Two players with Idaho ties, former Boise State Bronco offensive lineman Matt Paradis and former Idaho Vandal safety Shiloh Keo, won Super Bowl rings with the Denver Broncos last February.
Seven such former players are among the eight NFL teams still left in the playoffs, which resume this weekend with the divisional round. Six are from Boise State, while Benson Mayowa (Cowboys) played at Idaho. Here’s a look at those still playing:
TYRONE CRAWFORD, DL, COWBOYS
After missing the last two games with a shoulder injury, Crawford is expected to play Sunday against the Packers. After signing a big contract last fall, he has started in 14 games, making 4.5 sacks this season.
JERON JOHNSON, S, SEAHAWKS
Cut by the Chiefs in training camp, Johnson rejoined his old team in Seattle last month and has played a strong role on special teams, making five tackles in four games. He had this nice hit against the Lions last weekend:
DeMARCUS LAWRENCE, DL, COWBOYS
Like Crawford, Lawrence has battled an injury, missing the last three games with a hurt back that may require surgery, but he also is expected to return. The 2014 second-rounder was suspended the first four games of the season and has made 11 tackles with one sack and a forced fumble in nine games (three starts).
BENSON MAYOWA, DL, COWBOYS
The former Vandal signed with Dallas this offseason and has been a pleasant surprise, outproducing the former Broncos on the line with six sacks and a forced fumble in 13 games (six starts).
SHEA McCLELLIN, LB, PATRIOTS
Following four tough seasons with the Bears, McClellin joined the Patriots this season and has excelled in a mostly backup role. McClellin has played in 14 games, making four starts, and has made 41 tackles, his second-most in an NFL season. He also had a nice 69-yard fumble return against Miami in the regular season finale and has blocked an extra point and this field goal against the Ravens.
REES ODHIAMBO, OL, SEAHAWKS
Inactive for all but one of the first 10 games, the rookie has appeared in seven straight games, and is listed as the backup at right guard, left guard and left tackle.
ORLANDO SCANDRICK, CB, COWBOYS
Hobbled by injuries, the ninth-year pro has still been productive in the 12 games he’s played (10 starts), picking up 46 tackles (including two sacks), an interception and a career-best three forced fumbles.
Note: Former Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore is on injured reserve with the Cowboys, missing all of this season with a broken bone in his leg. Teams often, but not always, give Super Bowl rings to players on IR.
Here’s the NFL playoff schedule for this weekend:
Seattle at Atlanta, 2:35 p.m. (FOX)
Houston at New England, 6:15 p.m. (CBS)
Pittsburgh at Kansas City, 11 a.m. (NBC)
Green Bay at Dallas, 2:40 p.m. (FOX)
The Boise State football team lost an in-state commitment for the second time in a month Thursday.
Zeke Birch, a 6-foot-5, 270-pound defensive end from Madison High in Rexburg, tweeted “I have decommitted from Boise State.” Birch was a likely grayshirt candidate, and has received offers from Idaho State and Weber State in recent weeks.
On Dec. 12, Highland High (Pocatello) defensive end Aisa Kelemete decommitted from the Broncos and flipped to Washington State. Signing day is Feb. 1.
Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman reported Thursday night that former Boise State defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox is in negotiations to become the new head coach at Cal. Wilcox was with the Broncos from 2001-02 as a graduate assistant and was the coordinator from 2006-09. He was Cal’s linebackers coach from 2003-05, Tennessee’s defensive coordinator from 2010-11, Washington’s DC from 2012-13, USC’s DC from 2014-15 and spent last season as Wisconsin’s DC. The Badgers were No. 7 in total defense, No. 4 in scoring defense and No. 8 in turnovers created.
Former Boise State assistant Mike Sanford was hired in December as Western Kentucky’s head coach. He brought in Boise State receivers coach Junior Adams as his offensive coordinator. Wilcox, with plenty of ties to Boise State, may mine the Broncos for his staff, too.
BOISE STATE 2017 COMMITMENTS
SIGNED AND ON CAMPUS
▪ S Mike Young, 6-0, 205, Dodge City CC (Raytown, Mo.)
▪ QB Rathen Ricedorff, 6-1, 200, Mesa CC (Show Low, Ariz.)
▪ OL John Ojukwu, 6-6, 285, Boise HS
▪ DB Marques Evans, 6-1, 180, Newbury Park (Calif.) HS
▪ OL Zach Troughton, 6-5, 310, Butte College (Maxwell, Calif.)
VERBALLY COMMITTED, EXPECTED TO SIGN FEB. 1
▪ OT Mike Young, 6-6, 335, Queen Creek (Ariz.) HS
▪ LB Breydon Boyd, 6-4, 215, Katy (Texas) HS
▪ QB Chase Cord, 6-3, 185, Sunrise Mountain High (Peoria, Ariz.)
▪ OL Isiah Moore, 6-5, 315, Mesa CC (Tiffin, Ohio)
▪ CB Jermani Brown, 5-11, 175, Midlothian (Va.) HS
▪ DB Tyreque Jones, 6-3, 190, San Gorgonio High (San Bernardino, Calif.)
▪ DB Quentin Brown, 6-2, 190, Conroe (Texas) High
▪ WR Cartrell Thomas, 5-9, 160, Lancaster (Texas) High
▪ LB/S Roman Kafentzis, 6-2, 200, Mater Dei HS (Santa Ana, Calif.)