We've got 51 days until kickoff...so today we'll take a look at #51 on the Boise State roster—Ben Weaver.
(Full disclosure, I wore No. 51 throughout my high school football career, so today is kinda my day, too. Ditto for Dick Butkus and Ichiro.)
#51, Ben Weaver, RS Freshman, LB
Weight: 233 lbs.
High School: Klein High School, Klein, TX
How'd he get to The BlueTM?
Weaver is a testament to the Broncos increased presence in the state of Texas, and one of 6 from the Lonestar State to sign on with the Broncos with the 2012 class.
Weaver was an all-district performer at Klein High both his junior and senior seasons after racking up a combined 198 tackles (25 for loss), 6 forced fumbles, and an INT. To wit, he had scholarship offers out the wazoo. He chose the Broncos over standing invites from Air Force, Cal, Houston, Louisville, McNeese State, Navy, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech, and Utah. To summarize, Weaver was quite the linebacking prospect. His highlight tape should explain why: It is like Tom Emanski's linebacking drills mixed with Terry Tate, Office Linebacker.
Weaver was named Boise State's defensive scout player of the year during his redshirt season. Previous winners include Beau Martin and Mike Atkinson. Trivia: Can you name the others?
Weaver has impeccable timing. He arrives on the Bronco depth chart at a time when the linebacker position is undergoing an Extreme Home Makeover. The Broncos have zero returning starters; J.C. Percy and Tommy Smith are chasing the NFL dream. Boise State loves to platoon its linebackers, meaning there are minutes and tackles to be had behind presumed starters Blake Renaud and Tyler Gray. In short, Weaver will play significant football this season. He might even push the starters if he can carry over his spring momentum into the fall.
"Ben Weaver's jumping out a little bit. ... he's kind of a natural football player, and you need that especially at linebacker where you've got so much to do," linebackers coach Bob Gregory said.
He figures to start the season backing up junior middle linebacker Blake Renaud, himself a highly-thought-of freshman linebacker back in the day. Weaver was born to play the middle, but might coaches shift him outside? The goal of playing your best 11 guys could force their hand, or it could make for some interesting Kwiatkowski wizardry with formations in order to get Renaud, Weaver, Tyler Gray, and the Broncos' other assorted linebacker phenoms on the field. Did someone say 1-5-5? (Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe is the 1, and Demarcus Lawrence is one of the 5s.)
Completely made up fact
Weaver is not his legal last name but rather a nickname, given to him in junior high when he wore a hair weave to school.