PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE AND TALENT RETURN FOR 2009
PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE AND TALENT RETURN FOR 2009
Yes, Ian Johnson, one of the most popular and productive players in Boise State football history, will be gone in 2009, along with a number of other key contributors off the 12-1 2008 Boise State team. But, the cupboard is stacked with experience and talent, as the 2008 Broncos were one of the youngest teams in the country with 77 freshmen or sophomores listed on the 101 man Poinsettia Bowl roster. That’s bad news for the rest of the WAC and great news for Bronco Nation.
Many felt the Bronco team was poised for greatness in 2009, maybe even 2010. Twelve wins later in 2008, it’s obvious that
Experience and depth at every position headlines yet another highly anticipated season.
Schedule: Out of the chutes, a potential top 20 match-up will take place at Bronco Stadium, as
Quarterback: Kellen Moore will be just a sophomore after putting together a phenomenal freshman campaign with nearly 3,500 yards and 25 touchdown passes.
Running Back: Jeremy Avery, D.J. Harper and Doug Martin are all back. The trio all split time in 2008, combining for 986 yards, eight touchdowns and a robust 5.3 yards per carry average.
Fullback: Old school Richie Brockel will be one of just six seniors-to-be next year. A productive fullback/tight end, Brockel had 12 receptions or carries with four resulting in a touchdown.
Tight End: With the injury to senior Chris O’Neill in the fourth game of the season, Tommy Gallarda and Kyle Efaw got valuable playing experience. Efaw was the team’s top receiving tight end with 17 catches, while Gallarda had two touchdown receptions and honed his blocking skills.
Wide Receiver: Wow is the best way to describe this group. Leading receiver Jeremy Childs is expected to return for his senior season, while the 2008 touchdown leader for receivers, Austin Pettis, will be a junior. Childs caught 72 balls and seven touchdowns, while Pettis had 49 receptions and nine touchdowns. With the anticipated return of speedy Titus Young for spring drills, the receiving corp becomes even more dangerous with the deep threat back in the fold. Young played in just three games in 2008, but had three touchdowns and averaged nearly 17 yards per catch and 10 yards per rush. Youngsters to keep an eye on include red-shirt freshmen Mitch Burroughs, the offensive scout team player of the year in 2008, and
Offensive Line: Four-year starter Andrew Woodruff departs, but six players who started during
Defensive End: While some will point to a defensive line that wore down in the Poinsettia Bowl loss to TCU, you have to consider that three of
Defensive Tackle: Billy Winn earned freshman All-American honors, and appears set for a very productive Bronco career. The versatile 282-pounder will be a force inside. Chase Baker, J.P. Nisby and Chuck Hayes all received playing experience as freshmen in 2008, and will be counted on in the defensive tackle rotation. The youngster everybody is talking about and looking forward to seeing on the field is 320 pound Michael Atkinson. He is one of three freshmen on the 2008 signing class that red-shirted this past season.
Linebacker: Derrell Acrey is still growing into his role at middle linebacker. In 2008, the junior to be ranked fourth on the team in tackles with 57. He will be the veteran of the group in 2009, with the departure of Kyle Gingg, Tim Brady and Dallas Dobbs. Hunter White and Aaron Tevis will be asked to increase their roles after seeing considerable game action in 2008. Junior college transfer Daron Mackey red-shirted in 2008, and at 230 pounds will vie heavily for playing time in the middle. Red-shirt freshman Tommy Smith also received outstanding reviews during his red-shirt year and could adapt to the linebacker/safety hybrid role that Ellis Powers played.
Cornerback: Playmaker Kyle Wilson has one more year of eligibility left as he is a senior-to-be. Bronco fans and coaches hope that plays out, and
Safety: Like the corner position, the duo of Jeron Johnson and George Iloka provide
SPECIAL TEAMS BREAKDOWN
Kicker: Kyle Brotzman will likely someday challenge the
Punter: Brotzman doubles as the Bronco punter and was extremely efficient in 2008, averaging 46 yards per kick (including a 75 yarder and a 64 yarder) and downing 14 punts inside the 20.
Click Here For The 2008 Season In Review
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