When one considers a team's strengths and weaknesses going into a new season, the first category to consider is experience. Going into the 2006 season, the Boise State Broncos had plenty of experience at the linebacker position. Korey Hall and Colt Brooks formed arguably the best linebacker tandem in Boise State history, making the Bronco defense an elite run-stopping force, ranking 6th nationally in rush defense.
This year's linebacker core lacks experience, but aims to make up for it with superior talent and depth. Two partial starters return this year, juniors Kyle Gingg (5-11, 220) and David Shields (6-1, 220). Gingg started the first half of the season at the "Will" linebacker position, but yielded the job to Shields because of intermittent injuries. Gingg finished fourth on the team with 50 tackles and also had four tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Both are strong against the run, but need to improve in pass coverage, as neither intercepted a
pass last year. Shields, who had 39 tackles including five for loss last year, has the
Two very talented
individuals will be battling in fall ball for the starting job, but look for
both Darrell Acrey and Tim Brady to see plenty of playing time. Acrey, (6-2,
230) a redshirt freshman, hopes to become the next four year starter at
While Acrey is trying to follow in the footsteps of Hall, junior Tim Brady
(6-1, 207) is hoping to take Brooks' place.
Both are former Bishop Kelly quarterbacks turned
Look for Josh Bean (6-2, 229, Sr.), Dallas Dobbs (6-2, 219, Jr.), and converted safety Ellis Powers (5-10, 206, Jr.) to make plays on special teams and nip at the heels of the starters. Mike Altieri (5-11, 224) hopes to have a strong senior campaign after coming back from his injury last year. He looked strong in last Friday's scrimmage.
New players are waiting their turn as well. Ben Chandler (6-3, 220) is coming off a greyshirt year--he could redshirt this year or contribute. Dave Wilson (6-1, 213, freshman), Travis Stanaway (5-10, 190) both walked on to the program and show promise. Cody Darrington is from where else but Korey Hall's hometown; he too is a walk-on freshman. is another walk-on. Hunter White (5-11, 205) and Aaron Tevis (6-3, 219) are two of the top recruits from last year's amazing class and may redshirt. Even though the Broncos lack significant experience, look for the linebackers to be the strength of the defense.