Numerical Roster Countdown 2012: Day 99, Michael Atkinson

Someone once said that the only guarantees in life are death and taxes. Well, here at OBNUG, the only things that are guaranteed are Vandal jokes and the numerical roster countdown. This labor of insanity love was started a few years ago by yours truly and now, when we get under 100 days till kickoff (this year on August 31st against Michigan State—be there), it begins anew. For the newbies...basically, we take the number of days left till kickoff and highlight the player on the Boise State roster that shares said number. Got it? Whether you love the countdown or hate it...well, you're getting it.

We've got 99 days until kickoff...so today we'll be taking a look at number 99 on the Bronco roster—Michael Atkinson.

#99, Michael Atkinson, Senior, DT

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Stats

Height: 6'0"

Weight: 312 lbs. (150 Kg)

High School: Catholic Central HS, Windsor, Ontario

How'd he get to The Blue™?

Atkinson's recruiting was a happy accident. Bronco coaches visited his alma mater to offer teammate Tyrone Crawford a scholly and couldn't help but notice the behemoth Atkinson, who had been playing fullback. Crawford went the JC route for 2 years to get his academic ducks in a row and Atkinson crossed the border right away. Here's the original story of his signing from my old (now defunct) Bronco blog.

Nickname

"Bacon"

Canadian Bacon, that is (ham).

Look-alike

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WWF heel "The Mountie"

Career Highlights

After redshirting in 2008, named the Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year. Played in nine games in 2009, and registered a pass breakup and TFL. Had 10 tackles (2.5 for loss), a pass breakup, and a sack in 2010. Played in all 13 games for the Broncos in 2011, including 5 starts (one start was at fullback against Georgia).

Career Lowlight

Nah...I'm phasing this one out this year. Nobody needs to be reminded of fumbles, missed kicks or broken team rules and tibias. If you're jonesing for this kind of info—google it.

2012 Prospectus

Atkinson had a big year in 2011 and he'll need to have an even bigger one in 2012. After rebounding nicely from a suspension-laden sophomore year, the big Canadian stepped it up on and off the field and became a major contributor to the Broncos on the defensive line. While Atkinson was always semi-overshadowed by Billy WInn and Chase Baker, his 31 tackles (2.5 for loss) on the season were quite respectable and he added some variety to his resume by breaking up 2 passes as well (against TCU and SDSU). Atkinson's real value thus far has been occupying double-teams to let the other defenders really get in and do work while his forté hasn't truly been pressuring the QB (Atkinson has just one sack among his 49 career tackles). Expect that to change in 2012 as Atkinson moves into one of the "1" slots on the interior D-line. He's trimmed down a touch and is "moving well", so coupled with his natural Juggernaut-like physique, Mike should be hard to stop. Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe will most likely be the Billy WInn to Atkinson's Chase Baker this season and together they should represent much more girth than we're using to seeing in the middle of the field. Trust me...it's going to be tough sledding for opposing rushing attacks in 2012, and the reluctant leader, Mike Atkinson should have a LOT to do with it.

Completely made up fact

Atkinson's first brush with stardom was when he was given a gray windbreaker and played the part of a boulder in his 2nd grade production of The Wizard of Oz.

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