By Chadd Cripe
Freshman wide receiver Aaron Burks, who joined the Boise State football team in January, has made a strong push in the past few days to join the rotation. The Broncos likely will need a true freshman at wide receiver.
“I’m really hoping (to play),” said Burks, who is from Grand Prairie, Texas. “That’s what keeps you driving every day. Every time I go to sleep, that’s what I’m thinking about.”
Burks (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) was extremely raw when he arrived. He struggled for much of the spring and early in fall camp.
That started to change Thursday when he led the team with seven catches for 90 yards in the scrimmage. He built on that performance with several big plays over the weekend. He dropped a touchdown pass Monday morning but bounced back with some nice grabs later in practice.
“I’m starting to figure it out,” Burks said. “The coaches are putting me in different positions to give me different looks. I feel more comfortable out there. Before, it was like I was thinking on the move — and that won’t get you very far.”
Coach Chris Petersen envisions Burks as a “big, physical wide receiver” after another year or two in the weight room. Burks weighed less than 180 pounds when he arrived.
“The nice thing is his mentality is starting to change,” Petersen said. “He’s playing more physical. If he continues on that course, we’ll be right on track with him.”
The daily battle between cornerback Kyle Wilson and wide receiver Titus Young continued Monday morning with each earning a prominent victory. Wilson intercepted starting quarterback Kellen Moore’s pass, intended for Young, during a timed 2-minute drill. Later, Young blew past Wilson for an 83-yard touchdown reception.
Moore has been named to the watch list for the Manning Award, which goes to the top quarterback and isn’t handed out until after the bowl games.