Three Boise State Alumni In NFL Championships

Three Boise State alumni are in NFL Championship games this weekend, setting a school record and adding another brick to the Bronco wall. All are key figures for their respective teams. Guard Daryn Colledge and fullback Korey Hall will start for Green Bay vs. New York in the NFC Championship, while wide receiver Legedu Naanee will see action for San Diego against Indianapolis in the AFC game.

Boise State is one of 29 schools in the nation to feature three or more players on the rosters of the four National Football League teams in this Sunday's conference championship games.  Boise State is also one of 19 schools to have two starters in the two championship games.

 

It is yet another sign that Boise State has arrived as a football power. Not only does the number of Bronco alumni in the NFL continue to go up, but those players are being chosen by the top teams in the NFL and they are getting starting roles for those teams.

Guard Daryn Colledge and fullback Korey Hall both will start for Green Bay when they host the New York Giants in the National Football Conference championship, while wide receiver Legedu Naanee is second on the depth chart for the San Diego Chargers in their AFC matchup with the Indianapolis Colts.

 

Colledge, one of the fastest down linemen in college football, is also one of the more physical pass protectors in the game today.  DC was drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Packers in 2005.  Daryn played tackle at Boise State, tying an all-time NCAA record for consecutive starts with 51.  He earned Freshman All-American third-team honors from The Sporting News and was chosen to the All-Western Athletic Conference second team.  Boise State ranked fifth in the nation in 2002 with 336.2 passing yards per game.  In 2003, Colledge helped the Broncos lead the nation in scoring with 43 points per game.  In his junior year, he received All-American accolades from College Football News and was a first-team All-WAC selection, helping Boise State finish second in the nation in scoring (48.9) and fourth in total offense (492.7) and score a school-record 49 rushing touchdowns.  Colledge was an All-WAC performer in 2005, was on the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List and was named the third-best offensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.  Boise State finished eighth in the country in scoring with a 37.3 points per game average.  Colledge set school records in the bench press (438 pounds), hang clean (464) and back squat (665) and also set a mark for offensive linemen with a 35.5-inch vertical jump.

 

Hall, chosen by the Packers in the sixth round of the NFL Draft last year, is a physical player that goes hard from whistle to whistle.  He plays the game with a great motor and tremendous heart.  The Packers converted him to fullback from the middle linebacker position he played at Boise State.  Hall was one of a select few Broncos who has been an all-league performer three years.  He finished his Bronco career second all-time in tackles in the WAC and fourth in school history with 394.  191 of those were solo stops including 28 for loss, 11 ½ sacks, 20 passes broken up and 11 interceptions, tops among the nation's linebackers.  He recorded double digit tackles 14 times.

Hall broke Colledge's record with 52 consecutive starts in his Bronco career.  He was named honorable mention All-WAC his freshman season, ranking third on the team with 92 tackles (44 solo), including 7 ½ for loss and 2 ½ sacks.  Korey received the first of his three All-WAC honors in 2004 after making 85 tackles (39 solo) and leading the team with 8 ½ tackles for loss.  In 2005, Hall was named to preseason watch lists for the Rotary Lombardi Award, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Ron Lott Trophy.  He again was named All-WAC, leading Boise State with 106 tackles (51 solo), five tackles for loss, 1 ½ sacks, two interceptions and five pass break-ups.  Hall was All-WAC his senior year, adding the league's Defensive Player of the Year honors to his resume.  The Sporting News named him to the All-America second team and Hall was also a quarterfinalist for the Lott Trophy.  Korey posted a career-high 111 tackles (57 solo) and also had seven tackles for loss, 3 ½ sacks, a team-high six interceptions, seven pass break-ups, and one fumble recovery. 

Naanee played quarterback his first two seasons before agreeing to convert to receiver.  In 2005, he was second on the team with 34 receptions for 483 yards (14.2 avg.) and six touchdowns. As a senior in 2006, he played wideout and was a first-team All-WAC choice. He was third on the team with 35 catches for 541 yards (15.5 avg.) and six touchdowns.  For his career, he caught 74 passes for 1,073 yards (14.5 avg.)and 12 touchdowns.  Legedu ran a 4.41 40-yard dash for the Chargers prior to last year's NFL Draft, where he was selected in the fifth round.

Ohio State (four players), Auburn, Michigan, Purdue, Western Illinois and Tennessee (three each),   and Arizona, Boston College, Fresno State, Georgia, Louisville, Marshall, Minnesota, Southern Mississippi, Texas Texas A & M, UCF and Troy (two each) are the other schools that have two or more starters this weekend.

Miami of Florida and Tennessee (seven players), Fresno State, LSU, USC and Ohio State (six each), Nebraska and Notre Dame (five each), Boston College, Florida, Purdue, Marshall, Michigan and Iowa (four each), and Arizona, Auburn, California, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State, Texas, Texas A & M, UCF and Oklahoma State (three each) are the other other schools to place three or more players in this weekend's games.

The WAC, incidentally, is one of just six conferences in the country with two teams that will feature three or more players.

Boise State has never had more than one player per year in a Super Bowl.


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