Hall monitors the defense for Boise State | NevadaAppeal.com

Hall monitors the defense for Boise State

Appeal Sports Writer

You can’t blame Korey Hall if he feels like he has a big target on his back these days.

Hall, the feisty 6-foot-1, 228-pound middle linebacker for the Boise State Broncos, was recently named the WAC Preseason Player of the Year by media members covering the league.

Hall has also been named to the watch lists for the Rotary Lombardi, Lott Trophy and Bronco Nagurski awards. That’s some pretty good notoriety considering the season is still nearly a month away.

“I didn’t feel like I had that good of a season last year,” Hall said at the recent WAC Media Day. “I had turf toe the first four or five weeks of the season. I didn’t feel like I was playing up to par.

“It’s exciting (to be honored), but on the other hand, it puts a big target on your back. It comes with a lot of expectations that are placed on you personally.”

And, the rugged Hall, who may be smaller than most middle linebackers in the WAC, will meet those expectations like he meets running backs – head on. He definitely makes the underrated Bronco defense go.

After redshirting his first year at Boise State, Hall has racked up some pretty impressive tackle stats. He’s had 92, 85 and 106 the last three years, including 8 1/2 sacks and 21 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

“He’s a good player,” Nevada coach Chris Ault said. “He’s done a nice job for them in the middle. He has a good motor and plays well in their system.”

Ault certainly wasn’t knocking Hall by any means. The Broncos’ system is set up for the middle linebacker to make a lot of tackles. The key is for the down linemen to control the line of scrimmage which enables the linebacker to roam around.

Hall is the Broncos’ defensive leader in every sense of the word, and BSU head coach Chris Petersen loves to be around him.

“He’s one of the reasons I got into coaching football, just to be around players like him,” Petersen said recently. “He’s a great kid. Every time I see him, he’s got a smile on his face. He’s a true leader and a heck of a player.”

Hall’s fearless style and physical nature has been a perfect fit for the Broncos. Still, he didn’t dream of starring for the Broncos when he was growing up and dominating at the 2A level when he went to Glenns Ferry. He rushed for more than 2,800 yards and made 359 tackles.

“I never thought about it until my senior year rolled around,” Hall said. “I knew I always wanted to play the game and go to college and play. I never really thought about where.

“I’m happy I came here. This is a blue-collar tough football school. We’ve had a lot of success, and I’m happy I’ve been able to contribute.”

The offense, especially in the last several years, has gotten the lion’s share of the credit for the Broncos’ success. The defense is underrated and underappreciated.

“It doesn’t bother us,” Hall said. “We’ve done our job out there. We just want to go out there and be dominant.

“We have a great offense. They deserve the attention they get. We have a good team on both sides of the ball.”

One thing Hall wants to do is take the co out of co-WAC champions. It still burns him that the Broncos had to share the title with Nevada. He won’t be totally happy unless the Broncos win the title outright in this his senior year.

The Hall File

Position: Middle linebacker

Year in school: Senior

Height: 6-1

Weight: 228

Of note: Has been an all-WAC selection the past two years