Viliami Tuivai is in his fourth season at
As a player Tuivai was a two-year starter at UC Davis, helping the Aggies to the NCAA Division II National Semifinals in 2000 and 2001. Before transferring to UC Davis, Tuivai played one year at
The Broncos return all but two of the linebackers from last year’s roster, including two of the three starters. Senior middle linebacker Korey Hall (6-1, 228), a two-time first-team All-Western Athletic Conference selection, will anchor the Bronco defense. Lining up beside Hall at the Sam linebacker spot will be senior two-year starter Colt Brooks (6-1, 216).
Hall, a native of Glenns Ferry,
Brooks, who was named to The Sporting News Preseason All-WAC team, led the Broncos last season in tackles for loss (11.0) and sacks (6.0) at the Sam linebacker position. The
“There is nobody challenging Brooks,” Tuivai said. “He’s the guy. It’s going to be his third year as the starter and it’s the most productive the Sam linebacker position has been...Ever since he has taken over, it has been a very productive position versus the guy just being sound and funneling everything inside.”
Fighting for the starting job at the Will linebacker position are sophomores David Shields (6-1, 225) and Kyle Gingg (5-11, 215).
“Either one of those guys can get it done,” Tuivai said. “We have many personnel groups defensively...and both of those guys can get it done in any of them. Look for each of those guys to be very productive and impact players.”
Backing up Hall at middle linebacker will be junior Josh Bean (6-2, 231), who Tuivai says has been very solid all camp. Behind Bean is freshman Derrell Acrey (6-2, 235) and Bryan Anderson (6-2, 218).
At the outside linebacker positions, junior Mike Altieri (5-11, 218) and sophomore Tim Brady (6-1, 221) will back up Brooks at the Sam position; and sophomore Dallas Dobbs (6-2, 225) will backup Gingg and Shields at the Will position..
Tuivai knows that the linebackers are expected to be a strength of the Bronco defense this season. He admits that there is a lot of talent and potential at the position, but that there is a lot more needed from his players than just potential.
“There is a standard when you talk about guys like Chauncey Ako, Andy Avalos and Chris Barrios, and the standard is to be productive. Talent-wise, no question, there is a lot of potential. But that talent only means something if we can be productive.”