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Boise State numerical roster countdown 2015: Day 36, Tyler Gray

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Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

We've got 36 days until kickoff, so today I'll highlight #36 on the Bronco roster—Tyler Gray

#36, Tyler Gray, Senior, OLB

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Stats

Height: 6'4"

Weight: 229 lbs.

High School: Templeton High School, Templeton, CA

How'd he get to The Blue™?

Thank the grayshirt (no pun intended). Gray was a standout linebacker and running back at Templeton High School in California with nearly 350 career tackles to his name. Gray had an offer from San José State, but signed with Hawaii in their 2011 recruiting class. Instead of heading right to the islands, however, Gray was offered an aptly-named grayshirt year and was scheduled to join the Warriors in February of 2012. Gray already had his plane tickets to Hawaii in hand, but had a change of heart when he realized that Hawaii's staff (the staff he'd committed to) would all be gone after the canning "resignation" of Greg McMackin. So, the sturdy linebacker became a Bronco instead, joining the team in time for Spring camp. Just goes to show you, recruits aren't really "here' until they're here.

Nickname

"Gumby"

At one point, this was the nickname of ex-Bronco LB Aaron Tevis, and I think Gray's game and body type qualify him to inherit this title.

Look-a-like

worthington

Actor Sam Worthington

Career highlights

Played in all 14 games for Broncos in 2014, finishing fourth on the team in tackles with 61. Earned Academic All-MWC honors in 2014. Played in all 13 of the Broncos games in 2013, including seven starts. Played in all 13 of the Broncos games in 2012 as a freshman. CalHiSports first team All-State honors as a senior. All-Los Padres league honoree, as well as All-CIF Southern Section and Tribune All-San Luis Obispo County. Recorded 143 tackles and 5 sacks as a senior at Templeton and rushed for 1,600 yards and 25 TDs.

2015 prospectus

Gray's progression on the Bronco defense has been consistent and impressive. As a freshman, Gray notched a respectable 27 tackles, as a sophomore 43, and last season he was 4th on the team after breaking the 60-tackle plateau (61). Gray had to perform for chunks of the season due to Ben Weaver not being at 100 percent, but there were stretches where he really took over games, defensively. One 4 game stretch last season saw him rack up 33 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, a PBU and a pick six. It's true, Gray doesn't quite get the accolades of teammates Ben Weaver or Tanner Vallejo, but he's come up big whenever Boise State needed him, and really has been good enough to earn his "OR" distinction with Ben Weaver on the Broncos' preseason depth chart. With the Broncos employing the 4-2-5 defense, you might think that two linebackers would soak up the majority of the reps and stats, but Marcel Yates is creative enough with the shifts and rotations to get many more Bronco playmakers in on the action. Weaver and Gray, for this year anyway, should—in my mind—be a souped up version of Tevis and Percy...a tag-team tackling duo that can get into the backfield and also disrupt the passing game. In reality, Gray put up arguably better numbers than his counterpart a year ago and I think between the two you have the perfect mix of range, instincts, and power. I think Gray will put a nice exclamation point on his Bronco career this season and make us remember, once again, why luring him away from Hawaii was such a good move.

Is he on Twitter?

I could be wrong, but it appears Gray don't got time for dat.

Completely made up fact

Gray's signature "Blue Steel" roster photo actually came about because just behind the photographer, Kamalei Correa was stealing his Twix bar.