Freshman wide receiver Austin Pettis made quite a first impression this morning as the Boise State football team opened fall camp. He was named the player of the day by coach Chris Petersen.
Pettis, a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder from Anaheim, Calif., worked out with the veterans instead of the newcomers. He and Titus Young, who is 5-11, 165, are candidates to play this year because the Broncos lack experience at wide receiver.
Early in Friday’s practice, Pettis drew the ire of junior quarterback Bush Hamdan for a mistake on his route.
“I forgot he was a freshman,” Hamdan said. “I got in his face and said, ‘I need you.’ ”
Wide receivers coach Brent Pease reminded Hamdan that Pettis was just a few minutes into his first college practice. But a little later, Pettis looked like a seasoned veteran.
“I threw a bad ball to the outside and the guy makes a diving catch,” Hamdan said. “I went straight to him and said, ‘Hey, I’ll bus your tray or something today.’ ”
Petersen named Pettis the player of the day on BroncoSports.com.
“He did a nice job making plays,” Petersen said. “He certainly doesn’t know this offense like some of the other guys do, but he showed up and competed well.”
Pettis is indicative of the young talent the Broncos have at wide receiver, Hamdan said. Pettis, Young, walk-on Tyler Shoemaker of Mountain View High and grayshirt Mitch Burroughs of Meridian High (he joins the team in January) worked out with the Broncos during the summer.
“Whether it’s this year or the years to come, we’re going to have some exciting things in this passing game,” Hamdan said.
When the newcomers took the field in the afternoon, freshman running back Doug Martin showed that he’s ready to compete for playing time. Martin, from Stockton, Calif., or fellow freshman D.J. Harper, of Cypress, Texas, likely will play this year.
Martin looked like a natural as he went through the running back drills and made several big plays in team situations.
Freshman linebacker Ben Chandler added two interceptions, and freshman defensive backs Antwon Murray, Cedric Febis and Shaun Jordan also grabbed picks.