A young man from the Parkrose district on the Eastside of Portland made a lot of waves the last few seasons racking up hundreds of yards per game at times and bringing excitement and winning ways back to his school.
Parkrose High, the home of the Broncos, is where senior Jonathan Boland put on a show every Friday night for all to see. His stats and ability to lead and score at will became the stuff of legend and helped breathe excitement back into the program.
The 5-foot-11, 190 pound senior had so many big plays over his three-plus years as a varsity QB it would take a good portion of the day to watch them all. His speed, crafty moves and shifty legs, and his football IQ all played out in perfect harmony and he led his team like the maestro of a great orchestra.
Week after week, his name was featured in the headlines for Player of the Week and many analysts and websites touted him as a prospect of note who would succeed at the Division I level.
However, like many seniors in the Class of 2015, Boland had to sit and wait as offers from colleges and schools from around the region trickled in. Many are patiently waiting it out hoping that some program will come along and grab them up before National Signing Day in early February.
Boland has been on the Northwest Prep Report’s short list of athletes who would likely be offered. For Boland, Wednesday was the day his waited finally ended as an offer came from a perennial source that relies on local talent, the Portland State Vikings.
With the recent firing of Coach Nigel Burton, we have seen very little recruiting from the Vikings. Perhaps the strategy was to wait until late in the game and then move in on the best kids who have not yet pledged to anyone.
Wednesday, interim head coach Bruce Barnum offered Boland a scholarship and he quickly committed to Portland State.
“(Wednesday night) Coach Barnum offered me a full ride on my in-home visit. They want me to come in as an athlete,” Boland told Northwest Prep Report. “I will start out at quarterback and see how it pans out. If that doesn’t work out, then I’m athletic enough to play a different position. They might try me at slot receiver.
“I told Coach that they can play me anywhere. I’m just blessed to have the chance to live my dream, playing Divison 1 football. It was a great feeling. When he was telling me everything I got for free for four or five years in school, I broke out in tears.”
Boland is undeterred by the recent firing of Burton and Barnum’s one-year status as interim coach, even though he could be named the permanent head coach at some point if the Vikings win enough games.
“I think it is going to be amazing. Coach Cooper and Coach Barnum fired me up today,” Boland said.
In four years at Parkrose, Boland threw for almost 6,500 yards and 81 touchdowns, and rushed for about 3,000 yards and 34 touchdowns.
Boland is a good student and is grounded in his faith and has a lot of the personality traits we see in the great ones. He is similar to current PSU QB Paris Penn in that respect.
Boland is a hot prospect and PSU landed him. Coach Barnum is going to be involved in more of these meetings and we predict he could be in the driver’s seat on some of the best top-level prospects left.
Players like Boland that a team can build a program around.
The Vikings are already loaded and look to be in good shape to get better next season. Adding the missing elements will be a huge part of making the 2015 PSU squad better.
For the best local recruiting information in the Pacific Northwest, go to http://www.northwestprepreport.com/