Generally, being a good tackler and possessing a good football IQ is enough to make anyone stand out at a defensive position. The ability to bench press an economy car is considered a bonus. Well, the bonus checks came in this year and all are post-dated to February 1st and signed by Leland High star Christopher Santini. Santini has racked up at least 197 tackles in the past 2 seasons—99 of which came this past season...a season shortened by injury (freak injury no less). It goes without saying that Santini looks the part of another dominant hybrid 'backer...but how soon will we be seeing him pity fools on the blue?
More details on Christopher Santini after the jump ...
Signing Day arrives February 1. Until then, we're running down the full list of verbal commitments so you can impress your friends with your Bronco know-how.
Other offers: Army, Cal-Poly, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Oregon State, SDSU, SJSU, UNLV, Utah, Utah State
Other Boise State players from the area: Adam Sheffield, Chris Tozer, Blake Renaud, Connor Peters, Charles Leno
Boise State player most likely to be mistaken for: Vinny Perretta for Italian-American heritage, Winston Venable for neck diameter and overall scariness.
Future nickname: The Great Santini
Where he fits on the depth chart: Nickel or OLB
Santini appears to fit the Bronco nickel mold to a tee. He started out his high school career as a dominating safety and finished it as a dominating OLB. It's the kind of skill set that made Ellis Powers the first nickel superstar at Boise State and continued with the development of 2-year standout Winston Venable. The Broncos love these kind of guys that have the temerity (today's $5 word) to come up and stuff the run and nail the QB, but also the cover skills to drop back and cover the slot. Santini got his first taste of playing LB just last summer, but exhibited enough skill at the position to garner a feature on ESPN (observe!). Now the big question is if Santini will land at nickel or at OLB—at least initially.
While speculating about playing time before LOI day has even arrived is a crap shoot, I'm going to do my best to make a case for Santini at OLB to start with, and here's why: it's the position where he's needed most.
Aaron Tevis and J.C. Percy had basically split the starting duties at OLB the last two seasons, and frankly, they did a pretty darn good job, but now Tevis is gone and Percy is a short-timer—it's time to shore up the position...and fast. Add to that the fact that the nickel spot is pretty loaded next year with Simmons, Brown, and Bell all returning and I think the case has been made fairly water-tight that Santini's best chance to play as a true frosh lies among the LB corps. Of course, Choate's heir apparent will surely like another big hitter on special teams and I think he'll make his mark there too before the year is up. First things first, though...let's get that fax on February 1.
Dustin Lapray scouting report:
Hits as if imbued with strength handed down from Olympus...Tackles as you'd expect a Proletarian in revolt against the Bourgeoisie to tackle...A lone running back claws, scrapes, yearns for extra yardage but Santini callously denies him of his quarry...The Italian Renaissance brought us Da Vinci, Boticelli, Caravaggio—the elegance of Santini's brushstrokes upon the gridiron are every bit as moving.