Rashard Higgins, wide receiver
He’s been called “Hollywood” since his peewee days — and Higgins showed the nation why last season.
He finished with 1,750 receiving yards, 17 receiving touchdowns, 18.2 yards per catch and a nine-game streak of 100-yard performances, all of which were FBS bests. He was named a consensus All-American and one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the nation’s top wide receiver. The other two finalists — Amari Cooper and Kevin White — were NFL first-round draft picks.
With a new quarterback, Higgins has remained productive this year. He has 30 grabs for 426 yards and four touchdowns in four games (he missed one with an injury). He has more than twice as many receiving yards as any other Ram and is on a three-game streak of 100-yard outings.
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“He’s a top-level player, and they’re going to find ways to get him the ball,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said.
Higgins made 11 catches for 143 yards last year against Boise State. Cornerback Donte Deayon didn’t play in that game because of injury.
“He’s as good as advertised,” Boise State defensive backs coach Julius Brown said. “We have to go out and play our absolute best to have a chance to stick with him. ... He has unbelievable hands. If he gets his hands on the ball, it’s getting caught.”
Nick Stevens, quarterback
The sophomore leads the Mountain West in passing yards (1,129) and touchdown passes (10) but completes just 55.6 percent of his passes and has thrown five interceptions. Freshman backup Coleman Key has completed 69.6 percent of his passes and has an efficiency rating 31 points higher in limited action, putting some pressure on Stevens.
“We’re growing as an offense,” Stevens said. “We’ve had ups and downs. We’ve had a lot of mistakes in close games. We’ve still been in them despite penalties or turnovers. ... I’m excited to see when we get past those.”
Kevin Davis, linebacker
The junior leads the Mountain West with 7.5 tackles for loss. He’s tied for the team lead with 36 tackles.
Davis only has four career starts. Before this season, he had 2.5 career tackles for loss. He has produced 1.5 tackles for loss in every game this season.