Saturday, November 29, 2014

Boise State Seniors Lead Bronco Resurgence

After Boise State experienced its worst season since 1998 last year, going 8-5, the Bronco football team also had to adapt to a new group of coaches.

That's a tough combination for most teams, but 11 seniors displayed amazing class, determination and leadership.  Boise State not only got through the transition; they rebounded for a strong season that once again has the Broncos back in the Top 25 and in the race for one of the big New Year's Day bowl games.

Whether 2014 represents a return to greatness for Boise State or a temporary improvement is up to next year's team.  This group of seniors helped right the ship, and can, with a victory tonight, accomplish something that no Bronco team has ever done--play for the Mountain West Conference title.   We salute these seniors for their remarkable accomplishments and their constant improvement since they came to Boise:

CB Bryan Douglas 
Bryan made his debut start against San Diego State as a freshman in 2011, and appeared in seven games during the season.  Douglas had 10 tackles, eight of them solo, with a pass breakup.  He started three games in 2012, and played in eight until a season-ending injury against Wyoming.  Douglas finished with 19 tackles, 12 of them solo, with a forced fumble and a pass breakup.  Douglas also began contributing on kickoff returns, returning two for an average of 25.5 yards.

Douglas started 10 games and played in all 13 last season, recording 35 tackles, 23 of them solo.  Bryan was second on the team with four interceptions, including one he returned 33 yards for a touchdown, and he led Boise State with nine pass breakups.  Douglas excelled at kickoff returns, taking eight for 293 yards (for a school record 36.6 yards a return).  Bryan became one of just four Broncos in history to return a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown when he did it against San Diego State, and he also returned two punts for 21 yards (10.5 avg.).

Bryan has had to battle through injuries his senior year, recording seven tackles and a pass breakup.  Douglas has also returned 10 kickoffs for 210 yards (21.0 avg.)  His grit and determination this season have been an inspiration to all of his teammates and to all Bronco fans.

In his great Bronco career, Douglas has started 14 games at cornerback, posting 71 tackles, 43 of them solo, with 12 pass breakups, four interceptions, and a forced fumble.  He has returned 22 kickoffs for 604 yards (27.5 avg.) and two punts for 21 yards (10.5 avg.).

Matt Miller 
This high-class person was already generating tremendous buzz his redshirt season in 2010.  From the moment he walked onto the field in 2011, Miller would become arguably the top receiver in school history.  He made tough catches look easy, and sensational catches routine. 

Miller played in all 13 games as a freshman, starting eight times.  Matt shattered the single-season freshman records with 62 receptions for 679 yards and nine touchdowns.  His 4.77 receptions per game ranked second in the Mountain West.  Miller was named to the Freshman All-America Team by the Football Writers Association of America. 

In 2012, Miller started 12 games, leading Boise State in all three major receiving categories with 66 catches (10th all-time) for 769 yards and five touchdowns.  Miller made the All-Mountain West Second Team, and was named Academic All-Mountain West as well.

In 2013, Miller started 12 games and set a single-season school record with 88 receptions, which ranked 21st nationally.  Miller's 1,140 receiving yards are the third-most in school history, and his 12 receiving touchdowns are tied for fourth all-time at Boise State and ranked 10th in the country.  On top of that, Miller also threw a pass for a two-point conversion.  Miller and Shane Williams-Rhodes set a school record for the most catches by a duo with 165.  

Matt earned team Most Valuable Player honors for his outstanding performance against Oregon State in the Hawai'i Bowl with 11 catches for 206 yards.  Miller's 85-yard TD catch set a bowl record, and was the longest reception by a Mountain West player in a bowl game in the league's history.  Miller set a school record for receiving yards in a bowl game.  Despite all this, Miller was not named All-Mountain West, or even to the Second Team.  At the conclusion of the season, the conference named Miller "honorable mention".  Matt once again excelled in the classroom, earning All-Mountain West Academic honors for a second consecutive year.

This preseason, Miller was a Preseason Fred Biletnikoff Award Candidate.  Matt set the school record for career receptions against Colorado State.  Matt achieved this despite battling an ankle injury, which finally forced him to have surgery after the Air Force game, which ended his season.  At the time, Miller had 28 receptions for 461 yards (16.5 avg.) and three TD's, and he also threw a touchdown pass.

In his historic Boise State career, Miller has a school record 244 receptions for 3,049 yards (12.5 avg.) and 29 touchdowns (third-all-time), and has thrown both a touchdown pass and a two-point conversion.  Miller's 3,049 career receiving yards place him second in school history, just 14 yards shy of Austin Pettis.

CB Cleshawn Page
Page transferred from LA Harbor Community College, and played in 12 games last year.  Page posted nine tackles, three of them solo, with two pass breakups.

This year, Cleshawn became one of the major reasons for Boise State's turnaround.  Page has also battled injuries this season, but has two starts and has played in eight games.  He has 14 tackles on the season with 11 of those solo, a tackle for loss, an interception that he returned for 20 yards, and 6 pass breakups, second on the team.

In his brief but memorable Boise State career, Page has 23 tackles, 14 of them solo, a tackle for loss, with an interception returned for 20 yards, and eight pass breakups.

QB Grant Hedrick 
Another huge reason for Boise State's national prominence is the play of this great signal-caller, who was the Oregon state Player of the Year before coming to the Blue.  He waited on the sidelines with patience and dignity before getting his shot, and Hedrick has certainly made the most of it. 
After redshirting, Grant played in eight games his freshman year, finishing 2-3 for 19 yards and rushing eight times for 70 yards and a touchdown.
The following year, Hedrick completed 12-17 passes for 116 yards (70.6%), and rushed 19 times for 21 yards and three touchdowns in relief duty.  In 2013, Hedrick stepped in at QB when Nevada knocked starter Joe Southwick out of the game on the first play from scrimmage.  All Hedrick did in that game was connect on 18 of 21 passes, eighth-best in school history for completion percentage (85.7%), and rush eight times for 115 yards.   In his second start, Hedrick accounted for all six TD's in a victory over Colorado State including throwing for five touchdowns, tied for 2nd at Boise State.  Grant started five games during the season, and completed 167-of-242 passes (69.0% for fifth all-time) for 1,824 yards and 16 touchdowns against just five interceptions.  The versatile Hedrick also picked up 277 yards on the ground and scored six touchdowns to finish the year as Boise State's second-leading rusher, and punted three times, sending each one inside the opponent's 20-yard line.  Hedrick's completion percentage of 69.0% ranked fifth in the nation, and his efficiency rating of 150.0 was 23rd. 
Prior to this season, Hedrick was named as a candidate for the Davey O'Brien Award, given annually to the nation's top quarterback.  Grant has completed 243 passes out of 341 attempts (71.3%) for 3,041 yards and 20 touchdowns.  Hedrick is already ninth for season passing yards, and has a chance to catch Kellen Moore's 2009 season (3,536 yards) for 4th in Bronco history.  With five more touchdown passes, Grant can move into the Top 10 for single-season scoring strikes. 

Under the tutelage of offensive coordinator Mike Sanford, Hedrick has not only developed his passing skills; he has become one of the nation's top running quarterbacks.  Grant has picked up 483 yards on the ground (a school record for quarterbacks) on 124 carries (3.9 avg.) and scored six touchdowns.   
Hedrick caught the game-winning touchdown pass against Fresno State, one of TD passes he caught this season.  Hedrick passed for 367 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 131 yards (school record for a QB) and two scores in a win over New Mexico, registering the fourth-highest single-game total offense mark with 498 and against BYU, Grant accounted for 439 total yards, sixth-highest in school history.  Hedrick had 410 passing yards against the Cougars, the seventh-best single-game performance in Boise State history.  Hedrick is one of only five Bronco quarterbacks ever to throw for over 400 yards in a game.  Grant nailed 26 of 31 throws against Nevada (83.9%) to rank 10th for single-game passing percentage.

To this point, Hedrick has completed 424 passes (seventh all-time) out of 603 attempts (70.32%) for 5,001 yards and 36 touchdowns (tied for seventh all-time).  He has also run 219 times for 851 yards (3.9 avg.) and 16 touchdowns (22nd all-time).  As of now, Hedrick ranks second in the nation in completion percentage, ninth in passing efficiency (157.9), ninth in total offense, 15th in the nation in passing yards per game, 15th in completions per game, and 17th in points responsible for. 

Despite only starting for a year and a half, Hedrick ranks 26th all-time in career rushing.  Among quarterbacks, he is third all-time, and needs 169 rushing yards to pass Tony Hilde (1993-1996) for the school record.  Grant ranks seventh in the history of Boise State with his 5,001 yards passing, and, with a minimum of two games remaining, has a shot at passing legendary Jim McMillan (5,508) for sixth place all-time.  Hedrick also ranks seventh in total offense with 5,883 yards in his stellar career.

Hedrick ranks fifth all-time with six 300-yard passing games, and his performances against BYU and New Mexico this year tied him for second in school history with two consecutive 300-yard games.  Grant also ranks sixth all-time with 14 200-yard passing games.

Hedrick is amongst the most consistent Bronco quarterbacks to play the game, as he threw a TD pass in nine consecutive games (the Colorado State game of 2013 through the UL-Lafayette game of 2014).

Combined with running back Jay Ajayi, Hedrick and Ajayi are the fifth-best rushing duo in the history of Bronco football, and are just 344 yards shy of the school record.

S Jeremy Ioane
 Ioane had Bronco fans excited from the moment they saw his highlight tape at Letter of Intent Day.  After redshirting in 2010, Jeremy played in 10 games his freshman year, including a start against Georgia.  Ioane finished the year with six tackles, four of them solo.

The following season, 
Jeremy started all 13 games, and was second on the team with 70 tackles (40 of them solo).  Ioane also had two tackles for loss, three interceptions (one returned 43 yards for a touchdown against Michigan State, and another secured Boise State's Las Vegas Bowl win over Washington), a forced fumble, and two pass breakups.  Ioane received honorable mention on the All-Mountain West team.

Ioane started 12 games last year and finished the season with 59 tackles, 40 of them solo, and had a pass breakup.  Jeremy earned All-Mountain West Second Team honors last year.

This year, Ioane was a Preseason Jim Thorpe Award Candidate.  Despite a kidney disease which requires Jeremy to have dialysis, Jeremy has played in five games, starting three.  Ioane has 10 tackles, 2 of them solo, with two interceptions and a pass breakup.

In his great Bronco career, Jeremy has started 29 games, and has posted 145 tackles 33rd all-time among Boise State defensive backs), 86 of them solo, with two tackles for loss, five interceptions, four pass breakups, and a forced fumble.

Blake Renaud 
Blake came to Boise State from one of the nation's premier high schools, De La Salle.

Renaud had ten tackles as a true freshman, five of them solo, with a forced fumble.  The following year, Blake became a standout on the Bronco special teams and saw considerable action at linebacker.  Renaud finished the season sixth on the team with 46 tackles, 26 of them solo, and .5 tackles for loss.  He also forced a fumble and had three pass breakups.  Renaud received the Hammer Award at the team's annual banquet.

It was time for Renaud to step up into the starting rotation, and this he did in 2013, starting six games for the Broncos.  Renaud had 25 tackles, 12 of them solo, including a tackle for loss.  This year, Blake has started seven games, and recorded 35 tackles, 27 of them solo, with six tackles for loss (4th on the team), two sacks, and a fumble recovery.

For his career, Renaud has started 13 games, posting 116 tackles, 70 of them solo, with 7.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles, and three pass breakups.

S Corey Bell 
Capital High School graduate Bell played as a true freshman in 2011, seeing action in 11 games.  Corey posted nine tackles, five of them solo, and had a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.  Bell started four games as a sophomore and played in all 13 Boise State games, registering 45 tackles, 22 of them solo.  Bell had a .5 tackles for loss, and returned a fumble 19 yards for a TD against Wyoming.  At the end of the year, Corey was rewarded for his excellent work in the classroom when he earned Academic All-Mountain West Conference.
Bell exploded onto the scene last year, when he started 10 games and was second on the Broncos with 76 tackles.  Corey had 48 solo tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, a sack, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.  Once again, Corey was named to the Academic All-Mountain West Conference team.
This year, Corey has started eight games, and is fifth on the team with 42 tackles (28 solo).  Bell also has three tackles for loss with one sack and a pass breakup.

The great Bell has 14 starts, with 130 tackles (75 solo), five tackles for loss, one sack, three fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown, and three pass breakups.  Bell ranks 60th in Boise State history with his 130 tackles, and Corey is 17th among defensive backs in career tackles.  Six of the 16 DB's ahead of Bell played or are playing in the National Football League.

PK Dan Goodale 
Goodale became Boise State's main kicker as a freshman, and he converted 3-5 field goals and hit 50-56 PAT's.  Goodale's scoring average of 5.36 points per game ranked eighth in the Mountain West Conference.  His nine extra points against Colorado State are tied for third in school history.
Dan played in four games as a sophomore, kicking off 22 times and achieving four touchbacks.  The following year, Goodale hit 17-19 field goal tries, including a streak of 12 consecutive at one point.  Goodale's 17 field goals are the fourth-most at Boise State for a single-season.  His season field goal percentage of 89.5% led the Mountain West and ranked 15th in the nation.  Goodale also hit 57-60 PAT's, 10th most in school history, and scored 108 points, 10th all-time.  Dan was named All-Mountain West Second Team at the conclusion of the season.
Prior to this season, Goodale was named as a candidate for the Lou Groza Award, given annually to the nation's top kicker.  Goodale became the 15th player at Boise State to reach 200 career points against Air Force.  He has connected on 15 of 20 field goal tries and 52 of 55 extra point attempts this season.  Dan has also become one of the nation's top kickoff specialists, averaging 63.4 yards per kick and an incredible 55 of his 83 kickoffs have resulted in a touchback.  Goodale again booted home all nine extra point tries against Wyoming last week, to tie him for third for the most PAT's in a game.  Dan is one of only two Broncos in history with two games in which he hit nine extra points (Nick Calaycay being the other).

Goodale has become one of Boise State's all-time best placekickers, hitting 35-44 field goal attempts (79.55%), and 159-171 extra point tries (92.98%).  Dan ranks third all-time with 159 extra points.  He is sixth all-time with 35 field goals, and is in range of #5 Greg Erickson (37).  He has scored 264 points in his great Bronco career, having passed Cedric Minter for ninth.  With 11 more points, Goodale can catch Mike Black for eight place all-time in career scoring at Boise State.  

DE Beau Martin
After starting as a true freshman at Colorado State-Pueblo, Martin took his talents to Boise State, and the Broncos are all the better for it.  Beau played in 12 games in 2012, including a start against Michigan State, and finished with 15 tackles, seven of them solo.  Martin recorded 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and a recovery.  Beau earned Academic All-Mountain West honors after the season.

Last year, Martin played in all 13 games with one start, and finished the year with 21 tackles (15 solo).  Beau posted seven tackles for loss, four sacks, and two pass breakups.  He once again earned Academic All-Mountain West honors.

This season, Martin has started in all 11 games, recording 28 tackles, 20 of them solo, with 10 tackles for loss (3rd on the team), 3.5 sacks, 2 pass breakups, and a blocked kick.    

In his career to date, the popular Beau has 13 starts, with 64 tackles (42 solo), 21.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks (36th all-time), four pass breakups, a forced fumble, a recovery, and a blocked kick.  Martin ranks 61st among Boise State lineman with his 64 career tackles.

WR Dallas Burroughs 
Dallas played as a true freshman in all 13 games in 2011, and started in the Las Vegas Bowl against Arizona State.  Burroughs finished the season with nine receptions for 175 yards and a touchdown, and rushed six times for six yards.  He also returned eight kickoffs for a 17.3-yard average.  He was on the receiving end of a Kellen Moore pass against TCU that went for 53 yards and a touchdown.

In 2012, Burroughs appeared in 12 games, including one start.  Dallas caught four balls for 100 yards (25.0 avg.), and averaged 30.5 yards on two kickoff returns.  At the end of the year, Dallas earned All-Mountain West Academic honors.

Last season, Burroughs has two catches for 11 yards, and played in all 13 games.  Dallas also had one rush for four yards, and returned 10 kickoffs for 234 yards (23.4 avg.).  Burroughs made the Academic All-Mountain West Team for his second straight year.

As a senior, Dallas has started six games at wide receiver, recording 14 catches for 119 yards, and he has a career high 17 kickoff returns for 347 yards (20.4).

Burroughs has started eight games in his career, with 29 catches for 405 yards (16.4 yards per catch) and a touchdown.  He has picked up 10 yards on seven carries, and has returned 33 kickoffs for 781 yards (23.67 avg.).

TE Connor Peters
The great blocking Peters played in all 13 games in his first season after transferring from Laney College in 2012.  Peters snared a pass for a 2-point conversion to help the Broncos defeat New Mexico.  At the end of the year, Connor was named to the All-Mountain West Academic team.

Last season, Peters played in 12 games and started three.  He led all tight ends with seven catches for 58 yards.  This year, Connor has played in seven games with two starts, and his physical play has greatly helped the Bronco offense.

Peters has three starts to his credit, and has caught seven passes for 58 yards as well as a two-point conversion.

Congrats to these outstanding 11 Broncos for all they have done for the school, and the great memories they have given us!

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