Hard to believe, but we are officially under 90 days until the Broncos storm the Capital to take on the Hokies. As you may remember, last summer Drew embarked on the Herculean task of counting down a different roster spot for each remaining day until kickoff. This year he has help, though he might wish he didn't after he sees what happens when he leaves the Countdown in the incapable hands of me.
We've got 87 days until kickoff ... so today we'll be taking a look at number 87 on the Bronco roster - young Gabe Linehan.
Note: If you're looking for Boise State - Mountain West news, scroll down one story.
#87, Gabe Linehan, rFreshman, Tight End
High School: Banks (OR)
How'd he get to The Blue?
You may or may not be interested to know that Linehan came to The Blue as a high school quarterback/linebacker, and many thought he would stick with the Bronco program on the defensive side of the ball. Guess not. For the record, Linehan was a first-team all-state linebacker his senior year and threw for over 2,500 yards and 23 touchdowns that season. And if those numbers don't scream "tight end" to you, then you are obviously not cut out to be a Boise State coach.
Several Pac-10 schools were interested in him, but Scout.com shows no other offers than from the Broncos. Apparently no one else could use a prolific quarterback/linebacker/safety/wide receiver who may end up being one of the Broncos' most athletic tight ends ever.
Apparently, this is a picture of Gabe Linehan in high school. If that's true, then I think his nickname must be "Sunshine."
Neville Longbottom, friend of Harry Potter and Griffindor special teams scout player of the year.
Linehan was named the scout team's Special Teams Player of the Year last season, which is quite a feat when you consider just how hard it is to mimic the sieve of kick coverage that is the WAC.
For your reference and amusement, the 2008 winner of the STPOY award was Josh Borgman. He played in 12 games, mostly on kickoff and punt coverage. Draw whatever conclusions you want to draw.
Probably Kyle Wilson making him look silly on a practice punt return last year.
Where does Linehan fit on the Bronco roster in 2010? Great question. Lofty question. And I have no idea. He is likely the fourth or fifth tight end on the depth chart, so do not draft him in any fantasy leagues (even you, David Augusto!). But when he does get his opportunity (I'll say 2012 at the latest, WAC garbage time at the earliest) he could turn into a Kyle Efaw clone, athletic and playmakery.
Where Linehan is expected to shine this fall is on special teams, according to reports form Captain Obvious. As STPOY, Linehan should be a key cog on a number of units this fall, perhaps field goal, kickoff return, and those swinging gate things that Troy Oppie hates.
What exactly is Linehan good at on special teams? I couldn't tell you. But his high school passing makes him a very real threat for fakes, and his athletic ability makes him a good fit pretty much anywhere. Plus, he put on 16 pounds from last season to now, so he could be an offensive guard by October.
Completely made up fact
Linehan is a shape-shifter, which is the only way to explain the discrepancy between his BroncoSports picture and his high school QB picture.