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Boise State roster countdown 2018: Day 44, Riley Whimpey

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NCAA Football: Boise State at Brigham Young Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Palindrome Thunderdome. 44 days until kickoff and look at that, a Bronco with those same digits on his jersey—Riley Whimpey.

#44, Riley Whimpey, Sophomore, LB

Stats

Height: 6’1” (-1)

Weight: 207 lbs (-3)

High School: San Clemente High School, San Clemente, CA

How’d he get to the Blue™?

Whimpey initially signed with the Broncos in 2015, but opted to serve a two-year church mission before joining the squad ala Kekoa Nawahine (and Darren Lee etc). In high school, Whimpey was a three-star recruit per Scout.com and was rated the #15 in all of California and #24 in the West Region at OLB. As a senior, Whimpey earned CIF Southern Section Southwest Division Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors and was the Sun View League POTY as well. Riley was named to the All-Orange County First Team in his final season after setting the San Clemente record with 172 tackles. Prior to moving to California, Whimpey was a standout at Utah’s Lone Peak High School, where he helped his team to the state semis in 2013 behind 101 tackles. That year, he was also named second-team All-State as well as first-team academic all-region. Whimpey chose the Broncos over an offer from Utah State—the school both of his older brothers starred for.

Nickname

”Hefty”

Sticking with this. You are now flooded with 80s memories. You’re welcome.

Look-alike

Still getting a lil Bertier vibe here.

Career Highlights

Academic All-Mountain West in fall of 2017. Appeared in 12 games for the Broncos in 2017. Posted unheard of 172 tackles as a senior in 2014 (roughly 12.3 per game). Helped team to league title in 2014. Named CIF Southern Section Southwest Division Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2014. Named Sea View League Defensive Player of the Year in 2014. Helped Lone Peak team squad (UT) to a state semifinal appearance in 2013 after posting 101 tackles. Named second-team all-state as a junior in 2013.

2018 Prospectus

So...Boise State’s most experienced weakside linebacker hasn’t played in a year and the 2nd most experienced guy? Well, you’re reading about him. With 12 game appearances under his belt, Whimpey is second only to Blake Whitlock in terms of snaps and that’s what makes this season’s batch of WILL ‘backers so interesting. I speculated on day 48 that grad-transfer Tony Lashley could potentially line up at WLB and that would definitely add a lot more experience to this group (although Lashley doesn’t necessarily have experience in an Avalos defense), but ahead of fall camp this group has as many question marks as they do exclamation points.

For the record, I really like Whimpey’s game. He’s an instinctive linebacker who’s very aggressive to the ball. He had at least one “oooooh” hit last season among his 17 total stops and I’m sure 2018 is bound to bring quite a few more. Many of us are very excited to see guys like Zeke Noa on the field this year, but will have to keep our heads on a swivel, because I think we’re going to see a platoon approach at WILL with a lot of different jerseys hitting the field at different times and in different packages. I fully expect Whimpey to at least double his tackles from last season and be one of the more active participants of the “top 4” weakside ‘backers. Again, IF Lashley indeed lines up at the WILL spot, I think the “first wave” should end up being Whimpey, Whitlock, Lashley, and Noa, and DeRose and Provenzano will get their snaps as well as some true frosh owing to the new redshirt rule (we signed Brandon Hawkins, Phillip Mills, and DJ Schramm—although none of them may play WILL). Vander Esch’s departure is the biggest linebacker news, obviously...but there’s still plenty of LB intrigue to go around this fall.

Is he on Twitter?

He is (@rdwhimpey) and you should really see him working out with one of his gigantic half-brothers.

Completely made up fact

Whimpey would GLADLY pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.