Twelve Bronco linebackers from The Blue Era are eligible for your votes
Andy Avalos, one of the greatest linebackers in Boise State history, is entering his second season as defensive coordinator and his fourth working with the position he played with the Broncos from 2001-04. Avalos is in his sixth year overall with his alma mater, having worked with the defensive line from 2012-13.
Avalos has played a critical role in the Broncos' defense since returning to Boise State, a unit that concluded the 2015 season ranked 12th nationally in total defense (318.3 yards per game) and 18th nationally in scoring defense (20.2 points per game).
In 2016, his first season as defensive coordinator, six players earned All-Mountain West honors -- including a pair of linebackers. Ben Weaver was named second-team all-conference after leading Boise State with 108 tackles (58 solo), while Tanner Vallejo was named honorable mention despite his final collegiate campaign being cut short due to injury.
The Broncos ranked 29th nationally and second in the Mountain West in scoring defense in 2016, giving up just 23.3 points per game.
The Broncos forced 31 turnovers in both 2014 and 2015, ranking tied for fifth nationally in the latter season and ninth nationally in the former. Bronco linebackers contributed 10 fumble recoveries, eight forced fumbles and eight interceptions during that time.
During Avalos' two seasons overseeing the defensive line, three Broncos combined to earn five All-Mountain West honors, including two-time first-team honoree Demarcus Lawrence, and fellow first-team recipients Mike Atkinson and Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe. Lawrence also earned All-America accolades in 2013 from both the Walter Camp Foundation (second team) and SI.com (honorable mention).
The Broncos ranked 11th nationally in sacks in 2012 (2.92), and tied for 30th in tackles-for-loss (6.7) in 2013. Lawrence ranked amongst the national leaders in sacks in each season under Avalos, finishing 2012 ranked tied for 18th (0.86 per game), and tied for 10th nationally in 2013 (0.88).
In Avalos's debut season with the Broncos, the Broncos also ranked eighth nationally in scoring defense (15.77) and 12th nationally in total defense (315.62).
A four-year letterwinner for the Broncos, Avalos earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors at outside linebacker in each of his final two seasons. He completed his career ranked fourth all-time with 365 tackles, and led the Broncos in the statistical category in each of his final three seasons. He was named to the All-Blue Team during the 2016 season, a list of the 30 greatest players at Boise State since the inception of The Blue in 1986.
Following his graduation from Boise State, Avalos returned to his hometown of Corona, Calif., where he coached linebackers at Corona High School in 2005. He then joined the Colorado staff as a defensive graduate assistant.
Avalos spent the 2009-10 seasons at Nebraska-Kearney coaching defensive line, and the 2011 season coaching linebackers at Sacramento State.
Avalos and his wife Summer had their first child, a daughter named Paityn, Jan. 31, 2014, and added a second daughter, Paige, April 12, 2016.
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