LEON MCFADDEN, CORNERBACK
McFadden turned down scholarship offers from Washington, Washington State and BYU in part because San Diego State wanted him to play wide receiver. I wanted to be scoring touchdowns, he said. I wanted to be part of the hype.
Hes doing both of those things but hes doing them at cornerback, after all. He switched positions two weeks into his first fall camp, started six games as a true freshman in 2009 and has developed into one of the Mountain Wests best players. He was named the preseason defensive player of the year.
Hes very talented, very tough, very instinctual, Boise State wide receiver Matt Miller said. I think it has to do with his film study how he breaks on those routes and how he plays the receiver, its pretty cool to watch. ... Were always going to have to know where hes at, be very smart with what we do with our routes and not give him any tips early in our routes.
McFadden ranks second in the Mountain West in passes defended with three interceptions (two for touchdowns) and nine pass breakups. He has eight interceptions and 36 pass breakups in his career.
Hes made a lot of our receivers and myself better, San Diego State quarterback Adam Dingwell said. Hes got a nose for the ball, and hes very physical for a corner.
GAVIN ESCOBAR, TIGHT END
The 6-foot-6, 255-pound junior is the Aztecs leading receiver and hes a playmaker, too. He has 30 catches for 425 yards and five touchdowns with an average of 14.2 yards per grab.
Last year, Escobar made 51 catches for 780 yards (15.3 average) and seven TDs to earn All-Mountain West honors. He burned Boise State for eight catches, 113 yards and two TDs.
Great hands he can catch, Boise State cornerback Jamar Taylor said. He can go over defenders. Deep balls, short balls, breaks tackles hes all-around probably one of the best tight ends well face all year.
ADAM DINGWELL, QUARTERBACK
The sophomore will make his second college start. He replaced the injured Ryan Katz in the first quarter two weeks ago at Nevada, led the upset victory and made his first start in last weeks win against UNLV.
He has produced the same efficient passing attack as Katz.
Its almost like the same guy, Boise State linebackers coach Bob Gregory said. I dont think they fall off at all with the new guy.