Sears

Southern California quarterback Jack Sears throws against Arizona State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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The Boise State football team now has even more intrigue at quarterback. 

The Broncos announced the surprising signing Monday night of former USC quarterback Jack Sears, who has two years of eligibility remaining and is immediately eligible as a graduate transfer.

Sears, who made one start against Arizona State as a redshirt freshman in 2018, sat out last season while focusing on finishing his degree at USC. He signed to transfer to San Diego State last December but backed out in January after coach Rocky Long stepped down.

The former four-star prospect was rated as the No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the 2017 recruiting class by 247Sports. He visited Northwestern and N.C. State prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Boise State stunned the college football world by announcing his signing on Monday evening.

On the surface it appears like an odd choice for Sears to sign with the Broncos, who have a pair of established quarterbacks already on the roster in sophomore Hank Bachmeier and fourth-year sophomore Chase Cord. Bachmeier is the likely starter and Cord was expected to have a role as well. 

The addition of Sears would seem to hint at either Bachmeier or Cord leaving the program. Cord would be the most likely candidate given his path to the No. 1 spot appearing to be blocked by Bachmeier, but he said as recently as March that he hadn't seriously entertained transferring. 

Boise State had plenty of controversy at quarterback in 2019, most of which was centered around mysterious injuries to both Bachmeier and Cord. Bachmeier missed the final four regular season games and Mountain West title game before surprisingly starting against Washington in the Las Vegas Bowl after a seven-week layoff. 

Cord made two starts in place of Bachmeier but also was missing late in the season. Third-stringer Jaylon Henderson was thrust into the starting spot and led the Broncos to four straight wins before coming off the bench in the bowl game. Henderson graduated after the season.

Boise State had just three scholarship quarterbacks slated to be on the 2020 roster prior to the addition of Sears - Bachmeier, Cord and Cade Fennegan, a freshman who likely will redshirt. 

It's not surprising the Broncos added depth at quarterback, but a high-profile addition like Sears certainly wasn't expected. The reasons behind it remain unknown Monday night. 

This is a developing story and will be updated...

B.J Rains has covered Boise State athletics for the Idaho Press since 2013. He is an Associated Press Top 25 men's basketball poll voter, and also contributes to KBOI-TV as a Boise State insider.

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