For the third consecutive year, we are going to preview the top players on Boise State’s roster. To clarify, this is not who we think the top ten players on the roster will be at the end of the season or who we think the most important players are, but the most skilled players entering the season. We will be previewing one player each week heading into the season. This week is number nine.
Zach: The ninth most talented player on the Boise State roster is JL Skinner. Skinner was a highly sought out recruit out of the San Diego area and brought size and strength to the safety position. Out of high school, he drew comparisons to former Bronco safety George Illoka.
Skinner stepped into a starting role as a sophomore. He drew as much praise from the coaches leading into the season as any player I can remember. He followed it up with what many thought was a disappointing season. There were games where Skinner made poor reads against the run and struggled in pass coverage.
Skinner did show flashes with a great interception against Colorado State and made some huge hits. He will flourish under Andy Avalos who recruited Skinner out of high school. Skinner has the size to be an NFL safety, and I expect him to take a step in that direction this year.
Danny: Coming it at number nine on the “most talented” list for 2021 is Super Senior Riley Whimpey. The fifth-year senior is an unquestioned leader off the field for the Broncos and a playmaker on the field. Whimpey totaled 61 tackles in seven games for Boise State in 2020. He added 7.5 tackle-for-loss and a sack as well.
In total, Whimpey has played in 38 games for the Broncos and has recorded 213 tackles, 18.5 tackles-for-loss, 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. With a monster year, Whimpey has a chance to sneak onto the top ten career tackles list for Boise State.
Riley Whimpey is not the flashiest athlete on the Boise State roster, but he has been incredibly solid and reliable throughout his Boise State career. His fifth year on campus could be his best as the dedicated Bronco aims to elevate his legacy with the Broncos.