Boise State Football: Defensive Standouts at the Broncos Training Camp
The Broncos appear to be having a very productive training camp thus far. Head coach Chris Petersen has kept his low-key approach alive and well, but after years of listening to the coach comment on his team's progress season after season, this year it seems like he is pleased with what he has seen so far.
In his interview following the first scrimmage of fall camp, Petersen is quoted in the Idaho Statesman as saying the defense "did very well."
Never turns out like you think it’s going to,” Petersen said, “but it was back to your first natural, normal scrimmage—the defense did very well, created some turnovers and played hard.
Petersen seemed genuinely surprised and pleased that his defense is looking as good as it is at this point. However, one has to wonder if the defense only looks as good as it does because of the lack of production on offense.
Either way, you have to believe the dominating display the defense delivered in the scrimmage will motivate the players residing on the other side of the line. Look for quite a competition when the Broncos hold their public scrimmage at the end of the week, and look for the offense to make their own noise.
So far, as camp has progressed, there are a handful of defensive players that seem to be making some noise and contributing to the success of the young group. Let's look at those players a little closer and what it might mean to the Bronco season of 2012.
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Deon'tae Florence is a junior college transfer that is making some noise in fall camp. His speed, athleticism, technique and eye for the ball has made him a player to watch.
With the defensive secondary in solid hands this season, the only thing needed was to add some depth back there. Well, Florence certainly does that. He was named "camper of the day" by coach Chris Petersen after a very impressive performance in the team scrimmage.
The redshirt sophomore got the attention of Petersen and the rest of the team. An update on Broncosports.com quotes coach Pete as saying some good things about this new guy on defense.
Deon’tae had a really good practice,” Petersen said. “He made some big plays, and hauled in a couple of interceptions.
Not only did Deon'tae have two interceptions in the scrimmage, he also forced a fumble and returned it for a touchdown. Not a bad way to make a good impression for a young player looking to garner some playing time.
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Blake Renaud has kept the momentum rolling. He had a great spring, capping it all off with an interception in the spring game.
Renaud came to Boise State out of the recruiting hotbed known as De La Salle High School in Concord, California. He turned down Oregon State and Minnesota to be a Bronco, and expectations were high for him as he stepped on campus last year.
Playing behind Byron Hout and others, Renaud seems to have learned many lessons.
Coaches were excited after seeing his progress last spring. Linebackers coach Bob Gregory was quoted in the Idaho Press Tribune giving some serious praise to the redshirt freshman.
This spring was huge for him,” Gregory said. “One of the things I think it did was give him confidence—he was able to make plays in the pass game, which was great, and I think it’s carried over into the fall.
Look for more from Renaud as camp continues. Bronco fans should probably learn his name and how to pronounce it because they are going to be seeing a lot of him.
Darren Koontz is a redshirt junior with a point to prove. Last season he saw limited playing time appearing in nine games and had just five tackles. However, that total is expected to go up dramatically in 2012.
Koontz has made the most of the opportunity so far in fall camp. Coach Petersen even named Darren the "camper of the day" three days in. Coach Petersen was quoted by Broncosports.com about Darren's performance.
Darren had a really nice day,” Petersen said. “He was playing physical and much faster, and he was nice and disruptive today.
On a defense with so many holes to fill, a fast, physical player is just what the doctor ordered. If Koontz can do his things all season long and get the help he is expected to get on the D-line, the Broncos could continue to field a dominating defense.
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Linebacker Tommy Smith is making some noise in camp. He had a notable interception the third day of practice and has looked sharp.
On the first Wednesday of training camp Smith was named "camper of the day." Coach Petersen had some good things to say about Smith according to Broncosports.com.
He’s really worked hard all camp,” said Petersen. “He works hard during each rep at practice and he’s going to be a nice backer for us this fall.
Look for Smith and the rest of the linebackers to keep battling it out for starting jobs. Coach Petersen loves competition, and his philosophy seems to be to keep those guys competing as long as possible in camp, believing it will create an excellent starting core and solid backups.
Look for Smith to give it all he has to prove he is worthy to be out on the field for the Broncos in 2012.
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J.C. Percy is a name Bronco fans know very well. A redshirt senior, Percy is an in-state player that has had a very productive career as a Bronco.
When most Bronco fans hear his name, they might think he has been a starter. However, Percy has only had six starts in his three season of action. He had three starts in both his freshman and sophomore seasons, but didn't start last year.
This year Percy figures to be a huge part of that rebuilt Boise State defense.
Day 10 of the Broncos training camp brought a "camper of the day" selection for Percy, and according to Broncosports.com coach Petersen was quite pleased with his progress.
J.C. is doing a great job inside,” Petersen said. “He knows this defense inside and out, and he plays as hard as anyone we have on the roster.
With his experience, knowledge and leadership, Percy will be a key for the success of the Boise State defense.