The linebacker position has many Bronco fans nervous after the departure of Andy Avalos. He will be a Bronco that's sorely missed this season. Other Broncos are ready to step up and take his place, just as Avalos elevated his play when Chauncy Ako graduated in 2002. Boise State's biggest defensive plays always seem to be a result of their linebacker corps. The linebackers have the potential to be even better this year. Two starters return to play the 2005 season for Boise State.
Korey Hall: #27, 6'1" 230lbs, JR, Middle Linebacker
Known as a fierce hitter for the hurtin' he put on the BYU quarterbacks in 2003, he appears ready to assume the role Avalos left open upon graduation and take over the leadership Andy displayed in 2004.
Preseason accolades for Korey Hall? How about 2005 all-WAC by Athlon Sports, named 12th best inside linebacker by The Sporting News, or being named to the Rotary Lombardi Award watch list? Don't forget the 2005 Chuck Bednarik Award list or also being named to the 2005 All-WAC list by Street & Smith.
He was responsible for 85 tackles as a sophomore, and recorded 8.5 tackles for loss and 4 sacks. Korey had an amazing game in helping Boise State defeat Oregon State, picking off 3 passes including the first one for a touchdown. He also recovered 2 fumbles during the season! He must assume that leadership role as linebacker in 2005. Hall's backup may end up being David Shields by the time pre-season camp is over.
Korey Hall graduated from Glenns Ferry High School, Glenns Ferry, ID in 2002.
Colt Brooks: #31, 6'1" 209 lbs., JR, "SAM" Linebacker
Colt Brooks always seems to be around the ball, helping to make plays and is known for his hitting skills as well. Colt fills the holes nicely and stops the run.
He started last season as a sophomore and made 40 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks. Colt had a career day at San Jose State in 2004 making 9 solo tackles which includes 3 tackles for a loss of 10 yards and 1.5 sacks. He tackled BYU players 5 times and had 4 against the University of Idaho. Also worth mentioning is the valiant effort he displayed while playing in the Auto Zone Liberty Bowl in 2004 where he was recorded 3 tackles including 1 for a loss.
He's destined to be the starter but will miss the Georgia game due to suspension by Coach Hawkins. Ben Chuckovich will start in his place.
Colt graduated from Bishop Kelly High School in Boise, ID in 2002.
Chris Barrios: #55, 5'11", 220 lbs., SR, "Will" linebacker
Chris Barrios can only be described as tough-nosed. He won the job during spring camp. He was great last year making 18 tackles, had an interception for a touchdown and saw a lot of time in the Bronco's "3-4" package. Brooks was a backup linebacker in 2004 and played special teams for the Broncos. He had 1 tackle for loss, half of a sack, the interception and a pass breakup. He is replacing Andy Avalos at the Will position and seems to be ready to step up and play this season and contribute for the Broncos. Opponents better watch out. Chris Barrios is coming to put on the hits this season! Sophomore Josh Bean may play backup to Chris, depending on how pre-season camp goes. More will be known as we head into the first game with Georgia.
Chris Barrios is a graduate of Upland High in Upland, CA where he was a senior in 2000.
David Shields: #43, 6'1'', 217 lbs., FR, Backup Middle Linebacker to Korey Hall
Shields was converted over to linebacker after signing his LOI to play for Boise State in February of 2004. He's not very experienced at this position but did play defense in spring ball. Shields does have some abilities to play, however! He graduated from Lafayette High School in St. Louis, Missouri in 2004, was injured in his first game as a senior and saw no action the rest of his senior year. David rushed for 1,100 yards as a junior, which was good enough to rank him 3rd place in school history for that year. He lettered in track all four years and ran the 100, 200, 400 meters, the 300 meter hurdles, and 110 hurdles. Shields has some speed and size and should be able to plug gaps and help cover receivers over the middle.
Ben Chuckovich: #38, 6'0", 217 lbs., SR, backup "SAM" linebacker to Colt Brooks
Ben has seemed to catch the injury bug at Boise State each year he's played. He's healthy now, and seems ready to step up when needed. Chuckovich always has made plays on special teams and was a platoon player with 2 other linebackers last year. He got injured and sat out before returning for the last 5 games in 2004. Ben finished last year with 10 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, and also forced a fumble. He had a season-high 3 tackles in opening the 2004 season against the University of Idaho and 2 tackles against WAC opponent Fresno State. Chuckovich's forced fumble came against the University of Nevada and ultimately led to a Bronco touchdown.
In the spring of 2004, he held the Bronco position records in the power-clean (342 lbs.), back squat (535 lbs.), has a vertical jump of 36 inches. Ben walked on to Boise State in 2001.
In high school, he ran the 100 meter dash in 10.9 seconds while in his senior year at Columbia River High in 2001, and also ran the 100, 200, and 4x100 meter relay.
Mike Altieri: #13, 5'11", 211 lbs., SO, backup middle linebacker to Korey Hall
Mike is the brother of Boise State player, Tony Altieri. He came to Boise State from Vista High School, Vista, CA in 2003, redshirting in 2003. Mike was an outstanding quarterback for Vista where he earned 2nd team All-CIF, 1st team All County and 1st team All Palomar honors and was the Palomar League Offensive Player of the Year, team captain, and Vista High Player of the year. Altieri rushed for 927 yards and 11 touchdowns while carrying the ball 126 times. He completed 62 of 117 passes for 858 yards and 5 touchdowns.
He was recruited to Boise State as an athlete and converted to playing linebacker upon his arrival. In 2004 he played sparingly, but still made one unassisted tackle.
Josh Bean: #56, 6'2", 229 lbs., SO, backup "SAM" linebacker
Josh Bean has had an interesting career thus far. He's played backup linebacker and was on special teams for Boise State. He had nine tackles, which include 3 solo with 2 tackles against Louisiana Tech and Fresno State, and had a tackle and even forced a fumble in last year's Auto Zone Liberty Bowl against Louisville.
Bean played in the Junior Canadian Football League for 2 seasons and led his team to the PFC quarterfinals in 2001. Known as a hard hitter, he's waiting for his chance to showcase his skills while playing for the Broncos.
A graduate of Bishop Carroll High School, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in 2001, Bean was selected to the Team Canada/Football All Stars. He lead the team and finished 5th in defensive points in his conference.
Others waiting to begin their "hit parade":
Tim Brady - #24
Height: 6-1 Weight: 200 Linebacker Freshman Boise, ID Bishop Kelly HS/Caroll College
Dallas Dobbs - #51
Height: 6-2 Weight: 220 Linebacker Freshman Las Vegas, NV Chaparral HS
Kyle Gingg - #44
Height: 5-11 Weight: 209 Linebacker Freshman Phoenix, AZ Phoenix Christian
Steve Marsala - #59
Height: 5-11 Weight: 207 Linebacker Freshman Kuna, ID Kuna HS
Height: 6-0 Weight: 220 Linebacker Freshman Brentwood, CA De La Salle HS
All things considered, the future of Boise State's linebacker position looks extremely promising. Each and every player listed here is capable of "Puttin' on the Hits!"