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The students are teaching the students at Boise State

The students are teaching the students at Boise State

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant


Posted on June 4, 2012 at 7:21 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 4:43 PM

Monday, June 4, 2012.

As player-run practices take root for the summer at Boise State, non-verbal communication becomes a core subject for the Broncos.  All four candidates at quarterback have ground to make up in getting to know each player in the BSU receiving corps.  Joe Southwick and Grant Hedrick did spend some time with the group last season, but reps were limited as Kellen Moore mastered the weekly game plan.  Jimmy Laughrea is most familiar with last year’s scout-teamers, such as fellow redshirts Troy Ware and Hilton Richardson.  And Richardson has since been moved to nickel.  And Nick Patti, who just graduated from high school in December, started from scratch this spring.  How does Matt Miller come out of his breaks?  How can you take advantage of Geraldo Boldewijn’s long arms?  How do you judge Dallas Burroughs’ speed?  Summer school is in session.

PRP’s are where leadership percolates for Boise State.  There are no coaches around to prod or push these guys.  Southwick is one of the organizers for the three-times-a-week gatherings at the Caven-Williams indoor facility.  So is he going to give himself more reps than Hedrick, Laughrea and Patti?  Not in this culture.  The Broncos are where they are because of their remarkable chemistry, and summer is when they prove it out.  The workouts are voluntary, and for a decade the turnout has been 100 percent.  That’s how the Broncos define “voluntary.”

I don’t mean to go to this well again, but Hawaii is as interested in the future of Boise State as Boise State is.  The Warriors accepted a Mountain West football-only invitation expecting that the Broncos would still be there to raise the profile of the league.  Then Boise State announced its move to the Big East last December, and Hawaii finds itself under pressure to support placement of the Broncos’ non-football sports in the Big West, where UH’s Olympic sports go this year.  The Honolulu Star-Advertiser has been dogging the story.  Boise State media relations director Max Corbet told the paper it’s now in the hands of the Big West.  And conference commissioner Dennis Farrell said he can’t comment “until the issue gets resolved.”  Will the Warriors support Boise State’s entry into the Big West, or will they circle the wagons around their football program?

The Star-Advertiser’s Ferd Lewis, who ripped BSU in a column 2½ weeks ago, writes, “Boise State's pursuit of a place in the Big West has taken on urgency, people familiar with the process said.”  Lewis cites June 30 as determination day.  The Broncos haven’t officially submitted their paperwork to withdraw from the Mountain West, but they’ll have to by that date if they’re going to proceed with the move to the Big East in 2013.

Count me among the legions that support Gov. Butch Otter’s proclamation calling last Friday “Jerry Kramer/Hall of Fame Day” in the state of Idaho.  The fact that the Idaho Vandal great is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is beyond ridiculous.  I remember the late Harmon Killebrew’s agony when he inexplicably had to wait until his fourth year of eligibility to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  That’s nothing compared to Kramer, who has been eligible for the football Hall since 1974.  Not to forget that Kramer laid one of the most famous blocks in NFL history, the one that got Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr into the end zone to win the legendary Ice Bowl over Dallas on New Year’s Eve, 1967.

The Major League Draft starts today, and it begs the question: will the Cubs' first-round draft pick play at Memorial Stadium this season?  Will any Cubs first-rounder play for the Boise Hawks this summer?  It's happened numerous times, but not since 2009, when Brett Jackson started his career here.  That capped a four-season stretch that saw eight Chicago first round draft choices suit up for the Hawks.  Only four of them have made the big leagues so far—and none of them is playing for the Cubs.  Tyler Colvin of the Rockies is the most successful of the group right now, with Padres reliever Andrew Cashner close behind.  Josh Donaldson has played in the bigs for the A’s but is currently in Triple-A.  And Ryan Flaherty is a utilityman for the Orioles.

In 11 seasons as a Cubs affiliate, the Hawks have seen 11 first round draft choices come through Boise, some of them multiple times.  Interestingly, the Angels sent only two first-rounders to Boise during their 11-year relationship with the Hawks—Eduardo Perez in 1991 and Jeff Schmidt in 1992.  Perez went on to a nondescript 13-year major league career and is now the hitting coach for the Miami Marlins following a stint on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.  Schmidt’s big league career consisted of nine appearances for the Angels in 1996.

You’ve got your four professional golf majors. Well, the first 2012 “major” on the local calendar is the Treasure Valley Amateur, and Gilbert Livas won the title yesterday with a six-under 138 at Plantation Country Club.  Livas won by one stroke over Steve Tarkon and J.J. Astorquia.  The TVA was blessed with a perfect weather weekend—there had been some nervousness the past month as high water from the Boise River temporarily shut down two holes at Plantation.

This Day In Sports…June 4, 2004:

Idaho’s exile in the Sun Belt Conference finally has an end, as the Vandals are invited to join the WAC beginning in 2005.  They enthusiastically accepted, filling a spot vacated suddenly by UTEP’s departure to Conference USA a month earlier.  Still, Idaho’s future had remained in doubt until North Texas rejected overtures from the WAC, electing to stay in the Sun Belt.  The Vandals had been cast off to no-man’s land in 2001 when the Big West dropped football.  Today they face a similar dilemma as the WAC disintegrates, but the Sun Belt has not offered a safety net.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket.  He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)