BOISE, Idaho - The 2010 college football season may still be months away, but that hasn't stopped the buzz surrounding Boise State following a perfect 14-0 season in 2009. On Monday (June 21) more national recognition came in for the Broncos as Boise State received another top-five preseason ranking while two players were also named to prestigious individual award watch lists.
Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook announced its preseason top-25 rankings this week, which features Boise State as the No. 3 overall team heading into the fall. The only teams earning higher rankings than the Broncos were Ohio State (No. 1) and Alabama (No. 2). Blue Ribbon also honored Boise State junior quarterback Kellen Moore by selecting him as one of five players to be featured on the publication cover. Moore was joined by Mark Ingram (Alabama, RB), Ryan Mallett (Arkansas, QB), Case Keenum (Houston, QB) and Terrelle Pryor (Ohio State, QB).
The Blue Ribbon poll is the sixth since the end of the 2009 season that is projecting Boise State to open next season in the top-five. The Broncos were also ranked No. 2 by Sports Illustrated and Lindy's Football Preview, No. 3 by SportingNews and ESPN College Football Live, and No. 4 by Athlon Sports.
Along with the high team praise, a pair of Boise State student-athletes were also honored by being named to preseason watch lists for the Outland Trophy and the Bronco Nagurski Award. Offensive lineman Nate Potter was named to the Outland Trophy watch list, which honors the top interior lineman in college football every season. Defensive end Ryan Winterswyk has been selected as a player to watch for the Bronco Nagurski Award, which recognizes the top defensive player in the country each year.
Potter, a junior from Boise, Idaho (Timberline HS), is coming off an outstanding sophomore campaign in which he was voted first-team All-Western Athletic Conference. He played in 13 games for the Broncos, which included nine consecutive starts to finish the season. Potter is one of 63 players named to the watch list, which will be narrowed to three finalists in late November.
Winterswyk, a senior from La Habra, Calif. (La Habra HS), has been a centerpiece on the Boise State defensive line over the past couple seasons as a first-team All-WAC performer in 2008 and 2009. He finished his junior season with 41 tackles, 17.0 tackles for loss and 9.0 sacks. Winterswyk is one of 74 players selected to the Nagurski Award watch list. Five finalists for the award will be named on Nov. 18.
Boise State opens the 2010 season on Sept. 6 (Monday) with a highly anticipated game against Virginia Tech. The game will be played at Fed Ex Field in Landover, M.D. and is slated to air on ESPN. Kick-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. (EST).