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Countdown Schmountdown: #45

The atomic clock actually says that we have just 45 days  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. An extremely busy weekend procluded me from highlighting Dan Paul and Michael Choate...but don't worry, I will make it up to them (and Bronco Nation) soon.

And we're off..

#45 Daron Mackey, LB

Since 2006, Boise State has been trying to find a dominant linebacker. It may be too much to hope that another Korey Hall emerges so soon after his departure...after all, Hall was a rare talent, and an unbelievably consistent performer during his tenure at Boise State. Boise State has gotten adequate play out of its linebackers the last two seasons, but it has been inconsistent, and at times, a liability. The Broncos seemed to have tamed some of their linebacker woes with more solid play on the defensive line last season, and the switch to the 4-2-5 defense allowed them to get more out of their speedy, undersized LBs. This year, it is anyone's guess who will be filling out the 2 main LBs spots, though top vote-getters seem to be Derrell Acrey and Hunter White. But some are overlooking a very highly regarded 'backer who had to sit out last season with an injury...Daron Mackey. Mackey was a 4-star JC recruit out of Bakersfield CC when he signed on with the Broncos and if he had not tweaked his knee last offseason, might've beem right in the thick of things. As it now stands, Mackey can certainly make noise in the Fall, as the linebacker spots are far from decided. It is nice to know that we're back to solid depth at the position at any rate.

Mackey is a 2006 graduate of West High School in Bakersfield, CA where he was an All-Conference performer as a junior and senior. Mackey also pulled in third team All-State honors as a senior at WHS...a year that saw him rack up 143 tackles, 3 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Mackey notched 271 tackles during his final two prep seasons and then went on to Bakersfield Community College where he piled up 191 tackles, 4 INTS, 5 forced fumbles and 2 TDs in two seasons. Mackey was named to the third team JC All-America squad for his efforts at Bakersfield and then spurned Washington State to join the Broncos last summer. Mackey has a solid build at 6' and 230 lbs, and looks like he is a capable tackler and sniffs out the ball carrier well. Mackey will add excellent depth to the charts and could possibly unseat one of the frontrunners in Fall camp if he's back from his injury 100%. Look for the junior to make some noise in the next month and a half and push Acrey or White (or Tevis, Mooney, or Davis) for one of the two vacancies.