Boise State vs Wyoming Football

Boise State cornerback DeAndre Pierce (4) hauls in an interception during the first half against Wyoming on Oct. 21, 2017, at Albertsons Stadium in Boise.

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The Idaho Press is counting down the 20 most important players for the Boise State football team in 2019. Next up on our list is No. 19, DeAndre Pierce:

Safety DeAndre Pierce experienced first hand how beneficial the new redshirt rule can be. Now the Broncos are hoping a healthy Pierce provides a big boost on defense.

Pierce suffered a season-ending injury to his spleen during the fourth game of the season at Wyoming last September. Since he hadn’t redshirted and only played in four games, he was able to save the year of eligibility and will come back this fall as a redshirt junior. The new redshirt rule that started last season allows players to still count the year as a redshirt if they play in four games or less.

Getting Pierce back on the field will be a major benefit for the Broncos after missing him for much of the year. Pierce and Kekoa Nawahine were mainstays at safety in 2017 and expected to be a solid duo last season. That was the case until the injury.

Pierce was Boise State’s leading tackler at the time of his injury with 23, and also had a sack and a tackle-for-loss. He had 12 tackles in the season opener at Troy and had the sack in the win at Wyoming before suffering the injury.

The injury was a big blow to the Broncos after Pierce was named All-Mountain West honorable mention as a sophomore in 2017 when he was fourth on the team with 83 tackles and also had 4.0 tackles-for-loss and an interception.

Tyreque Jones, Jordan Happle and Evan Tyler benefited with extra playing time in his absence, but there’s no doubt getting Pierce back this fall makes Boise State’s defense better.

And instead of entering his senior year with the Broncos this fall, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Pierce still has two seasons left at Boise State — an unexpected boost to the Broncos looking ahead to 2020.

But the Broncos are more concerned with 2019 right now, and his return to the lineup is a big deal.

Boise State’s 20 Most Important Players in 2019{/span}

No. 20: Chase Hatada

{span class=”print_trim”}No. 19: DeAndre Pierce

This article originally ran on idahopress.com.

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