Hard to believe, but we are officially under 100 days until the Broncos storm the Capital to take on the Hokies. As you may remember, last summer we embarked on the Herculean task of counting down a different roster spot for each remaining day until kickoff. Well, I burned out after about 30 days and the countdown was spotty at best until the Ducks rolled into town. I've recommitted myself this offseason however, and I'm shooting for 100 percent this time around.
We've got 97 days until kickoff...so today we'll be taking a look at number 97 on the Bronco roster—
#97, Chase Baker, Junior, DT
Weight: 296 lbs.
High School: Rocklin High School, Rocklin, CA
How'd he get to The Blue™?
As a do-it-all athlete at Rocklin, Baker lettered in football, rugby, and track. He was named first-team all-league, second-team all-metro, defensive lineman of year and all-state as an underclassmen and didn't get to play his senior year due to a knee injury suffered while playing rugby overseas. Baker still ended up with 58 tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries while playing at Rocklin. His only other scholarship offer that we know of was from Sacramento State, although the Broncos might have been lucky that his knee injury took him off the radar and they didn't have to fight too hard for his services.
The success of this nickname is entirely dependent on one of his D-line mates somehow gaining the moniker "the Candlestick Maker".
Old Spice pitchman Brian Urlacher
Recorded 37 tackles (4 for loss), two sacks, and two pass breakups over 14 games in 2009. Named to the All-WAC Academic Team in 2008.
Forced grayshirt due to knee rehab.
Baker represents the meat and potatoes of the interior Bronco D-line—a D-line that has grown in girth and talent of late. Baker had a fairly quiet freshman year in 2008, registering just 10 total tackles, but came on very strong in Spring and Fall camps leading up to the 2009 season and was repeatedly singled out by coaches as the next big thing. At one point in Fall camp last year, Coach Kwiatkowski called him the team's best defensive tackle...extremely high praise for a sophomore with little game experience that played next to stalwart Billy Winn all summer. Indeed, Baker had a breakout sophomore campaign—nearly quadrupling the output from his frosh season, and if history is any indicator, Baker should be poised to take another big step in 2010. Baker is a physical tackle who plays assignment football and got much better at shedding blocks in 2009 and occupying offensive linemen. Chase shouldn't be in danger of losing his "1B" status in the D-line rotation alongside "1A" Billy Winn in 2010, and look for him to be good for 40+ tackles and improve on his sack numbers. If he can impart some of his work ethic upon the younger linemen, Boise State's D-line, from top to bottom, may be it's best ever.
Completely made up fact
Baker's parents named him Chase Baker after the character "the Chaste Baker" from Geoffrey Chaucer's epic works, The Canterbury Tales.