Few Boise State football players have encapsulated toughness like Gabe Perez, and almost none have seen the bad luck he has, too.
Perez, a redshirt senior linebacker, broke his wrist Saturday at Fresno State, ending his playing career. Shoulder injuries restricted Perez to just five games in 2015 and 2016. This season, he played in 10 games, making five starts. He had 14 tackles (two for loss), a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
“You all know with Gabe, what he’s been through ... he’ll be OK, but will not be able to play moving forward,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said.
The Broncos’ linebacker corps has seen plenty of injuries lately, namely sophomore Tyson Maeva missing Nov. 18’s Air Force game and freshman Riley Whimpey missing the last two. Sophomore Will Heffner, who started twice in September, has missed four in a row. Senior Blake Whitlock is redshirting with a shoulder injury.
“Gabe’s been awesome this year, what he’s been able to do on the field, but really as a leader too, helping out with some of the young guys,” defensive coordinator Andy Avalos said. “... guys will step up.”