BOISE — At one of the most prized positions in football, Boise State is becoming a top-notch producer of talent.

Following in the footsteps of Ryan Clady, offensive tackle Nate Potter was named a consensus All-American on Thursday. Potter is only the second Bronco to earn the honor since Boise State joined the Division I-A ranks in 1996 — Clady, now with the Denver Broncos, was the first, in 2007.

“Nate’s such a great guy, an excellent player, you wouldn’t know if he’s first-team All-American or third-string on a JV football team,” Boise State coach Chris Petersen said.

To obtain consensus status, players must be named to at least three of the five All-American teams recognized by the NCAA. Potter made four — he was a second-team choice on the Associated Press team and Walter Camp team. He was a first-team pick by the Football Writers Association of America and also on Thursday, earned a first-team nod from the Sporting News.

Potter was a first-team all-WAC selection in 2009 and 2010, plus earned first-team Mountain West honors last week.

“He’s just been very consistent, he’s gotten better during his career,” quarterback Kellen Moore said. “… He’s a very smart football player, and that’s key for an offensive lineman.”

The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Potter, a Timberline High graduate, anchors an offensive line that is tied for first nationally for giving up the least amount of sacks (eight). He’s started the last 33 games for the Broncos.

“It’s always nice to have a big guy in front of you,” running back Doug Martin said. “His pass (protection) is amazing. He’s a real physical guy and a great competitor.”

Coach Petersen hopeful cornerbacks will play

Junior cornerback Jamar Taylor has missed three of the last four games and played just a few plays early Nov. 12 against TCU, while sophomore Ebo Makinde has missed the last four. Against a strong passing team like Arizona State in Thursday’s MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, the Broncos could certainly use them.

“We’re hoping  we’ll have Jamar back, and maybe Ebo, too — he’s been running around a little bit,” Petersen said.

Senior George Iloka, who has played cornerback the last two games, will prepare to play both safety and cornerback, Petersen added. The Broncos’ coach also said nickel Jonathan Brown likely will not play.

QB recruit earns big award

Nick Patti, a quarterback at Orlando’s Dr. Phillips High who plans on enrolling at Boise State in January, was named the Florida 8A player of the year Thursday.

Patti had 2,114 passing yards and 23 touchdowns, plus ran for 626 yards and seven more touchdowns this fall, guiding his team to a 10-2 record and an appearance in the regional semifinals. He finished with school records in completions (374), yards (5,701) and touchdowns (66).

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