FootballSports & Rec

Bronco super seniors return to football for one more year of eligibility

Photo by Mackenzie Hudson

With all the adversity that last football season brought to the Broncos, they were able to persevere and make it through with a not-so-normal season. Through the adversity came another year of eligibility for eight Boise State seniors that are now able to return due to the NCAA policy on COVID-19

Punter Joel Velazquez is passionate to announce his return to The Blue next year as his answer to coming back was a “no brainer.” Velazquez has had a great run for the Broncos by being an addition to special teams. 

Velazquez also proposed to his longtime girlfriend Sarah Kilfoy, a member of the Boise State Spirit Squad. 

“I’m never going to say no to more Boise State football,” Velazquez said. “I have goals to play at the next level, and I love being here and getting better in this environment.” 

Nickel back Kekaula Kaniho has always been a player with a huge love for the atmosphere that surrounds the City of Boise. Kaniho is a player with big goals for the upcoming season and is grateful to be back. Kaniho has attributed a lot to the Bronco defense by racking up 165 tackles, five sacks and five interceptions. 

[Photo of Kekaula Kaniho]
Photo by Mackenzie Hudson | The Arbiter

“For me to have the opportunity to come back and do it again is really special,” Kaniho said. “This is a place I love being and a place I call home.”

Offensive lineman Jack Stetz is locked in for the upcoming season. He has high aspirations to solidify his role as a team leader and being a positive mentor to the younger players.

“I did a gut check and wanted to see what my heart wants, and it told me to come back for my super senior year,” Stetz said. “I want to keep developing leadership skills and helping the young offensive linemen and keep writing my legacy.”

Linebacker Riley Whimpey has his targets locked on a record-breaking final season with the Broncos.  Whimpey has had a tremendous surge of defense through the years adding 216 tackles, five sacks and a forced fumble with a recovery. 

“We have a chip on our shoulder,” Whimpey said. “We’re putting in the work now and doing the things we need to do to not only play in the Mountain West championship game again, but win it.”

Boise State linebacker Brock Miller had a difficult start to his senior season last year due to partially tearing the plantar fascia in his foot in a scrimmage during the last day of fall camp. Miller fought through the pain for the season opener and eventually completely tore it in the second game of the season. With one more year of eligibility, Miller will get another shot at taking the field for the Broncos.

These seniors will be making a run for a fifth consecutive Mountain West championship game appearance. With high hopes for next season, the opener is scheduled against the University of Central Florida on Sept. 4, in Orlando, Fla.

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