores in leading Butte to the California state and national championships. He was named the 2013 Northern California JUCO Offensive Player of the Year and the MVP of the Northern California championship game.
He’s put up impressive numbers wherever he’s been, but the interest from schools hasn’t followed. Now he’ll bring a familiar attitude with him to Boise State as he prepares to compete in spring practice.
“I’ve been playing with a chip on my shoulder since I was in high school,” Stuart said. “I was two-time, first team all-state in high school and I didn’t get any Division I offers. I had to go play junior college and we won the national championship and I was the northern California player of the year and Boise State was really the only division one school to show any interest in me.
“I’ve always looked for the opportunity to compete at the Division I level and they are going to give me an opportunity to compete. They didn’t promise me anything or anything like that and I’m going to have to come in and compete for everything I get. I’m excited and ready to compete.”
The Baltimore native sat out a season and greyshirted in 2012 before enrolling at Butte as a true freshman last fall. He has three years of eligibility — plus a redshirt season if needed — remaining.
Stuart didn’t begin talking with coaches from Boise State until about two weeks ago. He visited Boise State this past weekend and posted a photo of him and offensive coordinator Mike Sanford standing on the blue turf on his Twitter page Friday night. Eight other schools tried to contact him after seeing the photo, but it was too late. He was ready to be a Bronco.
He was scheduled to fly back to Sacramento on Sunday, pack his things, and return in time for school to start on Tuesday. It’s a quick turnaround, but one he couldn’t pass up on.
“Everything was first class,” Stuart said. “I’ve been to a couple schools and Boise is by far the nicest facilities I’ve ever seen in my life. The town was great, really clean and a real friendly town. Everybody says hello to you. I’m really excited to be starting school on Tuesday.
“It’s going to be a tough journey. I have to say goodbye to my girlfriend and all that, but I’m excited. I met a couple of the players on my visit and it’s real exciting for me. I’m ready to go and get back here.”
FOUR-START QB ON VISIT: Four-star quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels, a Vanderbilt commit, confirmed to the Idaho Press-Tribune that he arrived in Boise on Sunday for an official visit to Boise State. He is scheduled to return home today.
Carta-Samuels, who visited Washington over the weekend, is also considering Penn State and Vanderbilt. James Franklin left Vanderbilt to become the head coach at Penn St.