Yet another WR with TE eligibility on Fantrax..

My name is Bolt, Lightning Bolt.

– Usain Bolt, Olympic Athlete


Austin Bolt (6’3″, 212)

2023 STATS (seven games): 6-175-2 (5.1 PPG)

Although I already used former Colorado State Ram TE and CFF breakout Dallin Holker as a comparison with another profile, Boise State’s Austin Bolt (6’3, 212) is giving some 2023 Holker vibes as well.

Despite entering his fifth year of collegiate football, Bolt has only played in 21 games, 11 of which came in the 2021 season. ‘Participated’ is probably the appropriate word to use here as he had yet to see more than one target—forget about making a catch—I’m talking about targets—in a game until this past season. 

Yes, it’s true—Bolt’s three-consecutive season-long streak of ending the year with a total of one target finally came to an end on November 11, 2023. In this game against New Mexico, Bolt came out like a thunderbolt, catching a 42-yarder for a score and finishing the night with two catches for 57 yards and a TD on three targets (13.7 points in 1PPR). 

I compare Bolt to Holker because the Holkster had also played in a shockingly low amount of games during his rather lengthy football career heading into the 2023 season. Holker, being the good Mormon he is, left for his mission in April 2019 and never played in 2019 and 2020. He had two forgettable years in 2021 and 2022 before ultimately emerging in his sixth year of CFB.

Boltster hasn’t been serving on any missions (as far as I know, at least), but he might as well have for the three seasons leading up to 2023. This past season was a breakout-ish type of campaign for the former three-star WR out of Idaho. In his seven games played, he was targeted 17 times, of which he caught six for 175 yards and two scores (5.1 PPG). That’s not actually that bad for TEs, which admittedly is probably more of an indictment on the TE position as a whole for CFF rather than an endorsement for Bolt, but I digress.

And yes, in case it hasn’t become clear yet, Bolt is a WR but he has TE eligibility on Fantrax

While he wasn’t targeted much last season, he did have two really long TDs for TEs. The aforementioned score vs. New Mexico was one, and he caught a 57-yard pass vs. UNLV, in which he scored 15.2 points. 


New Infrastructure

OC DIRK KOETTER WR1 AVERAGE: 7.5 PPG (half PPR)

Among the major changes this offseason for the Broncos was the acquisition of one former five star QB, Malachi Nelson, and the poaching of Bush Hamden to Kentucky. Hamden has been replaced by 2022’s interim OC Dirk Koetter. Speaking of Koetter, he recently had some nice things to say about Bolt:

Boise State OC Dirk Koetter said Austin Bolt has had the best spring of any of the Broncos’ WRs. “He’s making plays every single day out there that a lot of guys can’t make.

I can see what Koetter means with regard to Bolt’s spring; it seems like he’s scoring frequently in scrimmages:

Many have assumed various different names will be taking over for the Broncos. Former Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and JUCO WR Chris Marshall has been a popular dart throw pick, as has Camp Camper, Prince Strachan, and Latrell Capers. I would say that it is most likely that BSU’s WR1 comes from that group. 

However, Bolt began to pop (for TEs, anyway) last season, and the QB play could be experiencing an upgrade this season via the former USC Trojan. Dirk Koetter might also decide that Bolt is a player worth utilizing more. Though I can’t say his system is exactly TE-friendly (his TE1 averaged around 8% target share in 2022 and only around 3.6 PPG), the good news is that Bolt is viewed as a WR, and one of the better WRs at that.

It’s true that Koetter’s WR1 average isn’t much better, but if Bolt is averaging 7.5 PPG, he’ll prove valuable in most formats for CFF. Someone else is going to have to score occasionally whenever Jeanty is feeling disinterested and/or needs a breather, Bolt could turn into a redzone target à la 2021 Nevada Cole Turner.


Closing

Would you believe me if I told you that Bolt is going undrafted right now, according to Campus2Canton’s ADP calculator? Yes, absolutely, you would. However, due to Bolt’s TE eligibility, even his—otherwise rather lackluster—profile is relevant in every CFF format.

Koetter’s quote is a nice trinket in the folder but not the be-all-end-all. How many of us have read quotes like that in the spring, only for the player in question to register as the WR4 come the fall? Certainly, that’s a possibility here. Nonetheless, what do you have to lose at the TE position? You might as well take a swing here or there.



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