Position Previews - Linebackers

    Playing time will be hard to come by at linebacker once again for the Broncos as Boise State returns five players that saw action in at least 12 games last year. In a talented group that could start in a combination of ways, Coach Petersen looks to a bunch of upperclassmen to step forward in 2010.

    At MIKE linebacker, senior Derrell Acrey (6-1, 233) appears to be the front runner to step into the leadership role in the linebacker corps. He earned four starts last season and played in 12 games all together. Acrey finished the year with 34 tackles, including 5.5 tackles for loss. He also grabbed two interceptions and recorded one pass breakup. Competing for the starting spot at MIKE will be junior Byron Hout (6-0, 227) and sophomore Tommy Smith (6-1, 227).

    Hout converted to linebacker this offseason after spending his first two seasons at Boise State on the defensive line. Hout played in all 14 games as a defensive tackle last season, where he recorded 27 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks. Smith finished 2009 with 23 tackles and one interception, having played in 12 games for the Broncos.

    The competition for the starting spot at WILL linebacker could be even more intriguing, as junior Aaron Tevis (6-3, 231) and sophomore J.C. Percy (6-0, 220) are expected to push each other for playing time all year. Tevis solidified himself as a regular starter in 2009 having started 11 of the 14 games he played in. Tevis provided well rounded production for the Broncos as he finished the year fourth on the team in tackles (54), while also recording 6.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions and 1.5 sacks.

    Percy was one of the more pleasant surprises of the 2009 season as he went from relative anonymity to a major contributor by the end of the year. Percy finished second on the team in tackles (64), despite only starting three times all year. He did get on the field in all 14 games, however, which he used to his full advantage. Percy ended the season with 4.5 tackles for loss and two pass breakups.

    The Broncos are also hoping senior Daron Mackey (5-11, 233) will be able to return to the mix at linebacker after missing the final two games of the season due to injury. Mackey started eight games for Boise State in 2009. He finished the season with 36 tackles and 4.0 tackles for loss.


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