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The Boise State Serendipitous Safeties and Corners [Position Preview]

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  1. The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.
  2. The fact or occurrence of such discoveries.
  3. An instance of making such a discovery.
I like to imagine Jamar Taylor thinking to himself as passes in his direction: "Wow! What a fortunate discovery this is!"

Jamar then picks off said ball and runs it in for a score. And that is how this position preview received the name it did. One might even say it was a serendipitous occasion for me! On to the preview! Join me now after the jump as we discuss our stars and emerging players in the Boise State secondary.

(And so begins the tradition of position previews. We love traditions at OBNUG. Other traditions may include, but are not limited to: Dairy Queen Blizzards, hating anything Vandal, and Spell Check. Next Up: The Special Special Teams.)

The Offenders

15 Anderson, Chaz CB 5-10 175 Fr. Los Angeles (Loyola HS)
19 Borgman, Josh CB 5-7 174 RSr. Boise, Idaho (Centennial HS)
18 Corta, Trey CB 5-10 182 Fr. Homedale, Idaho (Homedale HS)
30 Deayon, Donte CB 5-9 143 Fr. Rialto, Calif. (Summit HS)
1 Douglas, Bryan CB 5-9 166 RSo. Los Angeles (Narbonne HS)
16 Florence, Deon'tae CB 5-9 168 RSo. Largo, Fla. (College of the Desert) (Armwood HS)
4 Gavins, Jerrell CB 5-9 169 RSr. Miami, Fla. (El Camino JC) (South Miami HS)
37 Makinde, Ebenezer CB 5-10 181 RJr. Phoenix, Ariz. (Paradise Valley HS)
5 Taylor, Jamar CB 5-11 196 RSr. San Diego, Calif. (Helix HS)
23 Agbaroji, Eric DB 6-1 203 RFr. Midlothian, Texas (Midlothian HS)
29 Hightower, Lee DB 6-2 192 So. Inglewood, Calif. (Loyola HS)
24 Moss, Hazen DB 6-0 201 RSr. Rifle, Colo. (Rifle HS)
35 Thompson, Darian DB 6-1 197 RFr. Lancaster, Calif. (Paraclete HS)

10 Ioane, Jeremy S 5-10 197 RSo. Honolulu, Hawaii (Punahou School)
22 James, Chanceller S 6-1 194 Fr. Spring Valley, Calif. (Steele Canyon HS)
34 Loffler, Taylor S 6-3 211 RFr. Kelowna, B.C., Canada (Kelowna Secondary School)
28 Lukehart, Dillon S 6-0 199 RFr. Eagle, Idaho (Eagle HS)

Jerrell Gavins


  • Favorite Quote: "I smell the smelly smell of something that smells smelly." -Spongebob Squarepant
  • Favorite Song: "Breakfast at Tiffany's" -Deep Blue Something
  • Favorite Movie: Finding Nemo. "I never wanted to be a fish so bad in my life." -Jerrell Gavins
List of Offenses: 2011 Redshirt Junior Season
Jerrell had one of the most unfortunate seasons in recent memory. And not because of a lack of productivity. In fact, Jerrell was off to an All-American type of season until he hurt his knee after the third game of the season. Jerrell had recorded three picks in three games and was as lock down of a corner as we have seen since Kyle Wilson when his season was unexpectedly stopped due to injury. Jerrell sat out the rest of the season and our secondary struggled. Our depth was tested and was most noticeable against TCU when it seemed that nobody could guard the long ball. I was really hoping Jerrell would grow his predator hair back out for this season, but I will settle for lock-down defense if need be. Jerrell looked good in the fall scrimmage and took most of his reps with the first team defense. It sure was a goofy football nerd's dream to watch him running down SWR along the line of scrimmage.

I expect Jerrell to get the start and likely Bryan Douglas to rotate in during specific defensive schemes or during blowouts.

Next Up: Jamar Taylor

Jamar Taylor


  • Favorite Quote: "Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident." -Brick Tamland (Anchorman)
  • Favorite Song: "Everybody Dance Now." -C&C Music Factory
  • Favorite Movie: Fly Away Home. "Man those geese are some cute little things." -Jamar Taylor
List of Offenses: 2011 Redshirt Junior Season
Jamar Taylor is ready for a break out year. I believe that it is his time to fully shine. Expectations were high last year, and he performed well. However, I think Bronco fans are looking for something more. Not that what he did wasn't good enough (although basically that's what I am implying), but I think he can do more. His talent level and ability to complete change the dynamic of how an offense plays against a defense is unparalleled in recent history. I hope that Jamar steps up his game a bit this year and really reaches his full potential. Having said that, Jamar's play hasn't exactly been mediocre. He owns the record for the longest interception returned for a touchdown in school history as well as Maaco Las Vegas Bowl history. His 100 yard return against Arizona State was among the most beautiful I have ever seen.

I expect Jamar to get the start opposite Taylor, and Ebo Makinde to likely back him up opposite Bryan Douglas.

Next Up: Lee Hightower

Lee Hightower


  • Favorite Quote: "E=Mc2." -Einstein
  • Favorite Song: "Bethoven's 5th Symphony."
  • Favorite Movie: The Social Network. "That could have been me." -Lee Hightower
List of Offenses: 2011 True Freshman Season
Lee Hightower is one of the more highly touted recruits in recent school history. A 4 star recruit out of Loyola High School in Inglewood, California, Hightower was a hotly recruited defensive back out of high school. With offers from the likes of Washington and Yale, it was impressive when Lee chose the Broncos over his other possible alternatives. Yale recruited Hightower partially for his football playing abilities, but also because the kid is a genius. A National Merit Achievement winner (if you don't know what that is, look it up, or trust me that it is a big deal), Lee could have chosen to pursue his educational goals just about anywhere in the country. He brings a lot of maturity and credence to the program. Hightower played as a true freshman last season when our lack of depth in the secondary was truly tested. He started in his last four games of the season, and will likely be starting at Free Safety again this year.

With his incredible fall camp and scrimmage play, expect freshman Darian Thompson to be nipping at Hightower's heels the entire way.

Next Up: All the rest

I believe the Fall Scrimmage truly showed how impressive our defensive backs will be this season. As I said in an earlier post, I believe they will be the anchor of our success in 2012. Only three potential starters are mentioned here, however the list is deep. Jeremy "The Pineapple Express" Ioane will likely get the start at Strong Safety. With other talent such as Bryan Douglas, Darian Thompson, Ebo Makinde, Hazen Moss, and Josh Borgman, we will not be shy on talent or speed.


This may be the most impressive unit of guys on the entire team. The speed, agility, athleticism, smarts, talent, and desire to win is immeasurable among these kids. As long as they can stay relatively healthy, without having to dig too deep into the depth chart, I believe our success will live and die by the hands of these young players. We have great players all over the team, but our defense is going to be among the best in the country this year. Mark my words. And if they aren't, I will delete this post before anyone can ever say I was wrong. So there.

Your Turn

Who do you think will be the star of the defense this year? Do you see any upsets at starting positions? Will Jeremy Ioane finally live up to his hype? Sound off in the comments!