Defensive Line - The Broncos lost some key players on the defensive line, but return a pair of starters at defensive end in Nick Schlekeway (6-4, 262) and Mike T. Williams (6-4, 243).
Schlekeway, a senior captain, has played both tackle and end at Boise State. He finished eighth last season on the team in tackles with 45 and fifth in tackles for loss with 6.5. He also had 2.0 sacks and a pass deflection.
Williams, a junior, split time at defensive end last season. He finished with 22 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, one pass deflection, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
There will be a battle to determine who will back up Williams and Schlekeway. Behind Schlekeway, Steven Reveles (6-1, 266) and Sean Bingham (6-3, 265) will battle for playing time. Reveles redshirted last season after playing two seasons at Ventura College, while Bingham served as a backup, making three tackles in four games. Drew Tavares (6-4, 260) will look to earn minutes as well after walking on after competing for the Bronco track and field team the last couple of years.
Behind Williams, a pair of redshirt freshmen, Ryan Winterswyk (6-1, 230) and Kapono Rawlins-Crivello (6-1, 240) will compete for playing time.
A pair of freshmen could also factor in the depth chart at defensive end. Jarrell Root (6-3, 232) and Chuck Hayes (6-3, 245) both join the team after stellar high school careers.
At defensive tackle, a number of players will vie to replace Andrew Browning, Boise State’s defensive lineman of the year the last three seasons, and Dennis Ellis.
While competitors can man either tackle position, junior Joe Bozikovich (6-1, 278) and senior Sione Tavake (6-1, 291) should compete at one position, while junior Phillip Edwards (6-4, 287), senior Ian Smart (6-3, 277) and redshirt freshman Will Lawrence (6-2, 252) should compete at the other position. Smart and Bozikovich head into fall camp as the starters.
Bozikovich started Boise State’s last two games against Nevada and Oklahoma playing the first quarter in both games. He finished the season with four tackles, including a tackle for loss. Edwards started Boise State’s first two games and finished the season with 10 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and a sack.
Smart saw some critical action at times as a junior, finishing with three tackles. Tavake was a reserve last season.
Two true freshman will join the team for the fall and also push for playing time. J.P. Nisby (6-2, 288) and Billy Winn (6-4, 270) all have the talent to make a run at playing time.