Boise State football team picked to win Mountain West; Mitch Burroughs honored; here's an early BSU depth chart

By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman

LAS VEGAS — Favorites, again — despite all those lost stars.

The Boise State Broncos were the overwhelming top choice in the Mountain West’s preseason media poll, released Tuesday morning in conjunction with the football media days at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

This is the fifth straight year that Boise State has been its conference favorite.

Boise State received 27 of 30 first-place votes. Fresno State got two votes and San Diego State took one.

Nevada is No. 2 overall, followed by Fresno State, Wyoming, San Diego State, Air Force, Hawaii, Colorado State, UNLV and New Mexico.

The Broncos were the favorites last year, but finished second in the Mountain West behind TCU.

Boise State senior wide receiver and punt returner Mitch Burroughs was named the preseason Special Teams Player of the Year and the first-team kick returner. Burroughs finished eighth in the nation in punt returns last year with an average of 13.3 yards per attempt.

Other Broncos on the preseason all-conference team were sophomore wide receiver Matt Miller, senior left guard Joe Kellogg, senior defensive tackle Mike Atkinson and senior cornerback Jamar Taylor. Here is the story I wrote on Kellogg for today’s paper.

Boise State had the most preseason all-conference team members with five.

Mountain West preseason media poll (first-place votes in parentheses):

1. Boise State (27), 296
2. Nevada, 244
3. Fresno State (2), 231
4. Wyoming, 213
5. San Diego State (1), 173
6. Air Force, 170
7. Hawaii, 116
8. Colorado State, 111
9. UNLV, 63
10. New Mexico, 33

Mountain West preseason all-conference team:

QB Derek Carr, junior, Fresno State
WR Matt Miller, sophomore, Boise State
WR Colin Lockett, junior, San Diego State
RB Robbie Rouse, senior, Fresno State
RB Chris Nwoke, junior, Colorado State **
OL Chris Barker, senior, Nevada
OL Joe Kellogg, senior, Boise State
OL Weston Richburg, junior, Colorado State **
OL Nick Carlson, senior, Wyoming **
OL Jeff Nady, senior, Nevada
TE Gavin Escobar, junior, San Diego State *

DL Mike Purcell, senior, Wyoming
DL Mike Atkinson, senior, Boise State
DL Paipai Falemalu, senior, Hawaii
DL Jack Reynoso, junior, Nevada
LB Travis Brown, senior, Fresno State
LB Saquil Barrett, junior, Colorado State
LB Alex Means, senior, Air Force
DB Leon McFadden, senior, San Diego State *
DB Duke Williams, senior, Nevada
DB Luke Ruff, senior, Wyoming **
DB Jamar Taylor, senior, Boise State

P Pete Kontodiakos, senior, Colorado State **
PK Parker Herrington, senior, Air Force #*
Ret. Mitch Burroughs, senior, Boise State

Offensive player of the year: Carr
Defensive player of the year: McFadden
Special teams player of the year: Burroughs

# - unanimous 2012 selection
* - member of the 2011 All-Mountain West first team
** - member of the 2011 All-Mountain West second team


Worth noting:

— Boise State has a balanced home-road schedule. The Broncos play at No. 2 Nevada, No. 4 Wyoming, No. 7 Hawaii and No. 10 New Mexico. They play No. 3 Fresno State, No. 5 San Diego State, No. 8 Colorado State and No. 9 UNLV at Bronco Stadium. They don’t play No. 6 Air Force.

— Nevada gets No. 1 Boise State, No. 3 Fresno State, No. 4 Wyoming and No. 5 San Diego State at home. The Wolf Pack play at No. 6 Air Force, No. 7 Hawaii, No. 9 UNLV and No. 10 New Mexico.


I wouldn’t take this too seriously, but here is the Boise State depth chart provided for the Mountain West media guide:

QB: Joe Southwick OR Grant Hedrick OR Jimmy Laughrea OR Nick Patti
RB: D.J. Harper, Drew Wright
FB: Dan Paul, Chandler Koch
X receiver: Matt Miller, Geraldo Boldewijn
Z receiver: Mitch Burroughs, Aaron Burks
H receiver: Kirby Moore, Chris Potter
TE: Gabe Linehan OR Chandler Koch
LT: Faraji Wright, Rees Odhiambo
LG: Joe Kellogg, Spencer Gerke
C: Cory Yriarte, Matt Paradis
RG: Jake Broyles, Brenel Myers
RT: Charles Leno Jr., Michael Ames

DE: Tyler Horn OR Demarcus Lawrence
DT: Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe OR Darren Koontz
DT: Mike Atkinson, Greg Grimes
DE: Beau Martin OR Sam Ukwuachu
LB: Tommy Smith, Blake Renaud
LB: J.C. Percy, Dustin Kamper
N: Dextrell Simmons, Corey Bell
CB: Jamar Taylor, Josh Borgman
CB: Jerrell Gavins, Ebo Makinde
S: Jeremy Ioane, Hazen Moss
S: Lee Hightower, Eric Agbaroji

K: Michael Frisina OR Dan Goodale
P: Trevor Harman, Dan Goodale
KR: Mitch Burroughs, Dallas Burroughs
PR: Mitch Burroughs OR Chris Potter
Holder: Trevor Harman, Matt Miller
Snapper: Chris Roberson

Worth noting: Burks would have a spot in the receiver rotation if this holds. Koontz moved to end in the spring but is back at tackle here. Harman could be an unsung hero this year — kickoffs, punts and holding on scoring kicks.

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DJ Harper

We know what he can do and after the first few games everyone else will remember as well. He'll be on the post season lists for sure.

It will be a wild ride this year...

However, this is why we all love college football. Can't wait to see the new Broncos grind it out. :)

Got a chuckle out of this

QB: Joe Southwick OR Grant Hedrick OR Jimmy Laughrea OR Nick Patti

Very clever.....

§ The "ORs"

Even though there are those ORs, you know my preference.

Little side bet as to when it happens? Middle of the 3rd quarter against MSU or first half of Miami (OH)?

Ah razor

I don't know....

I need an update from JL on how things are in playersville...

§ Unless he comes up with something

negative about Patti, I'm holding.

Dancing lessons are over.


being moved back to DT makes me wonder about the two redshirt freshmen, Jeff Worthy and Robert Ash. Just hope they're coming along for the added depth. As for the preseason all-conference team, J.C. Percy along with D.J., is not getting the respect he deserves. I predict that J.C. wil lead the team in tackles this year, and be first in the conference among LBs.

hey jokedoc


Any information on the status of Jake Van Ginkel? I was hoping he would emerge as an answer to BSU's kicking problems over the past 2 years.

§ Van Ginkel

Has anybody heard anything more on this guy since he was left home from the bowl trip because he "didn't deserve to go"? A scholarship kicker who cannot seem to get ahead of Frisina or Goodale? Makes you wonder.

And, then there's Sean Wale (also scholarship) from La Habra. Does he somehow get into the mix this fall? Whatever happens this year in regard to the PK spot better not be a repeat of last season when even extra points were an "adventure".

I wont take it too seriously...

Just some thoughts...

Wheres N Justin Brown?

Josh Borgman is a fine Special Teams player but he backs up Jamar Taylor? Thats a scary thought considering Gavins is hurt again which makes Borgman (2 inches shorter than Gavins and nowhere near as athletic) the backup to both CB spots.

Ioane must have really done some work the last year. The angles he took against UGA were so bad he rarely saw the field again the rest of the year. With our QB spot unknown at best, shaky at worst, the defense better be great August 31st. I see a lot of youth and a lot of questions there still.


I believe it's Jonathan Brown

And yes, we can't have any injuries at CB

The word is Ioane has finally got it.....we'll see

Agree! Our D needs to show up.

Youre right...

Jonathan Brown it is. Ive done that with him a handful of times.

I think Ranaud will be a lot like Korey Hall. Fit right in and play with controlled viciousness. Percy is a sure tackler and a consistent, reliable player. The LB corp will be fine. The Dline will be solid again, if not as deep. However, with QEB getting the boot I didnt realize how thin the secondary was.

After the Spring game

I think Blake is a huge key to how the D plays. Not many teams have a 240 LB.


Can our corners lock down and allow our physical safeties to go hit people?

Can Blake and JC play the run well enough to let our (very) fast DE's go after the QB?

Can someone step up and be a "good" backup to Harper and Wright?

Who will be the backup QB.....


I think if we see injuries at corner again this year, they will move Hightower to corner and try to fill someone in at safety. That is a thin part of the roster though for sure.

I also expect to see some really good things from Dextrel Simmons this year. He showed some talent last year, and another year of knowledge of the system could make him a dangerous player.

Good to see all that experience on the O-line, I think we will be fine in the trenches this year.

It will be an exciting season, can't wait to see how they do against Sparty.


Great post...

I think Hightower does move over to CB if there are injuries and Eric Agbaroji takes his spot at Safety. Both are extremely athletic and future studs and I think they both get on the field together at some point this season.

Coach Pete loves the speed at which Simmons plays and I too agree that extra year will make him so much better.

What do you see happening against Sparty? Give some "Way too early predictions".


I actually like the Broncos' chances against Sparty. A lot has been said about their Defense and deservedly so, but BSU's offensive line is legit. I think offensively we are going to see a lot more shifts and formations and a mix of offensive plays kinda like the Dinwiddie/Zabransky days. I think if BSU can keep defenses off balance with this, Harper could have some big numbers, maybe even Ian Johnson sophmore season type numbers. The last few years with Kellen being such a prolific pocket passer, you knew that he was going to sit back and throw... I think the Broncos will actually be harder to prepare for now, and I'm excited to see what they bring. I'm also looking forward to see what Prince brings to the table. I was never a huge Pease fan, he was a little too conservative for my tastes, but with Martin and Kellen he was able to get away with it.

I like our speed on defense and I think the middle of the line will be fine with Atkinson and Ricky TAT, D-ends from last year are going to be tought to replace. At the same time, I just think if these kids work as hard as past players have, they will be just fine. I'm really anxious to see what this season brings. Like I said I like the Broncos chances in East Lansing, I just hope it doesn't come down to a field goal!

Just my two cents.


And his big mouth continues to runneth over...

"They say Boise State is favorite to Win the MWC, did they forget we're playing them in RENO?

~Duke Williams senior, Nevada

See you November 24th.

I don't think they forgot BSU is playing

in Reno. I think they are saying that one successful season(2010) since the turn of the century does not make a program. He doesn't understand that consistent winning makes you the favorite. Here is a fact that he does not want to hear about Nevada people: take BSU out of their home schedule, and they sell out ZERO home games. If I were him, I would be more concerned about building a program that their fan base can rally behind first before talking smack about BSU. Get to BSU's level first, then talk.

***You're Right***

They typically have the lowest fan attendance in the league. They TRULY define the term "fair-weather fan".

I last attended that dump of a stadium in 1996 when we won the WAC title on their field that earned us a trip to our first Fiesta Bowl. Let me tell you, I'll NEVER go back. Disgusting behavior doesn't even begin to describe the boorish behavior they exhibited. It was the first and the last time I've had fans around me hauled off(and cuffed) and escorted out of any stadium I've attended.

To every Nevada fan (and player): GET BENT. I HOPE YOU LOSE EVERY GAME.

See you November 24th

Van Ginkel is not doing his

Van Ginkel is not doing his work in the classroom as I've heard. So you know what Coach Pete's attitude is. If you aren't doing your part in school you won't be playing in games. If Van Ginkel doesn't get his head out of that dark nasty place and start doing what he's supposed to, he'll be out for good. We have another scholarship kicker coming in next year

I hear that Van Ginkel's grades are fine...

and that comes from a reliable source. I hope his "did not deserve to make the MAACO Bowl trip" issue is long gone.

Jake Van Ginkel

Has one of the highest GPA's on the team and is way ahead of schedule with his credits.

Offense better be ready...

Michigan State is loaded on defense.

Team Rankings

I don't see Nevada as the #2. Look for Wyoming to give everyone fits this year.


I was thinking the same thing. That Cowboy team played us tough last year and they seemed to be pretty young if I remember correctly. Didnt they play a true Freshman QB?