All that experience and leadership will come in handy as BSU’s linebacking corps will guide a relatively young and untested defense through the 2016 season.
Fans are relieved to see that Vallejo, now a senior, has returned to the team in good standing after serving a suspension during the Poinsettia Bowl in December. He will be a force to reckon with on the strong side, while his counterpart, Weaver, a redshirt senior, will man the weak side. Martarano is a load at 6 foot 3 and 238 pounds and fits in nicely in the middle.
Boise State’s roster is loaded with intriguing players at the linebacker position, most notably Riggins, Idaho, native Leighton Vander Esch. The lanky redshirt sophomore is listed as Weaver’s backup, but will likely see plenty of playing time this season. Behind Martarano is senior Darren Lee, a “reserve” player, who is worthy of being a starter. Vallejo’s backup is converted defensive back Kameron Miles, who is a natural tackler and should feel more comfortable playing closer to the line.
Redshirt sophomore Joe Provenzano will see the field this season, most likely on special teams. The same goes for redshirt freshman Will Hefner, yet another local product.
Boise State has six true freshmen linebackers on the roster, three of whom are walk-ons. Most notably are San Diego native Tyson Maeva and Corona Centennial (Calif.) standout Desmond Williams. Barring a rash of injuries, none of the new athletes are likely to play this season.
Ben Weaver, 6 foot, 222 lbs, Klein, Texas
Blake Whitlock, 6-1, 208 lbs, Reno, Nev. (Saddleback College)
Will Heffner, 6-2, 212 lbs, Boise, Idaho
Tyson Maeva, 6 foot, 219 lbs, San Diego, Calif.
Nick Provenzano, 5-11, 203 lbs, Glendora, Calif.
Desmond Williams, 5-11, 193 lbs, Corona, Calif.
Bruno DeRose, 5-11, 194 lbs, Pueblo, Colo.
Solo Taylor, 6-2, 207 lbs, Rigby, Idaho