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Boise State roster countdown 2021: Day 53, Cyrus Habibi-Likio

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PlayStation Fiesta Bowl - Oregon v Iowa State Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Just 53 days until UCF feels the blues, so today we’ll look at a newbie whose number we don’t know yet...it won’t be #53, but ya gotta get them in somewhere. Heeeere’s Cyrus Habibi-Likio

#53 (not really) Cyrus Habibi-Likio, Senior, RB

Stats

Height: 6-1

Weight: 210 (-15)

at Oregon: 122 CAR, 409 RUSH YDS, 21 TD; 14 REC, 98 YDS – 32 games

How’d he get to The Blue™?

The transfer portal.

When former Oregon defensive coordinator Andy Avalos returned to his alma mater as the head coach, Habibi-Likio was eager to see what was up in Boise.

“At Oregon, it was like an instant bond,” Habibi-Likio said of his connection with Avalos. “Being the head man at a place he absolutely adores and loves was huge for me.”

“I could even tell when he was at Oregon,” Habibi-Likio added. “He was all Duck’ed out and all that, but deep down inside, I knew he was Bleeding Blue. It’s just in him forever.”

Here’s the deal though, Habibi-Likio was able to relate to Avalos’ passion for the Blue because deep down inside of his own feelings he had buried a similar affection.

“I’ve always been a big fan of Boise. Even when I visited during my high school years,” Habili-Likio explained, “I really felt like my heart was there.”

Once upon a time, Habibi-Likio was a four-star recruit out of St. Francis High School in Palo Alto. He had offers from Boise State, BYU, Cal, Iowa State, UCF, Utah, and Washington State - just to name a few - but ultimately, he was enamored by the glitz and glamour of Oregon.

Habili-Likio now claims he’s older and wiser, and he proved that in his most recent recruitment. He turned down Power 5 offers from the likes of Cal and Nebraska, citing things that were more important to him.

“What I felt from these coaches was super genuine,” Habiki-Likio said of the Boise State staff.

Habili-Likio detailed that was evident after he jumped on a Zoom call with Bronco coaches to go over the offense and the vision they have for him.

“Being able to have a second chance and being able to say it’s Boise State, I feel so grateful,” Habibi-Likio said. “It’s a great school. Not many people can say their second chance is just as good as their first chance, if not better.”

Nickname

“Coise.”

Okay, it’s not necessarily his nickname, but it’s my excuse to tell you a cool story.

Habibi-Likio was just joking around with a friend when they made up the word “Coise.” It’s a play on the word “Boise,” with the “C” standing for “Cyrus,” which of course is his first name.

“I wanted to do hats, but I didn’t know copyright and all that stuff,” Habibi-Likio said.

So, he made a couple of hats for himself and some family members. Pictures of the hats ended up on Instagram, and some of his followers inquired about where they might be able to get one.

Habibi-Likio then made a few more “Coise” hats and posted on his account that they were for sale.

“15 minutes later, they were all sold out,” he said.

Okay, here is the cool part…

“All the money that I got for the hats has been donated towards meals for the homeless,” Habibi-Likio said. “When I get to Boise, I would love to connect with a community service program.”

(Yes, fans are going to like this guy.)

Look-alike

The Blue

Boise State turned their traditional green colored turf blue back in 1986.

Habibi-Likio did something similar with this hair following his commitment to the Broncos, dying his tips “Boise State blue.”

“They talk about Bleeding Blue,” Habibi-Likio said. “I just kind of wanted to show my appreciation.”

(Like I said, fans are going to like this guy!)

Career highlights

Playing time has never been an issue for Habibi-Likio, as he appeared in 32 of 34 games for the Ducks over the last three seasons.

As a sophomore in 2019, he rushed for 337 yards on 85 carries, and he ranked fifth in the Pac-12 with an Oregon team-best 10 rushing touchdowns. That included a career-high 81 yards rushing on 14 carries in a mid-October, 35-31, road win over rival-Washington. That Ducks team went on to win the Pac-12 along with the 2020 Rose Bowl.

But let’s dive a little deeper into Habibi-Likio’s numbers the only way I know how: #TuSTATS

Habibi-Likio was a redzone force at Oregon. Over the last three years, he totted the rock 63 times inside the 20-yard line with 21 of those carries resulting in touchdowns.

Since the beginning of the 2018 season, those 21 rushing touchdowns are the fifth most in the Pac-12, and the four guys with more than him – Jermar Jefferson, Oregon State, Eno Benjamin, Arizona State, Zack Moss, Utah, and Joshua Kelley, UCLA – have all since been drafted into the NFL.

Here’s something to consider too: All four of those players carried the ball at least 450 times in their respective careers. Habibi-Likio only has 122 career rushing attempts.

On that note…

Habibi-Likio is one of just two FBS players over the last 20 years to hit pay dirt 20-or-more times on 125-or-less career rushing attempts.

(The other is fullback Winston Dimel, who scored 22 touchdowns on 81 carries while playing for Kansas State and UTEP from 2015-18.)

That means 17.2-percent of his career rushing attempts, and 33.3-percent of his career redzone rushes, have resulted in putting points on the scoreboard for his team.

That will be useful for the Broncos.

2021 Prospectus

Although Boise State has successfully tapped the transfer portal and added graduate transfers in the past, few – if any – have had the Power 5 track record that Habibi-Likio owns.

He figures to battle senior Andrew Van Buren, junior Danny Smith, and sophomores Taequan Tyler and Tyler Crowe for playing time behind sophomore George Holani, who is the presumed starter in the backfield.

“We talk a lot, actually,” Habibi-Likio said about Holani. “When I was deciding [on where to commit], he gave me a call and said, ‘hey man, I’m going to need you here.’”

“I think that shows a lot about him,” he added. “[For Holani] not shy away from competition is huge for me.”

Unlike his time at Oregon, the coaching staff at Boise State plans to utilize Habibi-Likio’s versatility instead of solely deploying him as a battering ram at the goal line.

With that in mind, Habibi-Likio told KTVB he cut weight this offseason, dropping from what he referred to as “an unhealthy 225 [pounds],” all the way down to 210 pounds.

“I’ve been working super hard this offseason, cut a lot of weight, I’ve gotten a lot faster, [and] I feel like myself, like I was in high school,” Habibi-Likio said.

Although he hasn’t recorded a 40-yard time recently, Habibi-Likio said he was clocked at 22.0 miles-per-hour this offseason, up from his previous max speed of 19.0 miles-per-hour while at Oregon. He also mentioned he’s training “smarter not harder,” adding workouts in sandpits and the water to reduce impact.

“Right now, I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life,” Habibi-Likio explained, “and hopefully I can prove that when the season comes.”

Is he on Twitter?

He is, along with Instagram and TikTok, and he’s easy to find on all social media platforms because he has the same username: @Cyri3e

I will say this, he does mix it up a bit on each medium. What can you expect?

  • Instagram: Workout videos and highlights
  • TikTok: Dance moves and dogs
  • Twitter: Reactions to what’s going on in the world of sports and more

Completely made up fact

That he’s a one-dimensional running back, suited only for carries from the 10-yard line and in.

Oregon did their best to make this a reality, but it’s just not true.

“I really feel like I was limited there,” Habibi-Likio said. “It’s one of the main reasons I left.”

“We knew we were getting a ‘back that was kind of put into a box at Oregon,” running backs coach Winston Venable said. “We didn’t have that plan for him at all. We want him to come in and be an every down type of ‘back for us.”