This Week at the Diggity’s – Holiday Edition (Santa Needs An Umbrella Here)

It’s almost Christmas.  Do you know what that means?  That means that you may have Boise State stuff from Santa. That also means it’s closer to December 31st and the Broncos can Fiesta.  While we’re waiting, you can enjoy another installment of This Week at the Diggity’s.  Well, if you’re up for it.

Christmas season is obviously in full swing so I put together a list of holiday shows I’ve watched – Elf (x2), Christmas Vacation, The Grinch That Stole Christmas (Jim Carrey), The Santa Clause 1, 2, & 3, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, The Polar Express, Michael Bublé’s Christmas in New York, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer….

rudolph

Once again, Apple made a holiday commercial that made me tear up. Stupid feels….With all the “Coach of the Year” awards Coach Harsin is up for, I’m surprised anyone is even talking about Coach Pete anymore….As lazy as this sounds, I don’t like fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt because I don’t like the task of mixing it up. You do it, Dannon! It will make it worth the dollar I paid for it….We watched “Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon”. I realized that we were just watching YouTube on tv with a C-List host interjecting badly written jokes. How fun for us….I think both the Mrs. and I were disappointed in this year’s tease of “The Sing Off”. We dig the acapella music as much as the person and have watched every incarnation of the show. This year, no Ben Folds and only one episode.  You’re giving me a watered down, commercial-ridden version, NBC. Thanks for that….I held out the smallest glimmer of hope that Jay Ajayi would come back for his Senior season.  Good luck in the NFL, Jay Train! P.S. We know who the REAL MWC Offensive Player of the Year is.

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As always, I love to put a song of the week in the column and I like to make it somewhat relevant to what’s going on.  So of course you’re going to get a Christmas song. Enjoy!

I realize that this is kind of a short column this week. I’m gonna use the “work is killing me” excuse this time around. I mean, it’s the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” at the USPS so give me this one.  Mrs. Diggity and I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas this week.  If you’re in to that.  Whatever you do, enjoy the family time.  See you next week.

Jay Ajayi and a Brief History of Boise State Players in the NFL

With the news that Jay Ajayi has decided to enter the NFL draft, I decided to do some research on the history of Boise State players in the NFL. You can peruse all the information at Pro Football Reference, but here are some interesting facts and tidbits:

  • Jay Ajayi is the fifth Boise State player to declare for the NFL draft after their Junior season.  The other four were Orlando Scandrick (5th round), Jeremy Childs (un-drafted), Ryan Clady (1st round) and Demarcus Lawrence (2nd Round).
  • Ajayi will be the 6th Boise State running back to play in the NFL.  The other five were Cedric Minter, David Hughes, John Francis, Brock Forsey, and Doug Martin.
  • Boise State has had 63 players play in the NFL
  • Doug Martin has scored the most touchdowns with 15.
  • Kimo von Oelhoffen played for the most years (14) and in the most games (198)
  • Dave Wilcox played the most years as his team’s primary starter (11)
  • Wilcox also leads all Broncos in the NFL with 11 Pro-Bowl selections and is the only Bronco in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • Darrel Aschbacher was the first ever Bronco to play in the NFL with the Eagles in 1959.
  • John Wilcox was the first Bronco ever drafted.  He was picked in the 15th round by the Eagles in 1960.
  • Dave Wilcox was drafted by two teams in 1964 – The San Francisco 49ers of the NFL drafted him in the 3rd round while the Houston Oilers of the AFL drafted him in the 6th.  He signed with the 49ers and played his entire career there.
  • Aschbacher, John Wilcox, and Dave Wilcox all attended Boise Junior College and were drafted out of the Univeristy of Oregon.
  • Faddie Tillman was the first player ever drafted out of Boise State University (10th round by the Atlanta Falcons).
  • Ryan Clady is the highest drafted player from Boise State.  He was taken with the 12th pick of the 2008 draft.  Boise State has had four first round draft picks (Clady, Shea McClellin, Doug Martin, Kyle Wilson).
  • Two of the top five players in years played were un-drafted free agents.  Quintin Mikell played for 11 seasons and Chris Carr played for nine.
  • Position wise, Boise State really is DBU – there have been more DB’s on active Rosters than any other position at 16.  Linebacker is next with eight players.
  • Kellen Moore is the only QB to ever be on an active roster.
  • Alphabetically, Gerald Alexander is first while Jon Zogg is last.

Good luck to Jay!  We were lucky to have him at Boise State and I am sure he will represent Bronco Nation well in the NFL!

My Favorite BSU Football Players & Why

I have been writing for Blue Turf Nation now for over three years. For some reason, it never really occurred to me to just write a quick list of my favorite players of all time from Boise State. So I figured why not now? Here is my list of favorite BSU players based on what I like as a fan.

brock_forsey1.) Brock Forsey – Brock was the first superstar player I ever really attached to as a fan. As a kid, Brock did it all, punt returns, caught the ball, ran for touchdowns. It was easy to be excited and love everything he did on the field. The guy never quit fighting for yards and ended up in the NFL when it was uncommon for Bronco players. There has been a lot of debate around who is the best RB to ever play at Boise State. But for me, no player will ever be regarded as highly as Brock Forsey.

 

quintin_mikel2.) Quintin Mikell – Another guy who made it into the NFL out of BSU when it wasn’t the “norm”. Mikell was a star player and fun to watch on “The Blue”. But he takes the #2 spot because after the Humanitarian Bowl, he came to the North Endzone where I was sitting with my Dad at the time and gave me a high-five. For a kid, that changes everything and you never forget your first moment like that. Really, looking back, Mikell doing that, probably made me the die-hard fan I am still to this day.

 

406299_169784373127556_169539846485342_237299_592153088_n3.) Kellen Moore – I really don’t have to elaborate on Kellen Moore. For most people he is #1 on their list. Kellen was and is special. He symbolized everything a Bronco should be. He was the blue-collar kid who dominated the world. He also wore the same number as I did growing up #11. Chances are, Kellen will hold the top spot for a QB on my list for the foreseeable future.

 

ian-johnson-nfl-draft4.) Ian Johnson – 2006 was an incredible year for all the reasons we will always remember. But I don’t think any RB has ever had a season at BSU like IJ did that year. People forget quickly how his sophomore season was like nothing we, or really anybody had ever seen before. Ian that year averaged 6.2 yards PER CARRY. Let me say that again, 6.2 yards PER CARRY. He ran for over 140 yards in 6 games, and over 150 in 4 of them. Not to mention he did it on a battered body that included a punctured lung at one point. People can remember the proposal, but I dare anybody to find a performance more impressive than what IJ did against Oregon State. That sophomore season makes him an easy #4 for me.

 

p1.boise.zabransky5.) Jared Zabransky – A lot of people have mixed feelings about “Z”. I however hold him near and dear because he was born in Hermiston, Oregon. That alone would seem odd to matter if it wasn’t for the fact I was also born in Hermiston. My grandparents also go to church with his in Pendleton which is pretty cool. It is rare to have those kind of connections to a player so it really didn’t matter what Zabransky did or didn’t do on the field, because frankly he was always going to have a spot on my list.

 

Jay+Ajayi+UNLV+v+Boise+State+9WID3vGjQOTl6.) Jay Ajayi- For everything Brock and Ian did on the field Jay has pretty much done the same. Ajayi’s year this season has been incredible and you won’t find a more well rounded RB. I love the “Jay-Train” and the way Jay plays the game, he runs hard, and falls forward. If he has a massive day against Arizona, he might just climb my list.

 

Jeron-Johnson7.) Jeron Johnson - The guy just wrecked people on the field… I am tempted to just leave it at that because that is why I loved him. I have never seen a player at BSU hit the way Jeron hit guys. He put legitimate fear in opposing teams, and I am not sure Russell Hill ever was the same after this. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iPUuoEAVfg). If you love football, you loved every moment you watched Jeron Johnson on “The Blue”.

 

KW+FIESTA8.) Kyle Wilson – Kyle Wilson had a bus with a giant picture of himself on it that his family drove around to promote him. Just saying that sounds bad, but Wilson backed it up every single time he laced up the cleats. He was “swagger” personified and the best ball-hawking CB I have seen in recent years. I loved watching Wilson wag his finger after defending a pass, and the hit he laid on Andy Dalton on the Fiesta Bowl will never be forgotten.  It is actually hard for me to have Wilson this low to be honest.

 

6e5fa55af879c96bac1da8bea3349b162fabb6b59.) Dempsey Dees – I don’t remember watching Dempsey play at BSU honestly. (I was just too young) But I remember his stats, and the fact he averaged an interception every other game at one point. I also loved CB’s and thought it was awesome we had one who was that successful at BSU. For whatever reason, because of that, he was always one of my favorites despite having a foggy memory of the actual plays he made.

 

 

doug-martin-alex-ibiloye-2010-1-4-23-41-2010.) Doug Martin - Doug was just awesome to watch play football. I still have not seen a RB at BSU finish runs with the pure force and anger Doug did. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiiT6WHYAzo) Martin had a knack for making big plays and had the best nickname in BSU history. Honestly, Doug belongs on most BSU fans top 10 list.

 

Honorable Mentions:
Korey Hall – Daryn Colledge – Ryan Dinwiddie

So Bronco Nation, who is your top 10 favorite players?

What They Are Saying – Jay Ajayi Part I

For all those who have followed our website for awhile, you know I love the NFL draft process. Even more, I love watching Boise State players take on the NFL and impressing scouts. Last season, I started this column on Demarcus Lawrence, “What They are Saying” where I give BSU fans all the current info I can find on current players who maybe/are going into the NFL.

Jump to today, and the question is now being asked about Jay Ajayi, will he stay, or will he go? A lot of the debate that is going on right now between Bronco fans is what is Jay’s value, and where would he would go in the draft? So to help everybody out, I thought I would start the series early this year and let everybody know, what people are saying about Jay Ajayi.

NFL Draft Scouts (http://www.nfldraftscout.com)
Current Position Rank: 7
Total Rank: 77 out of 2513
Projected Draft Round: 2-3
NFL Draft ScoutsBucky Brooks from NFL.com’s take from December 1st. (Full Story Here)

Bucky Brooks

CBS Sports RB Rankings: (Full List Here)
Current Position Rank: 8
Total Rank: 77

CBSSportsTweet Regarding Ajayi’s future:

Take all the conjecture, and bias out of it, and there you have it. That is what the experts are saying as of right now. Jay Ajayi looks to have a bright future wherever he goes. As we get closer to the NFL Draft, and an official choice is made by Jay, I will bring you “Part II”.

One More

A year ago, the word pee-gate hadn’t yet entered Boise State lexicon. Coach Petersen had left, and the current senior class was trying to hold down the fort going into to what would ultimately be a rather lacking performance versus Oregon State in Hawaii. Bronco Nation was in turmoil, obsessively tracking a coaching search online and hoping for the AD to make the right choice.

12 short months later, after a year of unfathomable growth (recruiting victories, the dawn of the social media era in Boise, the program opening up to people outside of the complex, allowing fans to really feel like part of things, and the never ending march of improvement during the season), we’re headed back to have ourselves a little Fiesta vs. the Arizona Wildcats.

Does Boise State have some issues to take care of? Sure does. Will it all get worked through and improved, just like the team has done with every other challenge in front of them this season? Confidence is easy to find on a day like today in Boise. Fiesta Bowl trophies cure a lot of ills.

Just like the Mountain West Championship, the opponent has any bearing on how this Fiesta Bowl is going to go. The Broncos have a month to prepare for an Arizona team that might be so demoralized by what happened in the Pac 12 champ game and by ending up in a “no-win bowl,” that they’ll under prepare and be taught a lesson in Glendale.

Grant Hedrick has grown up in front of us this season. He has demonstrated his ability to bounce back, whether from monster hits in the Ole Miss game or all the turnovers against Air Force to being the player of the game in the MWC championship game and the most accurate passer in the country. Jay Ajayi has proven himself as one of the greatest running backs in Boise State history, with great potential to start on Sundays. Matt Miller acted like a grown man through adversity that has broken lesser people and also will likely be playing in the league for a lucky team. The offensive line did a great job of playing big. Rees Odihambo had some truly memorable blocking and Marcus Henry stepped up to be another in the line of excellent Boise State centers. Shane Williams-Rhodes has played like a dangerous man and given us the gift of screen grabs from the sideline of the SDSU game. Jeremy McNichols + corners has given Bronco Nation enough joy to power the north pole through the holiday season.

Boise State’s defense has also done great things. Kamalei Correa has TEN SACKS on the season. 8 different Broncos have forced fumbles. Darian Thompson has seven interceptions! Donte Deayon has five! Tanner Vallejo got 42 tackles! Hell, #DeadCenterDan had three! The defensive line played very well against the run game for most of the season. If Boise State shows up at the Fiesta Bowl playing the type of defense that they did in the first half against Fresno, well, Arizona is going to be a bunch of sad kitties. Coach Yates and his crew have exceeded expectations, and truly proven themselves to be right back in that vein of shutdown Bronco defense more often than not this season.

What does a third Fiesta Bowl mean? It means playing for pride. Taking down yet another P5 school who thinks the matchup is a no-win situation. It means more hardware in Boise. It means recruiting bumps and enrollment bumps and all of those things that Boise State is going to have to do to keep moving forward.

It also means, definitively, that Boise State is greater than one man. Bronco Nation is taught this lesson over and over again. Coach Harsin knows it. His assistants know it. The alumni know it, the players know it, and Bronco Nation’s newest members are coming to understand. Boise State isn’t about flash and tricks and gimmicks. It’s not one coach, it’s all of them. The man who grew up here, played optimist ball on The Blue, fought and clawed his way for everything he’s gotten, was vindicated for believing in this place last night. All of us were. It wasn’t about Fresno. It’s not about Arizona. It’s not about Resource 5 vs. Power Program. What Boise State is about is belief in the ability to get better. To always improve. Doing the correct things, preparing the correct way, having a good mindset and working harder than everyone will pay off. Never flinch, never falter, and learn the lesson when failure happens. That is Boise. That is Idaho. That is the essence of this place.

Go Broncos. Bleed blue, and attack that future. This one is for all the Vizios.