Boise State has recently drawn a reputation for having one of the nation's best offensive lines, big, strong, quick, and above all, deep. This has enabled the Broncos to lead the nation in scoring in four of the last six seasons. What people across the country may not know, however, is that a great offensive line is certainly nothing new in Boise. BroncoCountry posters have nearly completed voting on the All-Time Center, and former Bronco great Scott Huff appears to have won a landslide victory. If you haven't voted yet on that, you can still do so on the Blue Turf board. As we want to complete voting on the offense and do at least a good portion of the defense this summer, we now open up the voting for 4 more spots on the All-Time Bronco football team, 2 for Guard and 2 for Tackle. Here then are the All-Conference honorees from Boise State at those two positions:
Brian Sopatyk blocked for quarterbacks Ron Autele and Jim McMillan in 1972 and 1973. McMillan hit over 61 percent of his passes in 1973, the 7th best percentage all-time, and his passing efficiency of 158.46 was 6th. John Smith set a record of 6.6 yards per carry in 1973 that still stands 32 years later. Autele threw for 19 touchdowns in 1972, good for 11th all-time. Boise State's record was 17-7 in the two years Sopatyk was a starter, with the Broncos capturing the Big Sky Championship in '73 with a perfect 6-0 league mark. Boise State defeated South Dakota 53-10 in the opening round of the Division II playoffs, then lost a heartbreaking 38-34 semi-final match up with Louisiana Tech on a touchdown catch by Roger Carr in the final seconds. Drafted in the 1st round by Vancouver of the Canadian Football League in 1973.
Dan Dixon in 1973, Honorable Mention All-American in addition to being All-Big Sky, provided protection for Jim McMillan, helping him be the #2 career passing efficiency leader at Boise State. Behind Dixon, John Smith set a Bronco record in 1973 of 6.6 yards per carry that still stands. Boise State's record was 17-7 in the two years Dixon was a starter, with the Broncos capturing the Big Sky Championship in 1973 with a 6-0 conference record. Boise State defeated South Dakota 53-10 in the Division II playoffs before losing 38-34 to Louisiana Tech. Dan was drafted in the 13th round of the NFL draft by the Houston Oilers in 1974.
Glenn Sparks in 1975, Honorable Mention All-American and All-Big Sky, Jim McMillan threw for over 3,000 yards in 1974 and Greg Stern had a passing efficiency rating of over 150 in 1975. John Smith ran for a 6.4 yards per carry average in 1974. Sparks and his mates on the line propelled the Broncos to an all-time record of 516.9 yards of total offense per game! They also broke the school record for point production by 5 points over the existing mark when they averaged 44.6 points a game, a record that would last for 26 years. Boise State was 19-4-1 in 2 years of the Sparks era, including an undefeated 11-0-1 in Big Sky play. The Broncos won the Big Sky both years and advanced to the Division II quarterfinals both years, losing to Central Michigan 20-6 in 1974 and Northern Michigan 24-21 in 1975.
Everett Carr in 1975 (also tackle in '76), Honorable Mention All-American and All-Big Sky, Quarterback Greg Stern had a passing efficiency rating of over 150 in 1975. Boise State had a record of 19-4-1 with Carr on the line, winning the Big Sky both seasons and qualifying for the Division II national playoffs both years as well.
Alva Liles in 1977, Honorable Mention All-American and All-Big Sky, the freshman year for Terry Zahner and Cedric Minter who both gained over 800 yards that season. Boise State had a record of 14-7-1 with Liles on the line, including a Big Sky Championship in 1977.
Dale Phillips in 1978, Honorable Mention All-American and All-Big Sky, a major reason why Cedric Minter ran for 1,526 yards in 1978, who until Brock Forsey came along held the Boise State record for 24 years. Boise State was 7-4 in 1978.
Shawn Beaton All-Big Sky in 1979 and 1980 and Honorable Mention All-American in 1980, Aliotti had time to find his receivers, hitting a record 65.8% of his passes in 1979 and 61.5% in 1980. Many times the great backfield of Cedric Minter (1,012 yards in 1979 and 1,060 in 1980), Terry Zahner (2,052 career rushing yards) and David Hughes (1,826 career yards) would run right behind Beaton who was a tenacious blocker. Minter averaged 6.2 yards per carry in 1980 and 5.9 ypc in 1979, while Hughes ripped off 6.1 yards per carry in '79. Boise State had a sparkling 20-4 record during those two years, 13-1 in the Big Sky. The Broncos qualified for the 1980 I-AA playoffs, defeating Grambling 14-9 in Boise, and then winning the I-AA National Championship in a thrilling 31-29 final over Eastern Kentucky. Beaton was a 1st-round draft choice in 1981 by the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.
Jon Zogg in 1982, Honorable Mention All-American and All-Big Sky, a key cog in the Bronco line that helped Rodney Webster be one of the most consistent backs in Bronco history with nearly 1,000 yards or over in each of three seasons. Zogg and Boise State went 18-6 over 2 seasons, 10-4 in the Big Sky. They qualified for the I-AA national playoffs in 1981, winning on the road against Jackson State 19-7 and then losing 24-17 to Eastern Kentucky in the I-AA semi-finals.
Steve Despot All-Big Sky in 1985. Despot's quickness and solid technique opened holes for Jon Francis who picked up over 1,000 yards in both 1984 and 1985. Boise State was 13-9 with Despot at tackle.
Tom DeWitz 2nd team Associated Press All-American in 1986 and 1st team All-American in 1987, All-Big Sky both years, one of the catalysts behind the running of Chris Jackson's 1,273 yards in 1987. Jackson burst through the line for 6.3 yards per carry that year to get those yards. Boise State was 11-11 in '86 and '87.
Alex Toyos All-Big Sky in 1994, a major force springing K.C. Adams for long gains on his way to over 1,200 yards rushing in '94. Toyos and Boise State were 13-2 and 6-1 in the Big Sky, winning the league and qualifying for the I-AA playoffs. The Broncos rallied for heart-stopping wins over North Texas (24-20), Appalachian State (17-14) and Marshall (28-24) to advance to the I-AA National Championship game, losing to Youngstown State 28-14.
Jeremy Mankins All-Big West in 1999 Blocking enabled Bart Hendricks to throw for over 3,000 yards in 1999 and Eron Hurley to rush for over 1,000 yards in 1998. Mankins and Boise State were 11-11 in those two early years of the I-A era.
Rob Vian All-WAC in 2002, helped provide protection so Ryan Dinwiddie could throw for over 3,000 yards and hit 65.4% of his passes in 2002. B.J. Rhode hit 64.2% of his passes filling in for an injured Dinwiddie. Vian blocked for Brock Forsey, enabling him to set the all-time single-season rushing record of 1,611 yards in 2002 after rushing for over 1,200 yards in 2001. Vian and the Bronco line were emerging as a major force, helping the 2002 "Leave No Doubt" team pile up 501.5 yards of total offense, 2nd all-time, and set an all-time school record with 45.6 points per game to lead the nation. Boise State was 20-5 overall and 14-2 in the WAC, winning the WAC championship in '02 with a perfect 8-0 campaign. Boise State defeated Iowa State 34-16 in the Crucial.com Humanitarian Bowl.
Al Davis--Honorable Mention All-American in 1973, provided protection for Jim McMillan, helping him be the #2 career passing efficiency leader at Boise State. John Smith set a Bronco record in 1973 of 6.6 yards per carry that still stands 32 years later. Boise State's offense accounted for over 466 yards per game, 4th best in Bronco history. Davis and company opened holes for Smith and others in October of 1973 against Montana--when the final gun sounded, the Broncos had amassed 531 rushing yards, the all-time Bronco single-game record. Boise State's record was 17-7 in the two years Dixon was a starter, with the Broncos winning the Big Sky Championship in 1973 with a 6-0 conference record. Boise State defeated South Dakota 53-10 in the Division II playoffs before losing 38-34 to Louisiana Tech. Al was drafted in the 17th round of the NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons in 1974.
Everett Carr in 1975, Honorable Mention All-American in both '75 and '76, All-Big Sky tackle in 1975 and guard in 1976, Jim McMillan threw for over 3,000 yards in 1974 and Greg Stern had a passing efficiency rating of over 150 in 1975. Boise State had a record of 19-4-1 with Carr on the line, winning the Big Sky both seasons and qualifying for the Division II national playoffs both years as well.
Harold Cotton in 1977, All-Big Sky and 1st Team All-American the freshman year for Terry Zahner and Cedric Minter who both gained over 800 yards that season. Add in fullback David Hughes' yards and you have a pretty potent running game behind Cotton. Boise State had a record of 14-7-1 with Cotton at tackle, including a Big Sky Championship in 1977.
Renny Buckner All-Big Sky in 1979 Cedric Minter ran for 1,526 yards in 1978 and over 1,000 yards in 1979, with Terry Zahner and David Hughes picking up big chunks of yardage themselves. Minter averaged 5.9 yards per carry in 1978 and 5.8 in 1979, while Hughes ripped off gains good for a 6.1 average in 1979 as well. Aliotti hit a record 65.8% of his passes in 1979. Buckner and the Broncos were 17-5 in 2 years that Buckner played on the line.
Dennis Brady Honorable Mention All-American in 1980 and 1981, All-Big Sky both seasons as well, Quarterback Aliotti hit 61.5% of his passes in 1980. Minter gained over 1,000 yards in 1980 and Rodney Webster followed with over 1,100 yards in 1981. Boise State was 20-6 overall and 12-2 in the Big Sky during the Brady years, winning the Big Sky Championship in 1980, defeating Grambling 14-9 in the I-AA semi-finals and winning the National Championship with a 31-29 victory over Eastern Kentucky.
John Kilgo Honorable Mention All-American in 1983, All-Big Sky in 1984, Rodney Webster and Jon Francis both went over the 1,000 yard mark in 1983 and '84, respectively behind Kilgo. Boise State was 12-10 in those two seasons.
Dave Giacomazzo Giacomazzo blocked for quarterback Mike Virden (#6 in career passing at Boise State) and running back Chris Thomas (#3 all-time running back). Boise State was 17-8 in the two seasons that Giacomazzo started. Dave was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1992 Canadian Football League draft by the Toronto Argonauts.
Jermaine Berlin All-Big West in 1997, second year in I-A, paving the way for running back Eron Hurley and quarterback Nate Sparks. Boise State was 5-6 and 3-2 in the Big West, a big turnaround from the 2-10 record their debut season in I-A.
Keith Dilworth All-Big West in 1998, Big Keith helped Eron Hurley rush for over 1,600 yards in his career. Boise State was 5-6 in 1997 and enjoyed their first winning season in I-A in 1998 with a 6-5 mark.
Scott Buttice All-WAC in 2000, Brock Forsey ran for over 900 yards and Bart Hendricks threw for over 3,600 yards, which set a Bronco record until Dinwiddie eclipsed 4,000 in 2003. The 496 yards of total offense per game achieved in 2000 ranks 3rd in the record books and the Bronco point total of 44.9 yards per game set a record at that time as Boise State led the nation in scoring. The Broncos were 10-2 overall and perfect in winning the Big West with a 5-0 record. Boise State earned a berth in the Crucial.com Humanitarian Bowl, where they thrashed UTEP 38-23.
Matt Hill All-WAC in 2001, Brock Forsey ran for over 900 yards and Bart Hendricks threw for over 3,600 yards, which set a Bronco record at the time and then helped give new quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie confidence the following year for another 3,000-plus yards season. Forsey went over 1,200 yards on the ground that season. The Bronco team of 2000 led the nation in scoring, averaging nearly 45 points per game. Boise State was 28-9 in three seasons, winning the Big West in both '99 and 2000 and chalking up a 6-2 mark in their initial season in the WAC. Boise State downed Louisville in the Crucial.com 1999 Humanitarian Bowl and made it back-to-back with a resounding 38-23 win over UTEP in 2000. Hill was drafted in the 5th round of the 2002 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks, where he played 27 games, starting 2 of them. Hill is now with the Carolina Panthers.