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Countdown Schmountdown: #52

The atomic clock actually says that we have just 52 days (I know, we're at 51...I'm making up yesterday's post now and #51 will come this evening) until the Ducks hit the blue turf (hard).

So, today we'll continue our countdown by briefly highlighting the Bronco player with the jersey number that corresponds with the number of days remaining till the opener. Sorry there isn't a more clear and concise way to explain that.

And we're off..

#52 Derrell Acrey, LB

Derrell Acrey's biggest hurdle is keeping pace with the sky-high expectations that have been heaped upon him. After high praise in 2006 Fall camp, the coaches nearly burned his redshirt...and that was on a team that already had Korey Hall and Colt Brooks roaming the turf. This close call by the coaches ignited Bronco Nation into thinking that Derrell Acrey might be the next big thing at Boise State. Then 2007 came and went without Acrey seeing much valuable time at all. Then 2008 came, and it looked like Acrey had stepped up his game to match his reputation as an inspirational team leader. Acrey exploded out of the gate against Idaho State, notching 14 tackles and looking like his potential might finally be realized. But he played sparingly the rest of the season, registered no tackles in the Broncos biggest games of the year (Oregon and Nevada) and only once more cracked double digit tackles (in a laughable blowout against NMSU). So, who is the real Derrell Acrey? He's a fan favorite and great student, no doubt...He's also an awesome motivator and valuable member of the community. But is Acrey a player who thrives in the limelight everywhere but on the blue? Not exactly. I believe that Acrey is a solid linebacker whose physical gifts outpaced his knowledge of the defense as a freshman, and whose skillset didn't mesh as well as hoped in the 4-2-5. Acrey will work hard this offseason, learn his role, and finally realize his potential in 2009 as one of the 2 starting LBs.

Acrey was a 3-year standout linebacker at Redlands East Valley High School in California, where he earned All-CIF, All-Area, All-County, and All-Citrus Belt League honors as a senior. In Acrey's senior year he was a tackling machine...throwing down 139—he also recovered 3 fumbles, blocked 2 kicks and registered a sack. As a junior, he merely had 109 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 INTs. Acrey received scholarship offers from San Jose State, Wyoming and Oregon State before finally committing to the Broncos in November of 2005 and at the time was one of the biggest LBs Boise State had brought in in some time. Acrey still has the size to be an intimidating presence at midfield and if he puts the mental and physical aspects of the game together, I believe can be an All-WAC performer at the position. The 4-2-5 may limit his production to a certain extent, but the Broncos will need a big body at LB to take some wear and tear off the secondary. I say Acrey starts this year alongside Hunter White and notches a minimum of 70 tackles on the season.


Why so glum?