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Boise State position preview: Defensive line

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Boise State position preview: Defensive line

By Paul Gerke. CREATED Aug 3, 2014

The Bronco football program has a history of churning out NFL-caliber defensive linemen.

"When you think of Boise State defense, a lot of people think of the D-line," says senior Beau Martin.

Two went pro last season: Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe and Demarcus Lawrence.

"I don't know that we have a Demarcus, yet," notes defensive line coach Steve Caldwell. "This time next year, if someone has drafted them in the second round well, we did have a Demarcus."

The spotlight will shine brightest this season on Martin, who is taking over at Lawrence's end position.

"He does have some big shoes to fill, but there have been a lot of great players here," declares Caldwell.

"Demarcus is Demarcus, you can't really compare them," insists senior tackle Tyler Horn. "Just like Shea (McClellin) left and someone else stepped in. Beau is going to do a good job."

"I have my own body type and my own gifts, and so I want to try to utilize those, but there are things I can learn from Demarcus," admits Martin.

"He's a weight room guy, he's a nutrition guy, he eats right, he takes care of his body, he sleeps," says head coach Bryan Harsin, beaming about Martin. "He does all the things you need to do to prepare yourself to play."

"I've got a lot of respect for Beau, and Beau knows what I want and he's working his butt off to get better every day," says Caldwell.

Junior college transfer Rondell McNair will provide depth behind Martin at end.

"He doesn't talk a lot," says Martin of McNair. "Which I think an older guy like me appreciates."

"He is a very athletic man," declares Caldwell. "And very flexible. He can run, he can do a lot of things. He's one of those guys who can help us outside and inside at some point."

Opposite Beau, two true sophomores are impressing at STUD - Gabe Perez and Kamalei Correa.

"Those three right there are our best three players at those two positions," says Caldwell, who intends to rotate Correa and Perez over to end as well.

The middle of the line will be clogged up by senior tackles Horn and Armand Nance. Horn, who used to play outside, gained 15 pounds this summer to better suit the three-technique.

"At first it was a little different, but now that this is my second year playing it, I've kind of just embraced the role," says Horn.

Nance put on weight during the spring, but has since lost most of it. Caldwell says that will help Armand be more consistent this year.

"When he gets a little tired, carrying all that weight, he needs to be able to step up in there and play with the kind of intensity we want him to," suggests Caldwell.

Depth in the interior of the line will come from junior college transfer Antoine Turner, redshirt sophomore Sam McCaskill, and the currently-banged up Justin Taimatuia. Caldwell is also high on England's Elliot Hoyte, who improved immensely this summer.

"He is built like what a three-technique should look like, now we've got him in there playing like that," says Caldwell. Harsin thinks Hoyte and his position-mates are trending upward.

"I think from what I've seen this summer, they're developing as far as physically, to be able to go out there and do what we need them to do. Now it's a matter of going out and doing it," Harsin insists.

"We've got to be physical. We've got to be dominant to have a good defense, and that's kind of just bottom line," says Horn.