Boise State Football: Meet the Broncos' 14 New Starters for 2013
When you look at the numbers it is hard to believe that Boise State is not in a rebuilding year.
However, when diving into the data, it's clear that many of the new starters for the Broncos this season are very talented and have some playing time experience.
Overall, Boise State will have at least 14 new starters combined.
In total, there will be six new faces on offense getting the starting nod and seven on defense. The other starter to bring the total to 14 is a brand new field goal kicker.
Let's take a closer look at each of these players, and try to determine what it all means for head coach Chris Petersen and his team in 2013.
Running Back Jay Ajayi
Position: Running Back
Player Replacing: D.J. Harper
For the 2013 football season to be successful for Boise State, it has to start with the running game.
Last season D.J. Harper did a great job for the Broncos, but they did struggle at times, especially in the opener against Michigan State when they were able to gain only 37 yards on the ground.
This season however, look for a great start rushing the ball and look for Jay Ajayi to have a great season.
Jay Ajayi set a school record last season for yards-per-carry. He averaged 6.68 yards every time he touched the ball. This season, he looks to be in better shape, and all of Bronco Nation has to be excited to see what he can do.
Wide Receiver Geraldo Boldewijn
Position: Wide Receiver
Player Replacing: Chris Potter
Geraldo Boldewijn has missed opening games the last two seasons because of issues relating to improper benefits from his high school host family.
This season however, he seems to have been much wiser in that area, and finally fans of the Broncos get to see him in the first game of the year.
Boldewijn is tall and fast, and has the ability to stretch the field. That alone will help Boise State step up their passing game all season long.
Tight End Gabe Linehan
Position: Tight End
Player Replacing: Chandler Koch
Gabe Linehan has battled injuries in past years, but when he is healthy he is quite the weapon.
Look for Linehan to do some good things this season as a senior. He has the experience, the talent, the hands and the attitude to step it up.
The only question for the senior tight end is if he can stay healthy. If he does, opposing defenses are going to have a hard time shutting him down.
Left Guard Spencer Gerke
Position: Left Offensive Guard
Player Replacing: Joe Kellogg
Spencer Gerke actually started six games for Boise State last season. Twice he started at left guard, for the player he is replacing, and the other four times he started were at right guard.
Look for him to be part of a very good offensive line in 2013.
Right Guard Marcus Henry
Position: Right Offensive Guard
Player Replacing: Michael Ames
Redshirt sophomore Marcus Henry should do a great job for the Broncos as a starter. However, he may get all the competition he can handle from redshirt freshman Mario Yakoo.
Yakoo is a big, strong and talented player who looks ready to play.
It will be interesting to see if Henry holds on to this starting spot by the time the season rolls around.
Right Tackle Rees Odhiambo
Position: Right Offensive Tackle
Player Replacing: Brenel Myers
Rees Odhiambo is a young and somewhat inexperienced offensive lineman, but he did see playing time in six games last season.
The Idaho Press-Tribune reported that Odhiambo had "been mentioned by coaches and teammates more than any other player during the first week of fall camp."
He looks very much ready to play in 2013.
Defensive Tackle/Defensive End Tyler Horn
Position: Defensive Tackle
Player Replacing: Darren Koontz or Sam Ukwuachu
Tyler Horn is very athletic and extremely versatile. So much so, that he may be the starter either at defensive tackle or STUD end.
It all depends on where the Broncos need him the most.
If young players step up inside or out on the end, it will allow the coaching staff to use Horn the way it chooses. Either way, he is going to be an excellent starter for the Broncos this season.
Player to Be Named Later
As previously mentioned, Tyler Horn will either be the starting defensive tackle or the STUD end, but he can't be both.
In whatever way the coaching staff chooses to utilize Horn, that will then determine who will fill the vacant spot—or the other way around.
If that spot is STUD end, the starter might be a true freshman.
Freshmen Gabe Perez and Kamalei Correa are possible starters who look good so far this fall, but so do senior Kharyee Marshall and redshirt freshman Sam McCaskill.
Weak-Side Linebacker Tyler Gray
Position: Weak-Side Linebacker
Player Replacing: JC Percy
How do you replace JC Percy?
That is the question coaches for the Broncos will try to answer. They will do so, it seems, with a solid backup from last season.
Tyler Gray looks ready to start. He should be able to be a huge contributor in 2013. He played in all 13 games last season, and he racked up 27 tackles on the year.
Middle Linebacker Blake Renaud
Position: Middle Linebacker
Player Replacing: Tommy Smith
Tommy Smith is another linebacker that will be difficult to replace.
However, Blake Renaud is poised to step it up in a big way. Last season, as a backup, Renaud played in every game and finished sixth on the team in tackles.
He is poised to be a leader this season, and that bodes well for the Broncos.
Renaud is a hard-hitting player that flies around the field. He is fun to watch, unless you are on the opposing team.
Look for him to cause havoc all season long.
Strong-Side Linebacker Jonathan Brown
Position: Strong-Side Linebacker
Player Replacing: Dextrell Simmons
This position used to be called nickel for the Broncos, but in 2013 it will be known as "strong-side linebacker."
Boise State has some great young talent at this position, but it is a redshirt senior who starts for now.
Jonathan Brown is penciled in as the starter, but that could change.
Junior Corey Bell will be the backup. He actually started three games last season at this spot. Look for him and others to compete for the chance to be the first-team guy.
The competition should produce a solid starter.
Cornerback Bryan Douglas
Player Replacing: Jerrell Gavins
Bryan Douglas started three times last season at cornerback. This season, he will be asked to do quite a bit more.
Corner will be a key position for the Broncos in 2013 as they will face some powerful passing attacks all season long.
Douglas will be backed up by redshirt freshman Chaz Anderson, and the Broncos will certainly need both of them to play at the top of their game this year.
Cornerback Donte Deayon
Player Replacing: Jamar Taylor
Donte Deayon played in five games and started at corner a single time last season as a true freshman. That start came at Nevada, and Deayon did a great job.
He also did a great job backing up Jerrell Gavins, and he looks ready to start.
He will be challenged by junior Deon'tae Florence for the starting job, but no matter who gets the nod, the two of them should be a great combination in 2013.
Kicker Dan Goodale
Position: Field Goal Kicker
Player Replacing: Michael Frisina
Boise State finished the 2013 season with a game-winning field goal. Which, for Broncos fans, had to be a nice thing to see considering past kicking woes.
This season however, Michael Frisina is gone and a new kicker must step up.
Enter Dan Goodale.
Goodale was actually the starting kicker for most of 2011, but he missed some key kicks, including one against TCU that could have given the Broncos a win.
This year Goodale looks like a totally different guy. He is kicking with strength, accuracy and most importantly, confidence. That all points to a solid kicking game for Boise State in 2013.