By Chadd Cripe
© 2010 Idaho Statesman
One of the highest-profile jobs up for grabs during fall camp for the Boise State football team is punt returner.
The candidates include wide receivers Titus Young, Chris Potter and Mitch Burroughs and cornerback Jerrell Gavins.
Young is the most intriguing because of his playmaking ability, but he also will be used in the pass game, in the run game and as a kickoff returner.
“Titus is going to be asked to carry a big burden for us,” special teams coach Jeff Choate said. “That kickoff return thing, that takes a lot out of a guy. Maybe what’s best for us is to find another specialist that can do that that we feel good about. But the best guy is going to play.”
The Broncos have had success in the punt-return game with some less-explosive players. Safety Marty Tadman averaged 11.4 yards per return in 2007 .
“We used to joke,” Choate said, “ ‘Block for a touchdown and he’ll get us 30 yards every time.’ But you can turn the field in 30 yards.”
Tadman also provided versatility because of his athletic ability. For instance, he could throw a lateral.
Potter, a former high school quarterback, would fit that mold.
“I’ve always loved punt return,” Potter said. “People always thought I was weird. I’m scared to death of kickoff return but punt return, I’m perfectly normal. … Any time I get in there, I want to prove I can do it.”
The Broncos practiced in the Caven-Williams Sports Complex again Thursday morning — and it was even stickier than Wednesday. By watering the field, turning on the heat and keeping the doors closed, coaches created a hot, humid atmosphere for the second straight day.
“It’s like playing in a sauna,” fullback Dan Paul said.
LeGarrette Blount told a radio station that Boise State’s Byron Hout said more than he admitted to in a press conference last week. Hout told reporters he said, ‘How ‘bout that (blank)-whuppin’.’ ”
Here’s a partial transcript of Blount’s interview:
“That was half the truth, but that’s not the whole thing. I’m not going to repeat what else he said. That was just a hostile environment there with the fans and the players. (Host: Did he say something personally offensive to you or about you?) Definitely. I’ve had people talking trash to me my whole career of football. Something like that is never going to trigger me to do what I did. Nothing like that is going to trigger me to act the way that I did – by saying ‘How about that ass-whuppin?’ He definitely said something way more harsh and disrespectful to me than what he said.”
You can find the interview here.
Here are a couple more spots on my AP Top 25 ballot. The poll will be released Aug. 21:
9. Oregon — Losing Jeremiah Masoli hurts, but the Ducks have a ton of talent and a nasty offense.
10. Oklahoma — The Sooners’ season was decimated by injuries last year. Hard to believe they won’t be back in the Top 10 this year.
15. Georgia Tech
17. Penn State
18. Oregon State
19. Florida State
22. North Carolina