Boise State's #94 senior LB Byron Hout
, 6-0 239 lbs, is hard and tough, and has a face like a clenched fist---at least when he's out there playing on the field. That's because it's a face filled with grit and determination, and an indomintable spirit that sets the example for all Boise State players. He was a defensive standout last Saturday against Air Force and recorded a single game career high of 18 tackles (8 solo and 10 assists) in the Broncos' win over the Falcons. That earned him the honor of being named a Mountain West Conference Player of the Week.
Before this week Hout was certainly no stranger to Bronco fans. They are used to hearing his name called on the field following a big defensive play. Outside of Bronco Nation, many people only recall Hout's name from two years ago when Oregon's LeGarrette Blount landed the infamous sucker-punch following Boise State's 19-8 thrashing of the Oregon Ducks
in September 2009. But Hout was making a name for himself long before that nasty incident took place. The Lake City H.S. standout from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho had a stellar High School career before joining the Broncos in 2008, and it has only gotten better since then.
Hout appeared in 10 Boise State games as a freshman in 2008 and had more playing time as the season progressed. He finished the regular season with 27 tackles (14 solo), including six tackles-for-loss and four sacks. He also had a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and recored his first career interception in the Poinsettia Bowl, which he returned 62 yards. That year he was named to the WAC All-Academic Team.
As a sophomore in 2009, he was a back-up DE who played in all 14 games for Boise State. He recorded 27 tackles on the season (15 solo), and posted two sacks. Seven of those sacks were against Virginia Tech where he made a profound statement in the 33-30 Boise State win . He was once again named to the WAC All-Academic Team.
Last season, 2010, he moved from defensive end to middle linebacker and started in the Broncos’ first nine games at that position. Finally, a foot injury suffered at Idaho ended his junior season, but not before he registered 34 tackles (14 solo), including 4 tackles-for-loss and another sack. And even with that injury, Hout was still named second-team All-Western Athletic Conference.
Even though he did not get to play in the Georgia game this year in Atlanta, he only needs one tackle to match last year's total tackles. That comes from the past six games where this outstanding player has racked up 33 tackles, with 15 solo and 18 assists.
Hout continues to hone his football skills. Off the field, he's the more soft-spoken lineman that displays the qualities of leadership and indomitable spirit that set him apart from other players. He sets the example for the younger players with his displays excellence and maturing character. And there is every chance that those skills might yet carry him beyond the college ranks and into the pros.