Boise State's D.J. Harper enjoys feature role; ex-Bronco Doug Martin named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com
© 2012 Idaho Statesman

Boise State senior tailback D.J. Harper has perfected a tackle-breaking spin move this season — one that seems to be his go-to move any time a defender tries to grab his leg in the open field.

He broke at least two tackles with it last week and spun away from a defender on a 28-yard touchdown against Fresno State.

“It’s just instinct; it just happens,” Harper said. “It’s kind of always been there. It was never the right time to use it. It just so happens I’m always being turned that way and the spin works out perfectly.”

Harper said his only personal goal this season was to rush for 1,000 yards. He’s on pace to get there with 713 yards in eight games.

Harper ranks seventh in the Mountain West with 89.1 yards per game. He’s third in scoring with 11 touchdowns and two two-point conversions. He also has 15 catches for 115 yards and averages 26.9 yards on kickoff returns.

He’s averaging 21 touches per game (carries, catches, kickoff returns) — a comfortable workload.

After five years spent mostly as a role player, Harper is thrilled by his star turn. He also missed most of two seasons with knee injuries.

“Every now and then I kind of sit back and look at the position I’m in,” he said. “I’m really excited for it. I’m happy. I’m glad that I’m healthy and having a good season. It’s really meant a lot to me.

“Now that it’s happening I just want to take it in stride and enjoy every moment of it.”

•••

Boise State sophomore defensive end Demarcus Lawrence is on the updated watch list for the Hendricks Award, which goes to the nation’s top defensive end. He’s one of 33 players on the list.

Lawrence, in his first year at the FBS level, has 33 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a blocked field goal.

•••

Former Boise State tailback Doug Martin has been named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month. Martin led all NFL players with 155.7 yards from scrimmage per game in October.

Martin rushed 58 times for 296 yards and caught eight passes for 171 yards with three total touchdowns in October. He’s now tied for fifth in the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 767 — on pace for 1,753.

Martin was featured on the NFL Network’s fantasy football show at noon. It re-airs at 10 p.m. today and also will be posted at nfl.com/fantasy.

•••

Junior Geraldo Boldewijn has picked up most of Mitch Burroughs’ snaps, offensive coordinator Robert Prince said. Burroughs was injured Oct. 6 at Southern Miss and is out at least until December.

In the past three games, Boldewijn has eight catches for 80 yards and one touchdown.

Matt Miller leads the team with 42 catches. The Broncos have eight wide receivers with at least 90 yards this season.

“We’ve had to fight a little adversity with Mitch getting hurt,” Miller said. “We had some guys step up, which is really nice to see.”

•••

Senior tight end Chandler Koch on the Broncos’ offense:

“We’ve just become a lot more cohesive and as a group we’ve just gotten a lot better. We had a lot of young guys, a lot of new guys. It’s just playing together and getting that feel for how everyone plays and what we’re supposed to do that has brought us along.”

•••

The Big East’s exclusive negotiating period with ESPN for its football TV rights has been extended until Monday, the Big East says. It originally was extended one day because of the fallout from Hurricane Sandy.

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Cool!

BSU Football has made BSU one of the finest Universities around!

Go Broncos!!!!

Couldn't agree more!

Perception is reality. People see what BSU has done on the field & naturally translate that to the academic side. My degree has risen in value every year. People love Boise State.

Go Broncs!

Really?

Stop kidding yourselves.

Amen

What are these two smoking? I'm a BSU grad and proud of it, but our academics have a loooong way to go, and football helps very little in the grand scheme.

really?

IF that is so, then how do you explain the 100% increase in graduate school applications after the first Fiesta Bowl? Or the similar rate of undergraduate application?

I'm not sure if you can

I'm not sure if you can equate increasing enrollment with increasing academic rigor. BYUI has ballooned to 13K, but I'm not sure that it is the 2nd best school in the state simply because it's the second biggest.

8%

I'm not saying we're not improving at all. But the most recent graduation rate I've seen is 8% of BSU students graduate in 4 years or less. That is a horrible number, and while there are many reasons for that, it has to improve.

jonandtanyaw

Because BSU lowered the credits required from 36 to 30 for graduate degrees and from 128 to 120 credits required for undergraduate degrees, with Idaho SBOE approval at a Spring, 2007 meeting of the SBOE? Just a guess. A SWAG. A random thought.

Could that be the answer that explains it, and answers your question.

I dunno. I just took a stab at it.

Just out of curiosity, could you provide a verifiable source of your data that corroborates a "100% increase in graduate school applications after the first Fiesta Bowl, and the similar rate (100%) of undergraduate applications (to BSU).

This is the first time I have learned of this percentage and I would like to learn more about it.

I am not doubting you or your information, but am just curious if you could verify your information and provide additional credible primary source(s) sites.

Thank you, in advance for your response and providing these sites.

For the record

The proposal for the minimum credit hour change for graduation at BSU from 128 to 120 was done in 2008 (not 2007). The SBOE approved the changes for the Spring of 2011 (not 2007).

The University of Idaho has also submitted a proposal for the same changes. Not sure if it's been approved yet, although I'm sure it will be since most universities are currently using the 120 hours for graduation for most courses.

Well,

...it's obvious you graduated a while back. How can the success of the football team NOT have a positive effect on the academics? Besides, you are no longer there, so how would you know what the academics are like compared to when you WERE there?

BSU Football has made BSU one of the finest Universities around!

WalMart doesn't sell Bronco Shirts and Mugs and other memorabilia because of our Academic Prowess

I shop at Kmart.

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Celebrating five years and one screen ID >|<

Congrats!

Nice job Doug Martin!
Also D.J.'s spin moves happen so fast, you have to keep an eye on him, or you will miss it!

More to it than 8%...

While the four year graduation rate is low, the 6 year graduation rate is much better. Additionally, the freshman retention rate is higher than its ever been at nearly 70%. Finally, the last two incoming freshman cla$ses have had the highest average GPAs in Boise State University history at nearly 3.5, as well as the largest numbers of out of state students. So BSU academics are steadily improving, as is its national reputation. Is this all due to football success? Of course not, but football success is part of a broader plan to improve BSU, and that plan is certainly working.

The reason?

Since Kustra showed up and redefined the strategy, Boise State has advanced in many ways. I would give the most credit to the guy in charge. He has a vision for the school...a lot more than anything you could say about his predecessors.

DJ Harper!

I would have to feel the rapid development of Ajayi Fields and Williams-Rhodes is at least partly attributable to Harpers presence in the locker room. Mature guy who is simply a guy to admire for dealing with the adversity of terrible injuries for 2 of the last 3 seasons. He is a difference maker and leads by example. What a player!

totally agree

It's hard to comprehend the fortitude it took him to come back after two knee surgeries. He is a leader and a great example.

Doug Martin is not offensive, I'm certain.

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Celebrating five years and one screen ID >|<

I did not realize...

Boise State had added Jonathan Smith to the coaching staff to work with QB's. I think that is very encouraging. Smith was QB of a great Oregon State team years ago that stomped a mudhole with Notre Dame in their senior season. My theory of one reason Boise State is so successful is that Peterson is great at acquiring good coaches and also at mentoring and 'coaching' his coaches.