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The Idaho Press is counting down the 25 most important players to the 2021 Boise State football team. Next up is No. 8: Quarterback Jack Sears.

Jack Sears had the best game of any Boise State quarterback last season, completing 17 of 20 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns in a road win at Air Force.

But a concussion early the next week against BYU knocked him out of the game and left Boise State fans to wonder ‘what if’ the rest of the year.

The 6-foot-2, 213-pound Sears didn’t play again — right when he was cleared to return from the concussion the Broncos had two games canceled and then he tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of the year — but is back healthy and hoping to factor into the mix at quarterback this season.

New head coach Andy Avalos and new offensive coordinator Tim Plough have opened up the competition between Sears and Hank Bachmeier heading into 2021. Bachmeier had the slightly better spring and probably is in the lead at this point, but the USC transfer Sears has proven he’s capable of playing well enough to help the Broncos win.

Bachmeier won the job a year ago, but he missed two games himself due to COVID-19. That’s when Sears got his chance against Air Force and made the most of it. A quarterback controversy appeared to be coming, but it never materialized once he went out.

Sears figures to play one way or the other. Bachmeier hasn’t proven he can stay healthy for a full season, so it’s reasonable to believe Sears will get a shot even if he loses out on the starting gig. The Broncos could go with two quarterbacks also and give Sears a few series per game.

Sears would be higher on this list if not for Bachmeier, but he still figures to be a big factor for the Broncos this fall.

This article originally ran on idahopress.com.

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