Finishing off the top third of the 80’s, is a TE with sneaky speed!
#87, Alec Dhaenens
Weight: 245 lbs.
High School: Fruitland High School, Fruitland, ID
How'd he get to The Blue™?
Alec Dhaenens and his dearly departed former Bronco teammate, Joey Martarano (he’s NOT in a better place—he’s playing baseball...but we still wish him all the best!), both came in from local 3A power, Fruitland High. While at Fruitland, Alec helped lead the team to three, consecutive state titles. For his efforts as a two-way player at both tight end, defensive end, and later linebacker, Dhaenens finished his high school career with multiple spots on all-league and all-state teams. Despite an injury shortened senior year, he was a highly productive player for the Grizzlies overall. This was enough to get him recruited and eventually committed to Boise State.
Going off of the pronunciation I’ve heard from multiple members of the Bronco coaching staff, where they say his last name as “Danes”, I present to you:
"The Great Dhaenens"
...but considering how many variations of Sonatane Lui’s first name that I heard, before getting clarification from the man himself , maybe we should take that with a grain of salt.
Captain Kirk/Steve Trevor/One of the skinhead, hitmen brothers from 'Smokin’ Aces' actor, Chris Pine. Also the familiar voice you hear in BMW commercials. Taking into account possible bias from having just viewed Wonder Woman tonight (it was rad, btw), I still think Chris Pine is just a lighter-haired, smaller version of Alec Dhaenens.
Thus far in his Bronco career, Alec Dhaenens has 19 catches for 145 yards and 5 TDs. Now for a senior, those numbers may not jump off the page, but there are some important considerations to make. For one thing, Dhaenens is very good as a blocking tight end, and is primarily utilized in that capacity. For another, there’s been a lack of continuity with offensive coordinators for most of Alec’s tenure at Boise State. Lastly, the second of the previous two points has led to a de-emphasis of TEs in the Bronco passing game, but I expect that to change this season.
Stats aside, Alec also might be remembered for his single-handedly preventing a BYU score in last year’s game. He chased down Cougar safety, Kai Nacua, from behind after a blocked kick and brought him down around the 50. Generally the speed differential between a safety that’s only a shade over 200 lbs and a TE that’s carrying an extra 40 or so lbs shouldn’t allow that to happen. Luckily for us, Dhaenens decided to ignore the laws of physics that night.
As I alluded to above, I think 2017 will see a resurgence in the role of pass-catching tight ends in the Bronco offense. We presently have 7 on the roster, and they’re not just bodies. Some of these guys were heavily recruited by major power 5 schools, especially in the PAC 12. With that much talent in the TE corp and a second year of continuity with offensive coordinator, Zak Hill, I anticipate he will find a way to get the ball into such a plethora of talented hands. I would say to keep an eye out for Jake Roh (obviously) to be on the receiving end of the lion’s share of targets directed toward the position group. However, after that, I think John Bates, Jake Knight, and Alec Dhaenens are each roughly as likely as the other to get looks in the passing game. Dhaenens already showed last year that he can be a very adept pass-catcher when he was called on to help fill the void left by Jake Roh’s injury.
Is he on Twitter?
Indeed he is, and you can follow him at @alecdhaenens98
Completely made up fact
Alec Dhaenens once went on vacation to California and happened across the set of “Star Trek: Into Darkness”. He was minding his own business as a spectator of filming when Benedict Cumberbatch mistook him for the real Chris Pine and punched him in the face. It was awkward for everyone, and Benedict went so far making amends that he invited Alec to his trailer and served him an eponymously-named breakfast dish involving eggs.
...Chris Pine felt very left out. He went to his trailer and had a cold, bland sad.