Numerical Roster Countdown 2012: Day 20, Mitch Burroughs

Under 3 weeks till the "Lancing in East Lansing". I've got to start working on better monikers for this game.

We've got 20 days until kickoff...so today we'll be highlighting #20 on the Boise State roster—Mitch Burroughs

#20, Mitch Burroughs, Senior, WR

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Stats

Height: 5'9"

Weight: 193 lbs.

High School: Meridian High School, Meridian, ID

How'd he get to The Blue™?

Burroughs lettered four times in football at Meridian High playing receiver and running back. As a senior, Burroughs was named Velocity/Prep Star All-Region and placed on the All-SIC second team after rushing for 450 yards and racking up 520 receiving yards and 10 TDs. Burroughs junior season was incredible, as he was named Southern Idaho Conference Player of Year, first-team All-SIC, and second-team all-state after rushing for 650 yards (6.5 YPC) and grabbing 56 receptions for 994 yards and 23 touchdowns. Burroughs had offers from Idaho and Idaho State.

Nickname

"Mitchum"

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Only because the matching knuckle tats, though.

Look-a-like

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Gimme.

Career highlights

Played in all 13 games for the Broncos in 2011, with seven starts—hauled in 49 passes for 500 yards and a TD and rushed for 94 yards and 2 TDs. Played in 8 games in 2010 on offense and special teams. Played in 13 games for the Broncos in 2009, including one start against New Mexico State. Named Boise State's Offensive Scout Player of the Year in 2008.

2012 prospectus

Despite Burroughs' stellar 2011 season, it's actually kind of easy to see why going into it many had misgivings about the local standout. Burroughs, a highly-touted Meridian product had come in with many thinking he'd be the next Vinny Perretta, but through his first 2 seasons he'd hauled in just 17 receptions for 151 yards and one TD and missed a handful of games due to injury. Yeah, it was easy to write off the small but speedy wideout as failing to really rise to the occasion during the season. However, after looking at his impressive production last year, I think many of us may have misjudged the guy. It wasn't really that Burroughs had failed to produce in his first two seasons, but rather, he'd been marginalized in the gameplan because of the presence of Titus Young and Austin Pettis—2 all-timers that soaked up the majority of (what could have been) Burroughs' touches. On top of that, I don't really think that then-OC Harsin had really played to Burroughs' strengths—feeding him bubble screen after bubble screen that ultimately went nowhere—and nearly got him killed a few times. Last season, with Young and Pettis moved on to greener pastures, and bubble screen Harsin off to Texas, Burroughs was given better chances to bloom by OC Brent Pease (who has now also moved on) and was targeted more by Kellen Moore. The results were good for Burroughs, who tripled the number of receptions of his first two years and became the team's third-leading receiver. Burroughs also became more Perretta-like, factoring into the run game and return game and adding a new dimension to the Broncos' offense.

This season, Mitch's last with the program, I think could be special. Not only because he'll want to go out with a bang, but because he'll have one more opportunity to play with his little brother, Dallas. He's currently penciled in as the starting "Z" receiver ahead of Aaron Burks and opposite the field from freshman All-American Matt Miller. His stats will be hard to guess since he'll either see a backslide in yardage with a (possibly) less prolific passer under center or he could see his touches—and yards—go up as teams try to double cover Matt Miller out of desperation. Either way it'll be a tough choice for defenses to make, and Burroughs will make them pay if they bet the farm on stopping Miller. Burroughs' experience and leadership will be invaluable to the Broncos in 2012 with so many fresh faces in all phases of the game.

Completely made up fact

Mitch is no relation to Tarzan of the Apes author Edgar Rice Burroughs, but that doesn't mean he won't tell the ladies that he is at parties. He goes to a lot of literary parties.

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