I'm sure you're wondering how a defensive tackle get all the way down here. Me too.
We've got 43 days until kickoff...so today we'll highlight #43 on the Boise State roster—Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe
#43, Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, Junior, DT
Weight: 298 lbs.
High School: Boise High School, Boise, ID
How'd he get to The Blue™?
Tjong-A-Tjoe is one more Bronco that comes to the program locally, but by way of the Netherlands. Tjong-A-Tjoe played just one season of American football in the states, for Boise High, but made quite an impact as he was named first-team all-conference and first-team all-state. Tjong-A-Tjoe (pronounced, we're told, "Chong-Ah-Choo") recorded 35 tackles in his single season with the Braves, including nine tackles for loss. Ricky also recorded 6 quarterback hurries, 2 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries for the red and white. Because of Tjong-A-Tjoe's scant time in the states, recruiting services all but overlooked him...with Scout.com giving him a token 2-star rating despite the fact that the raw talent was offered by Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, San José State, and Idaho State. Tjong-A-Tjoe made several late visits right before signing day to Eugene and Pullman, but his last stop, back home in Boise, was the one that sealed the deal for the big Dutchman.
This has to be his nickname...I'm very bad with hyphens.
A genius. Although, it may just be the glasses.
Played in 7 games for the Broncos in 2011, making 15 tackles and 2 sacks. Played in 12 games as redshirt freshman. First team all-state and all-conference as a senior at Boise High.
There's more to Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe than yo-yo dieting and being Dutch. The big Netherlander has been quietly performing in the shadows of Billy Winn and Chase Baker for two years, but has been being groomed for a starting spot all along as well. Over the course of TAT's 19 game appearances, he's racked up 39 tackles (9.5 for loss) and 4.5 sacks. Considering that he did this in what was largely a backup capacity is good news for anyone concerned about him as a starter. He's been very active, very consistent, and seems to have the schemes down pat. If you want a good indicator of what TAT can become in a starting role...look no further than 5th round draft pick and all-time Boise State great Billy Winn—his freshman year and TAT's freshman year are virtually identical, stats wise. Of course, Winn had smooth sailing from his sophomore season on out, with no one really challenging him in that role. TAT came in with Winn already locked in and has had to sit at the second level of the DT depth chart for 2 years (including one shortened by a ridiculous NCAA-induced suspension). 2012 should be his breakout (possibly even a Super Breakout), and don't be surprised if he can mimic Winn's sophomore campaign (44 tackles, 6 sacks) alongside Michael Atkinson. We can wring our hands about the depth at the DT position all day long, but we're strong at the top, so for now that will have to do.
Completely made up fact
Tjong-A-Tjoe's favorite food: Tjeeseburgers.