Shane Williams-Rhodes, wide receiver
Williams-Rhodes’ value is difficult to assess because his role is unique in Boise State history. The 5-foot-6, 173-pound playmaker is used almost like a running back on the perimeter, catching screen passes and other short throws and using his quickness and elusiveness to gain chunks of yardage.
He has 205 career receptions for 1,716 yards and 52 carries for 406 yards.
Put together, he gains 8.3 yards per touch — with most of that yardage being gained after he receives the ball.
For good measure, Williams-Rhodes tossed a 53-yard touchdown pass last week to fellow wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck on the first throw of his football career.
“He’s a special player in this conference,” offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz said. “He’s somebody everybody has to be aware of where No. 1 is on the football field because of all the things he can do.”
Williams-Rhodes needs 40 more catches to break the school career record.
Tanner Vallejo, middle linebacker
Vallejo led the team in tackles last year while playing nickel. His numbers have dropped with the move back to middle linebacker, in part because the Broncos aren’t playing many defensive snaps.
Vallejo has 26 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, a forced fumble and two blocked kicks this season.
“He’s made a ton of plays,” linebackers coach Andy Avalos said. “Coverage-wise, he’s done a really excellent job on third downs.”
Thomas Sperbeck, wide receiver
Sperbeck has 16 catches for 432 yards and five touchdowns since true freshman Brett Rypien became the Broncos’ quarterback in the second half of the Idaho State game — an average of 27 yards per catch.
He has receptions of 46, 64, 51, 85 and 53 yards during that stretch. He ranks 23rd nationally with a 19.5-yard average per catch this season.