Bronco Beat

Boise State special teams ‘demon’ Lee eyes bigger role on defense

Boise State LB Darren Lee - Aug. 18, 2016

Boise State senior linebacker Darren Lee discusses his role in a deep group and how he has embraced special teams Aug. 18, 2016.
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Boise State senior linebacker Darren Lee discusses his role in a deep group and how he has embraced special teams Aug. 18, 2016.

Boise State senior middle linebacker Darren Lee has been known for his prowess on special teams, but in his last season with the Broncos, he’s in position to make an impact on defense. Lee was listed as the co-starter with Joe Martarano on the pre-fall camp depth chart.

“Absolutely, that’s what I was recruited for, to play linebacker, and I would love to do that, if they see me fit as being able to excel in that role, I’d be more than happy to do that for the team,” Lee said. “I’d be excited to, I’m working for it.”

Lee found himself more in the mix on defense last season, setting a career-high in tackles (20) and getting his first interception and sack. He’s part of a deep, experienced rotation, and he said that it’s become a group effort.

“It’s not necessarily me and mine, working for myself, but ‘let’s bring the whole unit along,’” Lee said.

Coach Bryan Harsin said he was hoping to find the next “special teams demon” like Lee this fall camp. He’s carried out the special teams’ prize, The Hammer, seven times before games. He was named the Broncos’ special teams MVP last season, and he’s hoping to instill that effort into the younger players.

“Maybe they’re not on the field as much, or they don’t get the airtime ... it’s a third of the game, it’s just as important, and I think you need to tell yourself that,” Lee said. “Have that confidence that you’re contributing to the team and that you need to find your role and once you find your role, you can try and excel into it. You’re not necessarily the star running back or something like that, but that’s OK.”

Each week he gets The Hammer, Lee said it is kept by the team’s equipment manager, but he got one of his own for winning the special teams MVP award.

“It’s my only home defense, so it’s just sitting by our bed,” he said.

The Broncos had Wednesday off, which was very much appreciated by Lee, who graduated high school in 2010 before taking a mission, enrolling in the spring of 2013.

“I actually got to play with my kid, I usually come home and she’s sleeping, wake up and she’s sleeping,” Lee said. “It was fun. She’s 9 months old now, so she’s trying to walk, we worked a little bit on that.”

...

Senior cornerback Raymond Ford said “it’s going to feel good to be out there a lot more this year.” I’ll have a bit more on him tomorrow, but check out our video interview with him above.

...

We will be starting our fall position preview series in Friday’s Statesman, beginning with the quarterbacks.

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Speaking of special teams, the latest in Boise State’s get to know a freshman series is kicker/punter Joel Velazquez.

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2016 POSITION-BY-POSITION ROSTER

QUARTERBACK

3 Tommy Stuart, 5-11, 203, R-Jr.

7 Anthony Upshaw, 5-11, 187, R-So.

4 Brett Rypien, 6-2, 200, So.

15 Jake Constantine, 6-1, 194, Fr.

14 Cam Humprey, 6-1, 191, Fr.

TAILBACK

26 Devan Demas, 5-8, 174, R-Sr.

30 Ryan Wolpin, 5-8, 189, R-Jr.

13 Jeremy McNichols, 5-9, 212, Jr.

10 Cory Young, 5-10, 195, R-So.

39 Jake Shaddox, 5-11, 211, R-Fr.

34 Robert Mahone, 5-10, 209, Fr.

22 Alexander Mattison, 5-11, 206, Fr.

20 Jake Roper, 5-10, 183, Fr.

WIDE RECEIVER

16 Taylor Pope, 6-0, 183, R-Sr.

6 Chaz Anderson, 5-10, 193, R-Sr.

82 Thomas Sperbeck, 6-0, 180, Sr.

89 Brock Barr, 6-3, 204, R-Jr.

83 David McKinzie, 6-0, 175, R-Jr.

17 Austin Cottrell, 6-2, 202, Jr.

1 Cedrick Wilson, 6-3, 183, Jr.

28 A.J. Richardson, 6-0, 210, R-So.

8 Sean Modster, 5-11, 190, R-So.

81 Akilian Butler, 5-10, 183, So.

9 Bryan Jefferson, 5-11, 186, R-Fr.

5 Garrett Collingham, 6-4, 204, R-Fr.

2 Julian Carter, 6-2, 200, Fr.

18 Bubba Ogbebor, 6-0, 187, Fr.

80 Christian Blaser, 6-1, 181, Fr.

TIGHT END

87 Alec Dhaenens, 6-3, 245, R-Jr.

88 Jake Roh, 6-3, 227, R-Jr.

93 Jake Knight, 6-4, 232, R-So.

86 Chase Blakley, 6-4, 246, R-So.

47 Matt Pistone, 6-3, 249, R-Fr.

85 John Bates, 6-6, 229, Fr.

84 Nick Crabtree, 6-7, 263, Fr.

OFFENSIVE LINE

73 Travis Averill, 6-3, 295, R-Sr.

70 Steven Baggett, 6-3, 288, R-Sr.

66 Mario Yakoo, 6-4, 326, R-Sr.

60 Kellen Buhr, 6-1, 294, R-Sr.

72 Will Adams, 6-7, 300, R-Sr.

74 Archie Lewis, 6-3, 300, R-Jr.

52 Andrew Tercek, 6-1, 281, R-Jr.

59 Mason Hampton, 6-3, 296, R-Jr.

78 Andres Preciado, 6-6, 288, R-So.

67 Garrett Larson, 6-4, 293, R-Fr.

79 Eric Quevedo, 6-4, 300, R-Fr.

77 John Molchon, 6-5, 307, R-Fr.

75 Kole Bailey, 6-4, 286, Fr.

76 Ezra Cleveland, 6-6, 305, Fr.

69 Austin Dixon, 6-6, 264, Fr.

71 Donte Harrington, 6-2, 291, Fr.

64 Ben Vering, 6-4, 240, Fr.

DEFENSIVE END

94 Sam McCaskill, 6-3, 259, R-Sr.

97 Austin Silsby, 6-3, 258, R-Jr.

91 Durrant Miles, 6-5, 244, So.

93 Chase Hatada, 6-3, 268, Fr.

45 Kayode Rufai, 6-4, 255, Fr.

40 Jabari Watson, 6-1, 262, Fr.

99 Curtis Weaver, 6-3, 287, Fr.

56 Dane Gooch, 6-2, 254, Fr.

STUD END

33 Gabe Perez, 6-4, 234, R-Jr.

8 Jabril Frazier, 6-4, 239, R-So.

35 Derriyon Shaw, 6-2, 222, Fr.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

96 Elliot Hoyte, 6-4, 279, R-Sr.

90 Daniel Auelua, 6-2, 293, Jr.

48 David Moa, 6-3, 271, R-So.

92 Paul Semons, 6-3, 270, R-So.

54 Matt Locher, 6-2, 272, R-Fr.

53 Sam Whitney, 6-2, 239, R-Fr.

98 Sonatane Lui, 6-1, 293, Fr.

57 Emmanuel Fesili, 6-2, 308, Fr.

LINEBACKER

51 Ben Weaver, 6-0, 222, R-Sr.

44 Darren Lee, 6-1, 228, Sr.

20 Tanner Vallejo, 6-1, 223, Sr.

7 Joe Martarano, 6-3, 238, R-Jr.

24 Kam Miles, 6-1, 208, R-Jr.

36 Blake Whitlock, 6-1, 208, Jr.

43 Joe Provenzano, 5-11, 220, R-So.

38 Leighton Vander Esch, 6-4, 236, R-So.

41 Will Heffner, 6-2, 212, R-Fr.

58 Tyson Maeva, 6-0, 219, Fr.

9 Desmond Williams, 5-11, 193, Fr.

95 Nick Provenzano, 5-11, 203, Fr.

48 Bruno DeRose, 5-11, 194, Fr.

34 Solo Taylor, 6-2, 207, Fr.

On mission:

Riley Whimpey, 6-2, 205, Fr.

CORNERBACK

25 Raymond Ford, 5-10, 191, R-Sr.

2 Jonathan Moxey, 5-10, 185, Sr.

14 Tyler Horton, 5-11, 178, So.

21 Ladarryl Blair, 5-11, 182, R-Fr.

28 Garrett Estrada, 5-9, 163, R-Fr.

27 Reid Harrison-Ducros, 5-10, 170, Fr.

30 Robert Lewis, 5-10, 168, Fr.

4 DeAndre Pierce, 5-11, 168, Fr.

22 Hayden Israelson, 5-11, 180, Fr.

26 Avery Williams, 5-9, 202, Fr.

SAFETY

3 Chanceller James, 6-2, 208, R-Sr.

37 Cameron Hartsfield, 5-10, 187, R-Jr.

17 Brandon Brown, 5-11, 198, R-Jr.

29 Dylan Sumner-Gardner, 6-1, 201, R-So.

31 Skyler Seibold, 6-1, 194, R-So.

15 Evan Tyler, 6-2, 185, R-Fr.

23 Damion Wright, 6-0, 189, R-Fr.

10 Kekoa Nawahine, 6-2, 195, Fr.

32 Jordan Happle, 5-11, 191, Fr.

17 Jalen Walker, 6-0, 167, Fr.

47 Ma'a Tanuvasa, 6-1, 185, Fr.

KICKER

49 Tyler Rausa, 5-9, 189, R-Sr.

46 Joel Velazquez, 6-0, 218, Fr.

PUNTER

19 Sean Wale, 6-2, 193, R-Sr.

LONG SNAPPER

42 Matt Cota, 6-1, 196, R-Jr.

50 Nicholai Pitman, 5-11, 220, Fr. 

 

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