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Countdown Schmountdown: #40

The atomic clock actually says that we have just 40 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. 

And we're off.

#40 Richie Brockel, TE/FB

Richie Brockel has a tough-sounding name that underscores his hard-nosed approach to the game. Like "Urlacher" or "Nitschke", Brockel's name just kinda has that tough football sound to it...but Brockel has been turning heads lately more for his brains than his brawn. Brockel graduated cum laude from Boise State with a Bachelor's in accounting in just 3 years, and is working on his Master's Degee this very moment. Oh, and he is currently NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper's number one fullback of the 2010 class and was voted team captain for the upcoming season—his last in a Bronco uniform. You could say that Richie Brockel has a lot going for him right now, but I have a feeling we haven't seen anything yet.

The 6'2" 250 pounder came to the Broncos in 2005 from Greenway High School in Phoenix, Arizona. Brockel was an All-State linebacker and tightend at GHS where he racked up 929 yards and 13 scores as a senior playing fullback and tightend, and finished as Greenway's all-time leading tackler with 207. Brockel was ended his prep career with a 4.0 GPA and was selected a finalist for the National Football Foundation award. Brockel has played in every game since his freshman year (39) and hauled in 24 passes for 218 yards and 6 scores. Brockel's largest contribution to the Broncos may be his blocking—think of him as a player with the strength and blocking of Derek Schouman, and the lead blocking capabilities of Brad Lau. Brockel was a recruiting coup for the Broncos and has been a key cog on the team year after year. His contributions will truly be missed after his departure at the end of the season, and I can't think of a better sendoff than an undefeated season, can you?