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Boise State numerical roster countdown 2015: Day 8, Kamalei Correa

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

8 days left until kickoff! Celebrate by reading up on #8 on the Boise State roster—Kamalei Correa

#8, Kamalei Correa, Junior, DE

Stats

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 248 lbs.

High School: St. Louis High School, Honolulu, HI

How'd he get to The Blue™?

By spurning family tradition, mainly. Ex-Hawaii coach Greg McMackin so coveted Correa that he extended an offer to him when he was barely 15. Correa's brother La‘anui played for Hawaii as did brother Haku, and his mother has worked for UH's athletic department for 20 years. It could be that Kamalei's talent outgrew the island he's called home, but I just think that Coach Pete was a heckuva salesman. Correa committed to the Broncos over offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Oregon State, SDSU, Utah, Washington State and Wyoming.

Nickname

"KC"

Just don't call the linebackers "The Sunshine Band"

Look-a-like

432548m_medium

Brother Haku. You crazy, DNA.

Career Highlights

Finds himself on numerous 2015 preseason trophy watch lists including The Bednarik, Lombardi, and Nagurski. Started all 14 games for the Broncos in 2014. Named first-team All-MWC in 2014. Played in all 13 games for the Broncos in 2013 (as a true freshman), recording 12 tackles (1.5 for loss) and a sack. Named first-team All-Interscholastic League of Hawaii after senior campaign. Named #4 player in state of Hawaii by National Underclassmen Combine (NUC).

2015 Prospectus

I think it’s safe to say that none of us knew what Kamalei Correa had in store for us last season—except maybe Kamalei Correa. Correa had the pedigree, and the recruiting interest to suggest that he’d be a very solid player for the Broncos…and he’d shown some flashes as a true freshman that he was going to be a good "get" for the Broncos when all was said and done. However, early in last year’s countdown (Correa had worn #92 as a freshman), I wasn’t even sure he’d be able to surpass fellow sophomore Gabe Perez on the depth chart. I suggested he’d likely at least double his output from his freshman campaign when he’d had 12 tackles and a sack. If you’re quick with the maths, that means I thought Kamalei was good for at least 24 tackles and two sacks in 2014…and hey, I was sort of right. Correa did in fact double his freshman stats as a true sophomore…then he did it again…and again. All told, Correa had nearly five times as many tackles (59) last season as his freshman campaign, twelve times more sacks (12) and more than 12 times the tackles-for-loss (19). For good measure, Correa threw in two forced fumbles and two PBUs a year ago just to really drive home the fact that I’d underestimated the living daylights out of him.

Correa was so good a year ago that by mid-season, I was no longer comparing him to his freshman self or even his fellow defensive ends…but to not-so-distant former Broncos now in the NFL.

When I first started sophomore Correa:sophomore Lawrence comparisons it seemed kind of unfair, but by the end of the year, it looked like Correa might actually be an equal or better NFL prospect than Lawrence was…and that’s where we get to the Catch-22 portion of today’s countdown. YES, I want Kamalei Correa to have a season equal to, or preferably, better than last one. YES, I want him to win national awards, conference DPOTY etc, BUT I realize that, just like Lawrence, with another great season under his belt his draft stock might be high enough to urge an early departure to the NFL. This is just the price we’ll pay for higher and higher profile recruits gracing The Blue. We all sort of knew Jay Ajayi was NFL-bound after his record-breaking season and we saw the writing on the wall for players like Demarcus Lawrence and Ryan Clady. Correa has at least another great season in him and it might just take one for NFL GMs to pencil him in to their draft plans. Selfishly, we’ll hold out hope that he’ll stick around through 2016, but if he has another type of year that we now know is in him, the chips will just have to fall where they may.

Is he on Twitter?

Completely made up fact

Correa cannot be stopped by just an average offensive tackle, but one thing that will stop him dead in his tracks every time: clowns.

Not this guy though.