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 five.
Zach: Number five is headlined by one of the emotional leaders on the Bronco defense. Riley Whimpey is returning for another senior season and is expected to be a key contributor. Whimpey was All-Mountain West Second Team in 2019. The experienced linebacker will return for his fifth year of eligibility having already compiled 216 tackles. Big things are expected out of Whimpey this season; he should be a dark horse contender for Mountain West defensive player of the year.
Danny: We have made it past the halfway mark on the top-10 most talented Broncos list. Coming in at number five is Junior Safety JL Skinner. At 6’4 and nearly 220 pounds, Skinner is an athletic monster. He started playing as a true freshman and started all six games in the truncated 2020 season. Skinner finished the year with 37 tackles, 1.5 tackles-for-loss, and a rare interception for the Broncos.
With Skinner’s size, speed, and strength he MUST be on any list ranking Boise State’s most talented football players. The scary thing for Bronco opponents is that Skinner is just barely scratching the surface of his talent. He should wreak havoc on the Mountain West Conference in 2021.
Beyond the obvious physical tools and athletic ability, Skinner seem to be moving with a little more confidence and swagger this offseason. He’s acknowledged that the new coaching staff has brought a new energy and it just “feels” like he’s more comfortable and confident entering his third season at Boise State (the addition of legendary Bronco safety Jeron Johnson doesn’t hurt either). Put it all together and Skinner may find himself at the top of this list in 2022.