Boise State football team’s defense adopts attacking mentality

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com
© 2014 Idaho Statesman

Boise State junior cornerback Donte Deayon and sophomore defensive end Kamalei Correa indicated Tuesday that the Broncos’ defense will be more aggressive under new coordinator Marcel Yates.

Deayon said the Broncos will play more man-to-man coverage and match up with receivers tighter in zone coverage.

“Last year, I feel like we really just didn’t put our foot on the gas,” Deayon said. “Everyone was just kind of floating around trying to get a feel for this or that.”

Said Correa: “(Defensive line coach Steve Caldwell) is looking for us to be playmakers. And don’t think and don’t hesitate. Attack as D-linemen and make plays and cause havoc.”

The media were allowed to watch a longer segment of practice Tuesday than last week (see highlights below). The practice was intense and fast-paced.

“It’s been exciting to feel the new energy out there on the field and everyone’s intensity,” Deayon said. “I feel like the intensity of the team is rising with the coaches.”

The secondary, which returns all five starters, needs to lead the defense, Deayon said.

“We’ve got to be the core of the defense,” he said. “That’s what we’re getting to, playing all this man coverage.”

The Broncos allowed 24.8 points, 413.4 yards and 249.2 passing yards per game last season.

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The latest roster with updated heights and weights is at the bottom of this file.

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— Running back Jay Ajayi on practice so far: “We’re doing a lot more full-padded practices this spring, which has been a lot more energy, a lot more focus and just a lot more intensity.”

— Ajayi on the run game: “I’m getting to do a lot more running the football (with the quarterback) under center, which is good. I get to do a lot more power running, which I like to do.”

— Ajayi on the emergence of senior backup Derrick Thomas: “He’s giving it his all every day, coming out with a great mindset, a great mentality.”

— Ajayi said junior Jack Fields also is playing well: “He had a great block today. He cut a guy in half in the red zone. He’s been doing great.”

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I’ll have a full story on the tight ends later this week. Here are a few notes from tight ends coach Eliah Drinkwitz:

— “To get to coach some very good players and try to develop that pipeline to the NFL, that’s what we’re selling in recruiting.”

— “I’ve got whatever I need in my room. I couldn’t be any happier. I think there’s a lot of places in the country that wish they had the tight ends I’ve got right now.”

— “The reason why a tight end is such an important position is if he creates a matchup problem for the defense. … If we feel like putting two on the field is going to give us an advantage, we will. If not, we’ll put one on the field. And guess what? If they’re not an advantage, then we’ll play with a 10 personnel (one back, no tight ends) set.”

— “We’re focusing on the run fundamentals and making plays. We’ve got to get this group into making plays.”

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Legendary former Boise State football coach and athletic director Lyle Smith visited practice Tuesday, the day after his 98th birthday. Coach Bryan Harsin presented Smith with a No. 98 jersey and a locker nameplate with No. 98 like those in the Broncos’ locker room. Smith spoke to the team for about 5 minutes and told the players how much their dedication means to him.

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In case you missed my posts yesterday, here you go:

Video and quotes from pro day
My story on pro day
Boise State’s practice players of the day so far
Watch Bronco All Access episoides I and II

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Here’s my updated position-by-position roster, with new heights and weights. As always, it’s organized by class, not by position on the depth chart.

A few notable weight gains: Running back Derrick Thomas is up 17 pounds, defensive tackle Armand Nance is up 23 pounds, tight end Jackson Reed is up 20 pounds and tight end Alec Dhaenens is up 11 pounds.

QUARTERBACK
9 Grant Hedrick, 6-0, 195, R-Sr.
8 Tommy Stuart, 5-11, 190, So.
15 Ryan Finley, 6-4, 192, R-Fr.
13 Richard Hoppe, 5-11, 161, R-Fr.

Signee:
Alex Ogle, 6-3, 205, Fr.

TAILBACK
23 Derrick Thomas, 6-0, 225, R-Sr.
27 Jay Ajayi, 6-0, 216, R-Jr.
21 Jack Fields, 5-9, 197, Jr.
26 Devan Demas, 5-8, 172, R-So.
10 Jamel Hart, 5-10, 206, R-So.
35 Charles Bertoli, 5-11, 190, R-So.
37 Ryan Wolpin, 5-8, 191, R-Fr.
39 Skyler Seibold, 6-1, 188, Fr.

Signees:
Jeremy McNichols, 5-10, 190, Fr.
Cory Young, 5-10, 180, Fr.

WIDE RECEIVER
2 Matt Miller, 6-3, 220, R-Sr.
81 Dallas Burroughs, 5-8, 171, Sr.
20 Terrell Johnson, 5-9, 172, R-Jr.
14 Troy Ware, 6-2, 183, R-Jr.
11 Shane Williams-Rhodes, 5-6, 160, Jr.
19 Taylor Pope, 6-0, 180, R-So.
82 Thomas Sperbeck, 6-0, 174, So.
80 D.J. Dean, 6-1, 195, R-Fr.
83 Tanner Shipley, 6-1, 183, R-Fr.
39 David McKinzie, 6-0, 169, R-Fr.
87 Dusty Fisher, 6-2, 181, R-Fr.
86 A.J. Richardson, 6-0, 196, Fr.

Signee:
Sean Modster, 6-0, 185, Fr.

TIGHT END
89 Connor Peters, 6-4, 242, Sr.
84 Jake Hardee, 6-3, 237, R-Jr.
85 Holden Huff, 6-6, 223, R-Jr.
93 Brennyn Dunn, 6-3, 215, R-So.
91 Jackson Reed, 6-4, 246, R-So.
98 Alec Dhaenens, 6-3, 243, R-Fr.
88 Jake Roh, 6-3, 226, R-Fr.

Signees:
Chase Blakley, 6-4, 235, Fr.
David Lucero, 6-5, 220, Fr.

OFFENSIVE LINE
72 Marcus Henry, 6-3, 285, R-Jr.
71 Rees Odhiambo, 6-4, 300, R-Jr.
76 Jerhen Ertel, 6-6, 274, R-Jr.
73 Travis Averill, 6-3, 304, R-So.
70 Steven Baggett, 6-3, 288, R-So.
66 Mario Yakoo, 6-4, 330, R-So.
60 Kellen Buhr, 6-1, 286, R-So.
79 Avery Westendorf, 6-5, 307, R-So.
74 Archie Lewis, 6-3, 277, R-Fr.
75 Eli McCullough, 6-5, 297, R-Fr.
52 Andrew Tercek, 6-1, 276, R-Fr.
59 Mason Hampton, 6-3, 274, R-Fr.

Signees:
Troy Bacon, 6-3, 280, Fr.
Andres Preciado, 6-6, 255, Fr.
Tennessee Su’esu’e, 6-2, 295, Fr.

DEFENSIVE END
53 Beau Martin, 6-2, 254, R-Sr.
92 Kamalei Correa, 6-3, 247, So.
97 Austin Silsby, 6-3, 227, R-Fr.

Signee:
Rondell McNair, 6-4, 250, R-Jr.

STUD END
94 Sam McCaskill, 6-3, 249, R-So.
33 Gabe Perez, 6-4, 235, So.
54 Mat Boesen, 6-4, 229, R-Fr.

Signees:
Jabril Frazier, 6-4, 225, Fr.
Kaleb Hill, 6-1, 215, Fr.

On mission:
Durrant Miles, 6-4, 220, Fr.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE
69 Tyler Horn, 6-5, 276, Sr.
90 Justin Taimatuia, 6-0, 294, Sr.
58 Robert Ash, 6-3, 282, R-Jr.
40 Armand Nance, 6-0, 311, Jr.
96 Elliot Hoyte, 6-4, 276, R-So.
50 Nick Terry, 6-3, 276, R-Fr.
55 Tutulupeatau Mataele, 6-3, 290, R-Jr. (ineligible this year)

Signees:
Antoine Turner, 6-3, 280, R-Jr.
Dereck Boles, 6-2, 275, Fr.
David Moa, 6-3, 235, Fr.

LINEBACKER
45 Travis Saxton, 6-1, 233, R-Sr.
13 Blake Renaud, 6-2, 247, Sr.
36 Tyler Gray, 6-4, 224, Jr.
31 Andrew Pint, 6-1, 232, R-So.
51 Ben Weaver, 6-0, 240, R-So.
25 Chris Santini, 6-0, 215, R-So.
44 Darren Lee, 6-1, 226, So.
20 Tanner Vallejo, 6-1, 227, So.
7 Joe Martarano, 6-3, 241, R-Fr.

CORNERBACK
1 Bryan Douglas, 5-9, 176, R-Sr.
3 Cleshawn Page, 5-9, 174, Sr.
19 Mercy Maston, 5-11, 195, Sr.
34 Promise Amadi, 5-10, 190, R-Jr.
5 Donte Deayon, 5-9, 152, Jr.
6 Chaz Anderson, 5-10, 176, R-So.
30 Jonathan Moxey, 5-9, 179, So.
16 Dionza Blue, 5-11, 191, R-Fr.
21 Cameron Hartsfield, 5-10, 181, R-Fr.

Signee:
Zavior Hoxie, 5-11, 190, Fr.

SAFETY
10 Jeremy Ioane, 5-10, 192, R-Sr.
38 Corey Bell, 5-11, 208, Sr.
24 Taylor Loffler, 6-3, 211, R-Jr.
4 Darian Thompson, 6-2, 205, R-Jr.
28 Dillon Lukehart, 6-1, 207, R-Jr.
22 Chanceller James, 6-2, 211, R-So.
47 Brandon Brown, 5-11, 200, R-Fr.
29 Dylan Sumner-Gardner, 6-1, 201, Fr.

Signee:
Kekoa Nawahine, 6-3, 190, Fr. (expected to go on a mission)

KICKER
41 Dan Goodale, 5-10, 195, R-Sr.
28 Tyler Rausa, 5-9, 193, R-So.

PUNTER
26 Sean Wale, 6-2, 188, R-So.

LONG SNAPPER
46 Kevin Keane, 6-0, 215, Jr.
42 Matt Cota, 6-1, 199, R-Fr.


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Chadd Cripe has spent the past 12 years as the Boise State football beat writer. You can follow him on Twitter @IDS_BroncoBeat.

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