By Chadd Cripe
© 2010 Idaho Statesman
Boise State junior linebacker Byron Hout addressed the media Friday for the first time since his infamous confrontation with Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount at the end of last year’s season opener.
Hout, who showed good humor when talking about the incident, even revealed what he said before Blount leveled him with a punch. (Here is video of the press conference.)
“ ‘How ‘bout that (blank)-whuppin’,’ ” Hout said. “That’s what I said.”
The comment was a reference to Blount’s comment in Sports Illustrated that the Ducks owed Boise State a butt-whuppin’.
“The whole incident was emotion,” Hout said. “Emotions were running high from the game and I think that just carried over to the whole incident. I kind of learned that you can’t let emotions do that anymore. You have to be in control of your emotions. A great football player is in control of his emotions out there. You can’t just be out there running wild.”
Other highlights from Hout:
— On the incident following him: “It’s always going to be a shadow, I guess, in my career — a dark point. But I just try to learn from it. Everything happens for a reason and that happened to teach me and hopefully a lot of other players that you can’t let your emotions get out of control. … My kids are going to see it. It’s going to be something I’m going to have to explain to them.”
— On strangers bringing up the incident: “When you meet someone new, it’s, ‘Oh, you’re that guy.’ I have to retell the story over and over again and say the same thing over and over again. I’ve kind of got it rehearsed now.”
— He gained 20 pounds when he switched from defensive end to linebacker. He has now lost that weight to play middle linebacker. “It’s great to be back at linebacker,” he said.
— On this season: “I just want to get out there and hopefully make some plays and look forward to each game and hopefully not be known for anything like that ever again.”
In case you missed it, Boise State is No. 5 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Here is my blog post on that.
Boise State only has six scholarship newcomers. Three recruits are grayshirting — wide receiver Troy Ware, tight end Holden Huff and defensive lineman Tyler Horn. Linebacker Darren Lee is on a mission.
Meanwhile, senior linebacker Daron Mackey, freshman tailback Malcolm Johnson and freshman linebacker John Michael Davis aren’t in camp.
Mackey is suspended for fall camp. He was arrested last month and he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of driving without a valid license, failure to maintain insurance and failure to appear for a court hearing. Mackey also is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. “If things go how they need to in terms of taking care of things, he may be back when we start school,” coach Chris Petersen said.
Johnson is “working on some academic things,” Petersen said. He was suspended for the Fiesta Bowl trip. His return date is unknown.
Davis is “dealing with some personal things,” Petersen said. His return date also is unknown. As recently as Thursday, defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said he expected Davis to make an impact this fall.
On the injury front, offensive lineman Matt Slater (back), offensive lineman Garett Pendergast (ankle) and tailback Matt Kaiserman (ankle) are sidelined.
Boise State opened fall camp Friday morning with a practice in helmets only. The Broncos add shoulder pads Sunday and go to full pads Tuesday, part of an NCAA-mandated break-in period.
Newcomers and some younger players worked out for about 40 minutes before the veterans joined in. Coaches spread the playing time around generously, but a few players did stand out — most notably cornerback Jamar Taylor, who was named coach Chris Petersen’s camper
of the day. Taylor provided tight coverage several times.
Quarterback Kellen Moore and tailback D.J. Harper also looked good. Harper’s first run, for a big gain up the middle, was greeted with a chorus of “He’s back!” comments from the defense. Harper practiced for the first time since tearing an anterior cruciate ligament last year at Fresno State.
Also on the field Friday — sophomore wide receiver Kirby Moore. Moore’s freshman season was dominated by foot problems. He was injured during summer conditioning and the screw that repaired the problem broke during the season. He had another surgery after the Fiesta Bowl and missed spring ball.
“I haven’t had any pain in my foot,” he said. “It’s kind of been the first time in a while that that hasn’t been something on my mind 24/7.”
The Associated Press Top 25 is scheduled for release Aug. 21. I am a voter and am unveiling my ballot a piece or two at a time. Here’s today’s update:
20. Arkansas — Quarterback Ryan Mallett has expectations high for the Hogs, but they’re in a loaded division.
21. Utah — It would be a shock if the Mountain West didn’t have two Top 25 teams. The Utes are considered the second-best team in that league.
22. North Carolina