Boise State’s leading rusher rebuffs transfer portal, says he’s a ‘Bronco for life’

Boise State fans got an early Christmas gift Tuesday when sophomore running back Ashton Jeanty announced that he will return next season.

Offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan and running backs coach James Montgomery teased a big announcement by posting hourglass emojis on social media Tuesday afternoon. Jeanty chimed in soon after.

“I love the people in our building — the players, the coaches and the staff, and I am excited about coach (Danielson) being our next head coach,” Jeanty wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “It is with all of that in mind that I am thrilled to announce that I will be a Bronco for life.”

Former defensive coordinator and interim coach Spencer Danielson was introduced as Boise State’s 12th head football coach in program history on Monday. He replaced Andy Avalos, who was fired on Nov. 12.

“I think the world of Ashton Jeanty as a young man, both on and off the field,” Danielson said in a statement. “He is a tremendous leader for our team on both sides of the ball. He’s an incredible person with a good head on his shoulders that loves his teammates and this place. I’m excited for what’s next at Boise State and there’s no one I’d rather do it with than Ashton Jeanty. It’s time to get started.”

Jeanty also said Tuesday that he knows he has a chance to have a special career at Boise State. His 1,262 rushing yards this year were just 13 yards shy of tying K.C. Adams for No. 10 in single-season program history. Jeanty missed two games with an injury.

“Knowing the legacy I can leave behind and the impact I can have to change people’s lives is important,” he continued, “and I appreciate the opportunity to do that for a program that changed my life by believing in me when no one else did.”

Boise State was one of the first programs to recruit Jeanty, who was born in Florida, lived on a military base in Italy and ended his high school career at Lone Star High in Texas. Several other Group of Five programs eventually offered him a scholarship, including Air Force, North Texas, Tulsa, Tulane, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas State.

The only Power Five programs that offered him full rides were Kansas and Cal. The Bears offered him a scholarship after he was verbally committed to Boise State.

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Jeanty likely had a tough decision to make. There are several Power Five programs that could have offered up NIL money to leave Boise State and suit up for their team, but he said he wants to end his career as a Bronco.

“I love this city and the people here,” he wrote. “This decision feels good. It feels right. It is final.”

Jeanty’s decision was probably a relief to many fans after quarterback Taylen Green announced Monday that he was putting his name in the transfer portal.

Jeanty was named Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year after finishing the regular season with 1,109 rushing yards and 18 total touchdown (13 rushing, 5 receiving). He posted 153 yards and a touchdown on the ground in Boise State’s 44-20 win over UNLV in the Mountain West championship game on Saturday.

Jeanty also indicated Tuesday that he will play in the LA Bowl against UCLA in Dec. 16.

“I look forward to closing this season out on a high note before getting to work on next year,” he wrote. “Our fans deserve nothing less.”

Jeanty and linebacker Andrew Simpson were named All-Americans by the College Football Network on Tuesday. Jeanty was named first-team. Simpson was named third-team after posting 60 tackles, which ranks No. 3 at Boise State, and ranking No. 2 on the team in tackles for loss (15), sacks (6.5) and interceptions (2).