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 eight.
Zach: The eighth most talented player on the Boise State roster is Ezekiel Noa. Noa has been hampered by injuries for much of his Boise State career, but his physicality is a key component of a Boise State defense that has lofty expectations entering the 2021 season. Noa had his best season during the COVID shortened season with 40 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss. Noa was one of the few Broncos to appear in all seven games. Despite the short season, Noa posted career highs in tackles and tackles for loss.
Noa took steps in the right direction by staying healthy and improving his reads during the COVID shortened season. Now he must take the next step by improving in pass coverage and avoiding missed tackles. Noa and Riley Whimpey should be one of the most formidable linebacker tandems in the league.
Danny: Coming in at number eight on the list is Hank Bachmeier. Bachmeier has been the Broncos starting quarterback for the past two seasons but injuries, illness, and a shortened 2020 season have affected his career so far.
Dubbed Hurricane Hank in the lead up to his first start, a hastily moved game against Florida State, Bachmeier showed Bronco Nation his massive talent in a thrilling come-from-behind victory in a true road game against a “power 5” opponent.
Since then, he has had an up-and-down run as a Bronco. One the one hand, Bachmeier is 11-2 as a starter. On the other hand, he has missed eight of 21 games in his career and has thrown just 15 touchdowns against 8 interceptions in 13 games.
Coming into the 2021 season, Bachmeier is locked in a quarterback competition with another talented passer, Jack Sears. With a new staff under the direction of offensive coordinator Tim Plough, it is possible Bachmeier, number eight on this list, does not even start for the Broncos.
Time will tell, but for now, the presumed starter has a chance to make waves in the new “Shredsville” offense. The 2021 season will tell the tale of Bachmeier’s Boise State Legacy.
What do you guys think of the countdown so far? Who would you place in the top ten?