Running Into A Brick Wall

Boise State's linebackers will be fun to watch in 2006. They're fast, big and hit you like a freight train. Up next in the 30-Day Countdown, a preview of the Bronco Linebackers.

Boise State has been steadily developing its linebacker corps into one of its most solid units.  This year, the group is ready to rise to the top.  So impressive are the Bronco LB's that The Sporting News ranked the unit 10th in the county in its preseason college football yearbook.  You can look far and wide and not find too many better pairs at linebacker than Korey Hall and Colt Brooks.  Both products of Idaho high schools, (Hall at Glenns Ferry and Brooks at Boise's Bishop Kelly), you have the combination of the bone-jarring hitting of Hall and the surefire tackling of Brooks. 


Hall is on preseason watch lists for the Rotary Lombardi Award, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Lott Trophy.  He's also a Preseason All-American by  The Sporting News ranks him as the nation's 10th-best linebacker.  Hall paced the Bronco defense with 106 stops last season from his middle linebacker position.  Korey is a two-time All-Western Athletic Conference selection.

He roams intensely from sideline to sideline ready to put the hit on opposing ball carriers.  If you don't want to get hurt by the menacing Hall, don't carry the ball.


As good as Hall is, Brooks does not take a backseat to him.  If Hall gets all the accolades mentioned above, then Brooks may be the nation's most underrated ‘backer.  Even Preseason All-WAC honors from The Sporting News do not adequately reflect Brooks' value to the Broncos.  He led Boise State with 11 tackles for loss and six sacks at the Sam linebacker position last season.  Brooks was fourth on the team with 80 tackles.  Brooks has impeccable instinct, good speed and he swarms to the ball.  He is as dependable as knowing that the sun will rise.


"There is nobody challenging Brooks," linebackers coach Viliami Tuivai said. "He's the guy. It's going to be his third year as the starter and it's the most productive the Sam linebacker position has been...Ever since he has taken over, it has been a very productive position versus the guy just being sound and funneling everything inside."


David Shields (6-1, 225) and Kyle Gingg (5-11, 215) carry the Broncos' future with them.  They are battling for the starting job at the Will position, but who starts the game may not matter.  Both are so talented that it will be difficult for Bronco Defensive Coordinator Justin Wilcox to keep either on the sideline for long.  Tuivai believes both Shields and Gingg will be impact players this season.  Shields, a converted running back, has tremendous speed, good size and extreme toughness.  Gingg runs a 4.51 40 himself and had a 3.75 G.P.A. in high school.  Gingg looked at Arizona State, California, Stanford, Harvard Air Force, Oregon, Nevada, Indiana, Wyoming and UNLV but chose Boise State. 


Josh Bean (6-2, 231) is another hard-hitter with immense talent and great instincts.  He is behind Hall at middle linebacker but when he gets his chance, he will be another star for Boise State.  Bean has seen a good deal of playing time both at linebackers and special teams and has been solid throughout fall camp.  Freshmen Derrell Acrey (6-2, 235) and Bryan Anderson (6-2, 218) provide depth.


Junior Mike Altieri (5-11, 218) and sophomore Tim Brady (6-1, 221) are athletic and capable at the Sam spot, while sophomore Dallas Dobbs (6-2, 225) backs up Gingg and Shields at the Will.

Boise State will be as successful as its defense.  When the opposition takes over with good field position, the Bronco defense will need to perform and halt the threat.  This group of linebackers will be stalwarts for that defense.






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