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The Idaho Press is counting down the 25 most important players to the 2021 Boise State football team. Next up is No. 20: EDGE Isaiah Bagnah.

The name of the position has changed from STUD to EDGE but its importance on Boise State’s defense remains the same.

And after a breakout debut season in 2020, redshirt sophomore Isaiah Bagnah figures to have a big role for the Broncos there this fall.

The 6-foot-4, 236-pound Canadian redshirted in 2019 but earned significant playing time as a redshirt freshman season due to an injury to Demitri Washington.

Given an unexpected early chance to contribute, Bagnah didn’t disappoint. He finished second on the team with 3.0 sacks and was tied for second with 4.5 tackles-for-loss during the pandemic-shortened season. He played in all seven games and finished with 12 total tackles.

Washington is recovering from a knee injury and expected to be back by the season opener at UCF, but Bagnah still figures to see plenty of playing time.

“Being thrown in towards the end of the season I got a lot of experience under my belt and I got to help and lead the STUD room,” Bagnah said. “I’m trying to bring that into this year and be a leader and use that experience to be strong with the whole STUDs room.

“Last year I really tried to lock in and focus and I saw real improvement in my game. This year I just want to put my head down and grind and get stronger and faster.”

Boise State’s STUD/EDGE position has produced several NFL players in recent years including Kamalei Correa and Curtis Weaver. It’s a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end position that has plenty of chances to rush the passer.

Bagnah looked ready for the role in year one. He’ll be counted on even more in year two.

B.J. Rains has covered Boise State athletics for the Idaho Press since 2013 and is a three-time winner of the NSMA Idaho Sportswriter of the Year Award. He appears on KTIK 93.1 FM The Ticket every Friday at 4 p.m. for the Blue Turf Sports report.

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