Oh man! We are down to 20 days to kickoff. The game, and churros, is so close we can almost taste it!—Tanner Vallejo
#20, Tanner Vallejo, Junior, MLB
Height: 6' 1"
High School: Nevada Union HS, Penn Valley, CA
How'd he get to the Blue™?
Mr. Vallejo was a highly-touted recruit out of Nevada Union High School and considered by many to be one of the true gems of the 2013 recruiting class. Nevada Union finished 2012 with a 5-6 record. Not that impressive until you consider the Sierra Foothill League is stacked and includes Rocklin High (alma mater of TE Holden Huff and former QB Jimmy Laughrea) and Granite Bay High, 2012 CIF Division I State Champion.
The three-star recruit has be filling up the stat sheet since his sophomore year, recording 132 tackles, two sacks, five forced fumbles and one fumble recovery and then following that up with 158 tackles, two sacks, an interception, six forced fumbles and one fumble recovery during his junior campaign. As a senior, he notched 129 tackles (11.7 per game!?!?!), an interception, a sack, and two forced fumbles. A step back in production, wouldn't you say? Hardly, he was just needed on the other side of the ball, accounting for 414 yards rushing and eight touchdowns.
The Broncos definitely got a good one in Vallejo who turned down offers from Arizona, Colorado, Colorado State, Fresno State, Nevada, San Diego State, UNLV, and Washington State.
Because he works like one.
I am probably really off on this, but he actually reminds me of a professor I had while at Boise State--who is still there--Ross Burkhart. A younger version anyway. He was one of my favorite professors. Really cool guy.
Vallejo is in the "pretty good" category. With two years left to go, he could very well hit Korey Hall-like status among Boise State linebackers (if you wanted to take a little trip to the OBNUG archives, you can see if any recent names stick out). Why would I put him in the same air as Hall?
As a true sophomore Vallejo was fifth in conference with 16 TFLs, led the team with 100 tackles (64 solo), and had three fumble recoveries. He managed to notch two defensive touchdowns. One off of a fumble recovery, and the other an INT.
He was an All-Mountain West Second team in 2014, and he is on the Rotary Lombardi Award Preseason watch list for 2015. Not to mention the Fiesta Bowl Defensive MVP.
What more can you say about a guy who is a true junior and already going to be a massive force for the Boise State defense? With this heavy hits, quick wits, and just being a tackling machine, the linebacking corp is in good shape. Technically speaking, Vallejo still has a redshirt season. The hope is he does not need it, but just imagine what he could do with three more years under his belt (albeit one sitting on the bench). Another year of growth, learning the game, and experience. Certainly would make for an easier transition later.
The talk we always seem to hear about is Utah State and their stellar LBs. Cannot fault them, I suppose, seeing as last year Zach Vigil won the MWC Defensive MVP. He had 145 tackles and 19.5 TFLs. And this year? Kyle Fackrell is the preseason defensive MVP. The media seeing another positive season for Utah State. But Vallejo is no slouch. While he may not have the sheer numbers as Fackrell might, his production should not be overlooked. Utilizing the 4-2-5 only gets so many LBs on the field at one time (my guess is probably two) but those two? Well Vallejo and Martarano will definitely more than hold their own. Look for Vallejo to make the MWC all-conference list again. This time? First team.
Is he on Twitter?
FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK TANNER!!!
Is it football season yet.... pic.twitter.com/KDXE4PuTwF— tanner vallejo (@tannervallejo) February 12, 2015
Completely Made Up Fact
Yes. This city was named after Tanner.
(Photo courtesy of Google Maps.)