D.J. HARPER, TAILBACK
The Boise State senior has perfected a tackle-breaking spin move this season one that seems to be his go-to move any time a defender tries to grab his leg in the open field.
He broke at least two tackles with it last week and spun away from a defender on a 28-yard touchdown against Fresno State.
Its just instinct; it just happens, Harper said. Its kind of always been there. It was never the right time to use it. It just so happens Im always being turned that way and the spin works out perfectly.
Harper ranks seventh in the Mountain West with 89.1 rushing yards per game and is on pace to meet his goal of a 1,000-yard campaign. Hes third in scoring with 11 touchdowns and two two-point conversions. He also has 15 catches for 115 yards and averages 26.9 yards on kickoff returns.
After five years spent mostly as a role player, he is thrilled by his chance to be the star. He also missed most of two seasons with knee injuries.
Every now and then I kind of sit back and look at the position Im in, he said. Im really excited for it. Im happy. Im glad that Im healthy and having a good season. Its really meant a lot to me. Now that its happening, I just want to take it in stride and enjoy every moment of it.
SHANE WILLIAMS-RHODES, WIDE RECEIVER
The Broncos keep finding new ways to use their 154-pound, true freshman playmaker. Last week he made a couple appearances in the backfield and busted a 28-yard touchdown run.
He has 177 yards from scrimmage on 28 touches nearly all at or behind the line. Thats an average of 6.3 yards.
Hes an explosive player, tailback D.J. Harper said. Any time he gets the ball hes definitely a threat to take it the whole entire way whether its catching the ball or running out of the backfield.
BEAU MARTIN, DEFENSIVE END
Martin started the season opener at Michigan State but slipped down the depth chart to No. 3 at the stud end spot, behind redshirt freshman Sam Ukwuachu and junior Kharyee Marshall.
Martin, a sophomore transfer, recorded his first sack and forced a fumble last week after Marshall was injured. Marshall is questionable, so Martins role could be expanded this week, too.
He has eight tackles.
Its been a season of ups and downs, Martin said. It all comes down to practice. When I practice well and really focus in on my assignment and doing my job, it translates to the game.