BOISE — There’s a good reason why Riley Whimpey and Chase Cord no longer live together.
Whimpey got married over the summer.
While the two are still good friends and still have lockers close by, Whimpey is enjoying his new roommate much better. Whimpey tied the knot with Alex Lloyd on May 11 and is enjoying his first fall camp as a married man.
“It’s been awesome,” Whimpey said. “Almost three months now. It’s been awesome to go into fall camp and have her by my side and be able to go home and realize I have a wonderful support system there. She’s been awesome and super supportive and keeps me positive and confident. I love being able to be by her and go through this process with her by my side.”
The junior is one of at least three Boise State players to get married over the summer. Safety Kekoa Nawahine and defensive lineman Sonatane Lui also said ‘I do’ in recent months.
The company at home has been welcomed for Whimpey, who is returning from a torn ACL suffered midway through last season. He’s participated in the first week of spring practice but is being eased back into action in hopes of being able to play in the season opener against Florida State.
“It feels great to be back out there with the guys because before that I was on the sideline and I couldn’t do much,” Whimpey said. “Being out there has been awesome. I’m feeling better every day and doing what I need in the training room to get back to where I was last year and hopefully even better.”
Whimpey led the Broncos with 55 tackles when he went down with a torn right ACL against BYU on Nov. 3, 2018. He also had 3.0 tackles-for-loss, 2.0 sacks and a fumble recovery while taking over the weakside linebacker spot vacated by first round NFL Draft pick Leighton Vander Esch.
But just as he was starting to find his groove, his season was cut short.
“It was definitely a tough experience to go through and hard to accept,” Whimpey said. “At that point in the season I was at my best and looking forward to continuing to get better, so having that setback was hard to accept. Obviously it’s tough to get injured and be out the rest of the season, but my support system, my family and girlfriend (now wife) really helped me to have a positive mindset.”
Whimpey is the most experienced and productive linebacker on Boise State’s roster, so having him back by the season opener would be a huge boost to a defense already trying to replace several key pieces from last year. He said playing against Florida State is the goal, although how he does and feels the next three weeks will be the deciding factor.
But already being back on the field and practicing would seem to be a huge indicator that he’s progressing in the right direction.
“It’s great to see him, it really is,” linebacker Benton Wickersham said. “He’s doing really well. He looks really good and he’s working really hard to get back for us.”
Wickersham, who drove to Southern California to attend Whimpey’s wedding, said he’s “a great guy. We love Riley .... He’d do anything for anybody in that room. We appreciate him and we love him.”
Whimpey has made a quick impression on new inside linebackers coach Zac Alley in the short time they’ve been together.
“He’s a leader in the room and a great guy,” Alley said. “I’ve got the wedding invitation behind my desk and I’m proud of him. I’m fired up for him. He brings a lot to that room.”
Whimpey said getting married has pushed him to get back on the field and do as much as he can with his football career. He no longer is just worried about taking care of himself.
“Oh it’s definitely motivating,” Whimpey said. “I want to do my best for her and be able to play football and provide for her. That’s kind of how I view it. If I wasn’t playing football I’d be doing something else to provide for her, but right now it’s football and I’m doing what I need to do to be able to do my best.
“She supports me in what I do and the time I need to be here. We’re away now for pretty much the whole day, but she’s been supportive and it’s been awesome to have her here.”
He hopes she can see a healthy and productive husband out on the football field this fall.