Running Through Traffic

This week, BroncoCountry completes its All-Time Team in preparation for the official Bronco 35 team voting which gets underway Tuesday. In this article, we look at the top punt returners in Boise State history. Who is the best? Make your decision, then go to the Blue Turf Board and cast your vote!

 

Henry Jenkins (1969) still holds the Boise State record for the longest punt return, a 91-yard scamper for a touchdown against Idaho State in 1969.

Al Marshall (1969-1972) is 2nd all-time for his 11.8 career punt return average. Marshall's 1970 season average of 13.2 yards per return ranks him 4th in that department.

Rolly Woolsey (1972-1974) owns the #4 career average of 10.9. Woolsey's 76-yard return all the way in 1974 helped beat Weber State. Woolsey was drafted in the 6th round of the NFL draft and also played for the Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns.

Rick Woods (1978-1981) places 5th for the best career average with a 10.2 mark. Woods, nicknamed "The Riverboat Gambler" for rarely calling a fair catch despite being surrounded by would-be tacklers, was the record holder for most career punt returns for 22 years until Gilligan beat him by 2. Woods' 11.6 average in the National Championship year is good for 7th in the Bronco record books. The Boise high school product was named to the All-Big Sky team as a return specialist in 1981, the only Bronco punt returner ever to be honored as an all-conference selection. Woods was drafted in the 2nd round of the NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Ron Love (1982-1985) enjoyed an outstanding season in 1983—his 13.1 average ranks him 5th all-time. Love is #4 in punt returns for his career with 56. Love burst through the Montana State defense in 1983 for a 76-yard return for a touchdown.

Chris Truitt (1986-1988) ranks 5th with his 50 career punt returns.

Kerry Lawyer (1991-1993) is #2 with his 18.1 average in 1992, his mark beaten by Chris Carr in 2004. Lawyer also has the 10th best season of 10.9 yards a return set in 1991. Lawyer is # 3 all-time in career punt returns with 61. Lawyer ran back a 70-yarder against Northern Arizona in 1992.

K.C. Adams (1994) electrified crowds during his short stay in Boise; his 11.4 average in 1994 is tied for 8th. Adams twisting, turning 79-yard punt return through the entire Cal State-Northridge defense is still one of the all-time Bronco highlights.

Winky White (1988-1990), already named to the 3rd team by BroncoCountry as a receiver, also is tied for 8th with his 11.4 average of 1990.

Quintin Mikell (1999-2002) holds the single game record for punt return yardage with his 126 return yards against Eastern Washington in 2000.

Tim Gilligan (2000-2003) is #3 all-time for the best average in a season with a 14.0 (36-505) in 2002 and his 2003 season average of 12.4 is 6th. Tim currently sits in 3rd for his career average of 11.4. Gilligan holds the Bronco record for most career punt returns with 115. His punt return for a touchdown gave Boise State the lead at halftime against Oregon State two years ago. Gilligan was signed as a free agent by the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL. In his rookie season, he was one of the top ten punt returners in the league.

Chris Carr (2001-2004) rocked the record books with his punt returns, posting an amazing 19.9 average per return in his career. In fairness to the other Broncos, Carr's number of returns was over the minimum required, but half or a quarter the number of returns of his predecessors. Carr was #2 in the nation in punt returns his senior season with a superlative 19.9 average before an injury took him out of action. That 19.9 was good for the all-time season record, eclipsing the 18.1 average set by Kerry Lawyer 12 years earlier. He signed as a free agent with the Oakland Raiders, where he is attempting to become the starting punt returner.


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