Sears

Southern California quarterback Jack Sears throws against Arizona State during a game Oct. 27, 2018.

The Boise State football team now has some depth at quarterback. And maybe more intrigue as well.

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 he 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 North Carolina State prior to the coronavirus 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 is expected to have a role next season as well.

It could hint at 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. 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 Conference 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 he 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 for the 2020 roster prior to the addition of Sears — Bachmeier, Cord and Cade Fennegan, a freshman who likely will redshirt.

The addition also could mean nothing more than additional depth and another player ready to compete for playing time for the Broncos. Sears was projected as no better than the No. 3 quarterback on USC’s roster last fall before sitting out to finish his degree.

Multiple attempts by the Idaho Press to reach Sears and his father, Paul, were unsuccessful.