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Countdown Schmountdown: #8

The atomic clock actually says that we have just 8 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.

We're close, Broncos...we're close.

#8 George Iloka, S

Watching George Iloka's junior highlight tape with nothing but wide receiver would have been easy to get excited about the lanky athlete from Houston. Then, prior to Iloka's senior year, he committed to the a safety...a position he'd never played before. Now, it was about this point that Bronco Nation was scratching their collective heads and wondering yet again if the Bronco coaching staff knew what they were doing (the answer to this is always "yes" but they like to keep us on our toes). Well, guess what? Iloka switched to safety for his senior year at Kempner High School and promptly was named All-League. He finished his year with 80 tackles, 4 INTs, and 2 forced fumbles. Bronco Coaches 1, Skeptical boobs 0. Iloka graduated early a few short months later and joined the team in time for Spring semester, then the cocky little bugger went and landed a starting position at free safety, racked up 63 tackles and 4 INTs and garnered Freshman All-America honors. Who does he think he is...Kellen Moore?

Rest assured that the slanty-haired Iloka could do in a pinch at wide receiver...he averaged nearly 17 yards/catch as an underclassman at Kempner...but he is a natural at free safety. Possessing Long arms, great instincts, solid tackling skills and the hands of a wide receiver—Iloka will be a mainstay on the defense for years. Iloka's frame could support some extra weight and it sure wouldn't hurt—but by the time George is a junior, if not this year, he will be viewed as one of the best free safeties in the nation. And I promise to never doubt the Bronco coaches again.