Monday, September 12, 2011

Ian Johnson Picked Up By San Francisco

I understand that most NFL teams have no clue what they're doing.  I understand they have little ability to evaluate actual talent and potential.  But there's one guy in particular that you just shake your head and say "Why isn't this guy starting in the NFL?" 

And that would be former Bronco running back Ian Johnson.  Ian was cut in the final week by the Detroit Lions. Today, IJ was picked up by San Francisco and is temporarily on the practice squad.  The 49'ers at least have the history to think that finally Johnson might be with the right team that can recognize his ability and get him on the field.

Congrats to IJ and show them what you're made of!

Toledo Fired Up For Boise State

Ohio State has played the Toledo Rockets twice—and won by a combined score of 87-0.

Last weekend in the Horseshoe, things didn’t go so easily for the Buckeyes.  Toledo went toe-to-toe with the #15 team in the nation, coming one play and 16 yards short of getting the win.  Defensive lineman Johnathan Lamb recovered a fumble on the Toledo 28-yard line with 3:08 remaining.  Sophomore quarterback Terrance Owens drove his team down tie field before a fourth-and-5 pass was off the mark.  Ohio State prevailed 27-22, but Toledo left the field with tons of confidence. 

Despite injuries, the Toledo defense held Ohio State to 112 yards rushing.  Offensively, big-play receiver Eric Page caught 12 passes for 145 yards, returned one kickoff for 42 yards and threw for a two-point conversion.  Toledo loves to get the ball to Page and let him run in space.  His 66-yard touchdown past the Buckeye secondary is evidence of his blazing speed if you let him loose.  Page has 181 receptions for 18 touchdowns in just two seasons.

Page averaged 31.1 yards a return last year, third in the nation, and returned three kickoffs for TD’s.  Toledo Coach Tim Beckman has confidence in both Austin Dantin and Terrance Owens; both played considerably against Ohio State.  Adonis Thomas ran for over 1,000 yards last season and averaged six yards a carry.  The line features two four-year starters at tackle—Mike VanDerMuelen and John Morookian. 

On defense, Toledo has six players they can rotate at defensive tackle that are all about 6-3, 290.  Malcolm Riley, Lamb, Johnnie Roberts and Elijah Jones will lead the line while T.J. Fatinikun paces the ends.  Dan Molls was second in the Metro Athletic Conference in total tackles and Ballard is a hybrid off the edge.  Desmond Marrow is a sixth-year player and his size (6-3, 205) gives him the ability to shut down wide receivers of any size.  Diauntae Morrow, Mark Singer & Ross Madison are talented safeties. 

Toledo was two points away from a 10-3 season last year and is the preseason pick to win the MAC this year.  Toledo officials are expecting a loud Glass Bowl this Friday night for the game with Boise State. 

Kickoff is Friday night at 6.

Purple Heart Award Winner Enrolls at Boise State

Rodney White, a Naval reservist and now a Boise State University student, was serving as a hospital corpsman in Afghanistan last year. While at Combat Outpost Terra Nova near Jelewar on August 10, a mortar round shook the walls. White rushed outside and began treating the injured. Nine more shells rocked the base, injuring eight.

White himself was hit in the leg by shrapnel while he worked to stabilize his fallen comrades. But White continued to assist the injured, saving six soldiers that day. In recognition of his bravery in the face of danger, White received the Purple Heart at Gowen Field in August.

“Being a medical person, you gotta put the other guys ahead of you,” he said. “I knew my injury was minor. I couldn’t bend my leg very well and I saw the shrapnel in me, but I had to make sure the other guys were OK.”

For nine hours he cared for Americans, Canadians, Afghans and others before he was able to turn attention to himself. He cleaned and wrapped his wound, but the hurt didn’t go away.

“I kept having pain — zingers that shoot down my leg,” he said. He at first refused to go home and was assigned to and fulfilled another mission where he also was shot at, this time for five days straight.

Afterwards, White's supervisor told him he was done with dangerous missions. White is still in the reserves, but he enrolled in classes over the summer and hopes to be accepted into Boise State's School of Nursing.

White enlisted in the Navy out of high school, then went back in after the Sept. 11 attacks. He has been deployed three times: twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. During his final deployment, White heard good things about Boise State’s nursing program from friends from the Boise area and decided to give it a shot.
“I wanted to go to a school where people would later look at my application and say, ‘You went to that school? It has a good reputation.’” He applied while still in Afghanistan and now juggles school, reserve duties and being a dad to his three children.

So far, his experience has been positive. “I love it here. It reminds me a lot of home (Montana) and everyone I have met on campus — including staff — has been really easy to talk to.

“After I earn my degree, I want to put in for a commission as a Navy Nurse Corps officer,” he said. “I do love the military and I want to experience it for the rest of my life, but I’d like to retire as a nurse and a commander.”

Boise State Men, Women Win Roger Curran Invitational

The Boise State men's and women's cross country teams each won at the Roger Curran Invitational at West Park in Nampa, Idaho.  The Bronco women smothered the comopetition, defeating second place Northwest Nazarene by 52 points.  Eastern Oregon was third followed by Westminster of Utah and TVCC.

Freshman Varisa VanderMalle captured the individual title, complete the 4-kilometer course in 1:48.10.   Sophomore Emma Bates was third (15:04.29) while junior Shea Hanson placed fourth with a time of 15:06.13. 

The Boise State men had 37 points to top NNU (73 points), Eastern Oregon (107), TVCC (126) and Westminster (168).  Freshman Vince Hamilton paced the Bronco men with a second place finish (19:00.65 on the 6-k course).  Drew O'donoghue-McDonald was fourth with a time of 19:09.77

Boise State goes against a competitive field on September 24 at the Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, Minnesota.  The remainder of the team will stay to take part in the Bob Firman Invitational at Eagle Island State Park.