Boise State's young QBs become 'more instinctive'; WR Aaron Burks looks sharp Saturday

By Chadd Cripe
© 2011 Idaho Statesman

Boise State sophomore quarterback Joe Southwick has made crisp throws and used his mobility to scramble for nice gains the first three days of fall camp, mostly avoiding the turnovers that got him in trouble in the spring.

Southwick and redshirt freshman Grant Hedrick are competing for the backup job that Southwick held last year. Southwick is the front-runner, spending the first three days with the veterans while Hedrick worked with the newcomers.

“The big thing for me, if I can put it down to one word, is being more consistent or efficient,” Southwick said. “I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s one thing — it’s everything. From spring to now, I’m feeling better. I can see improvements here and there.”

Offensive coordinator Brent Pease sees Southwick and Hedrick becoming more comfortable in their roles.

“Their understanding and knowledge and the speed of the game — everything is becoming a little more instinctive to them,” Pease said. “And they’ve done a good job in leadership to this point.”

The Broncos have listed co-backups at times in recent years but Pease hopes to avoid that this year.

“I want to see a guy step forward,” he said. “Who wants the spot?”

The only other quarterbacks on the roster are senior starter Kellen Moore and true freshman Jimmy Laughrea. Laughrea has looked good in the newcomer practices.


The Broncos wore shoulder pads for the first time during camp Saturday. The offense struggled to run the ball against the team’s loaded front seven.

“It always feels good to go hit those O-linemen after they’ve been getting the best of you with no pads on,” junior linebacker J.C. Percy said.

Sophomore wide receiver Aaron Burks looked sharp during the practice. He was one of the top performers in spring testing, running the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds, and is another big-bodied receiver at 6-foot-2, 191 pounds.


Georgia coach Mark Richt backtracked on his comments about not knowing Moore would be back this year, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The newspaper reported Saturday that Richt had been telling his story about Moore as a joke during Bulldog Club tours.

"I probably embellished the truth a little bit,” Richt told the newspaper. “(Athletic director) Greg (McGarity) did say, 'I think that quarterback is gone,' when it first came up. But by the time we signed the contract, we knew he was coming back. Maybe it will go to his head a little bit and he’ll be overconfident.”


Pease, on Friday, talking about the first two days of practice:

“Really good. I think we’ve had great tempo. We’ll get the details cleaned up later — but the goals we set, as far as tempo and ball security, that’s all been really good.”


Percy has finished second on the team in tackles each of the past two years, with 65 last year and 64 in 2009. He shares the weak-side linebacker job with senior Aaron Tevis and is a key special-teamer.

This year, Percy hopes to make more of an impact on pass defense. He has worked on his coverage skills and blitzes.

The former walk-on from Blackfoot has 1.5 sacks and two pass breakups in his career.

“I get a couple blitzes here and there and I need to be able to capitalize on that opportunity,” Percy said.

Percy, Tevis and senior middle linebacker Byron Hout give the Broncos an experienced trio to fill the two linebacker spots. Junior Tommy Smith impressed during spring ball, while Hout was injured, and will be a factor, too.

“This is going to be one of the best (linebacker corps) we’ve had in a long time,” Percy said. “All around, the (middle linebacker) and the (weak-side linebacker) are going to be pretty productive this year.”

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I hope that the great practices of Southwick does not cause


Sometimes when another qb looks promising and could replace Moore next year; it could be a friction this year....

If Moore has a bad start at Georgia, some may want to see the backup....

I think the press should focus on Moore and this years Broncos....Southwick will have his chance....

Ω ugly ... what??

First and third comments: no comment.

"If Moore has a bad start at Georgia, some may want to see the backup...."

Oh ... who?

First of all, it's far more likely that Georgia is going to have a bad start against Kellen and the O than the other way around. Secondly, I can't remember when Kellen last had a "bad start", let alone a bad game. If you are imagining 3 picks in the first 4 series, or 4 consecutive 3-and-outs for minus 14 total yards ... yeah that would be a bad start.

But, who in his right mind would want to throw Southwick or Hedrick (two completely untested QBs) in there, regardless the degree of "bad start"? Take out your Heisman candidate, a fourth-year veteran? Maybe if he has a broken hand.


Well I gotta agree with razor...

...imagine that!! Moore is as solid as they come and even if he threw 3 pics in the first quarter, he plays the whole game. The guy is a heisman finalist and proven performer and winner. I am not a Boise fan, however, Moore seems unflappable. I don't see hime being the cause of any Boise loss.

Ω Stunned

I'm really stunned. Must have been out in the sun too long. Gonna go sit under a sprinkler for a while.

Geez, BDuck, I'm stunned.


Hes actually a funny, sharp guy when he wants to be. He just says some things to rile up the Bronco fan base. But make no mistake, hes not like weisberg. There's some IQ there.

Listen Boise fans...

...I do say things to rile up the blog. I am not a Boise fan for reasons that are really unrelated to the team. It's the other things and Ive said them all before and Im sure I will again.

I just have to call them how I see them and Moore is not coming out of any game unless Boise is miles ahead or he gets hurt.

razor....please, put on the thinking....


sometimes I think you might be Eight Miles High?

Look at the college, stellar careers are almost always in the Junior Year....This is the Junior year of College, or even in High School....

Lets use the Mile as an example....most great athletes from Prefontaine to Jim Ryun ran their fastest mile in college in their junior year....look at qbs such as Rypien at Wazoo....His junior year was his best....

Now we have Moore having an excellent year as a Junior....Moore is now a Senior....I think I read where he just got married? frictions of bills and popularity may settle in....fogs of family life....

Moore is the best....but there is a fog of another....Southwick?....what if?

All I am saying is focus on Georgia and the current qb....who cares about the backup at the moment?....

Ω ugly, sunstroke is bad news

Quit trying to be Pre or Ryun while you are running up and down the canyon walls ... all the while dreaming of feasting on roast lamb with asparagus tips with VNDL at the Canyon Crest.

You can cite however many hundreds of kids had better junior than senior years. You could likewise find the reverse. "Almost always?" I challenge that. You look it up if you are so inclined. I did look at one (Elway) just to whet your (by now) lamb-infused appetite. Elway was markedly better in rating and other categories as a soph and senior than he was as a junior.

YOU are the one who brought up the backup matter (as far as 1/10,000th of Broncoville calling for it in wake of a "bad start"). Just what do you consider a bad start? And, you think Southwick or Hedrick could sashay into the first game, under dire circúmstances (which won't happen), and somehow do better than a healthy Kellen?

" frictions of bills and popularity may settle in....fogs of family life..." Yeah, sure. Kellen will show up in a wheelbarrow at 265, all full and full of himself, and looking at $67K in past-due cheeseburger bills.

Who's high here, sensimilla?

Where's weisberg?

ps - The correct abbreviation (as you've been instructed) for Pocatello is "Poky", not "Pocy"; similarly, it's "Wazzu", not "Wazoo".

pps - You have a predilection for the word "friction". Do you care to explain?

razor, you know of the frictions....

the friction idea came from VNDLs suggested readings of was good, and I see the ideas of frictions and fogs of all 'walks of life'....this includes business, farming, family, and sports....

In family, it may be the frictions of farming, it may be the frictions of one son feeling that the other son has special attention and economics of the business, it could be the frictions of a competitor; or a jelousy of a salesperson out selling another, thus jelousy and envy....

In sports, the friction can be someone making more doe than another....

For Boise State, VNDL covered it well in one of his posts sometime between Feb or March?....

What are BSUs frictions? Very simple....BSU is very good....they want the BCS, but not in yet....they should be in BCS....BSU that good....but BSU not in....

so BSU must schedule good teams to become recognized as a powerhouse of cfb....if they lose any of them, the naysayers show BSU must always go 12-0 or 11-1....any other, a disaster....not fair....who else in BCS has this, other than the NC of that year? So BSU must produce, or else....

BSU has a good schedule....SDSU, AF, TCU, Georgia, and so on....but nothing like the daily barage of UCLA, USC, Cali, Arizona, Neb, Ok, etc., BSU has to go 12-0....if not, then still a great team, just not an NC....anyone can be BCS, so who cares!

The frictions and fogs will be this goal....the frictions will be game to game, Pete's salary, stadium, BCS,....and what about a loss?

Frictions are not intentional....they happen along the way....

Ω 11 "frictions" in one post, ...

... the new "Prince of Friction".

Your "naysayers" are all around, whether in or out of the BCS. Down with this BCS mentality and up with a playoff.

You want the undisputed best team? It's a playoff. That's the only way.

ps - Watch those blue "rug" burns. Friction, you know. missed the point....

I am all for the playoff system....I eloquently said this several months ago....

The playoff system should consist of 16 college teams; but logically it would only be 8, how do you choose the 8? By polls?....or, by 8 conference winners?....if so, then need to change all conferences to just 8....

then what about Princeton v Yale?

Which confernce would Boise State be in?


How would you implement a cfb playoff system?

Ω Hardly

We can debate your ability at "eloquence" at a later date.

WTH are you talking about with Princeton vs. Yale? That's 1-AA ... DNQ.

I can give you a 16-team scenario ... one that undoubtedly has been covered many times before. But, not now at past 10pm when I don't feel like breaking down 470 conferences and 112 bowls.

As far as missing the point ... save it.


Heisman Trophy finalist Kellen Mooore is as secure as they come.

Uh Hello McFly......

Yes, Moore was a Heisman Trophy finalist and the only way Moore is coming out of a game is if he cannot play due to injury or a lopsided score.

only ugly

would think that a good young QB spells disaster and destruction for the team.... geesh

Good positive notes,

hopefully all the guys can stay healthy for Georgia. With the "Shoe" coming back and Aaron Burks poised for a monster year--and Kirby Moore and Matt Miller on the depth chart, WR could be one of the stronger positions on team. Who would have known? Oops, I forgot about Geraldo, who is a combination of Austin Pettis and Titus Young!


Great notes, as usual. Keep us informed, if you can, how the many WRs are doing. I never remember so many able players at that position...seems like theres about 10 good ones in the group.

Is Matt Miller fully participating?


I was told the other day that Miller was at full speed.

I still like him for a breakout year.

Thanks for the update

I hope he does have a breakout year but more than that I hope he stays healthy and gets better.


Miller is doing well. Pease mentioned him yesterday. Hedrick mentioned him today. But he's been out there with the newcomers/young vets so it will be interesting to see how they use him on Monday when the whole team comes together.

I keep forgetting to promote this, but even if you don't follow me on Twitter (@IDS_BroncoBeat), you can read my timeline at the address below. I've been answering a lot of questions about specific players there (Miller is a popular one).!/ids_broncobeat

What's interesting

is how we are very limited in what we hear about BSU practices (even from Chad). But I know almost everything that is going on at Georgia

Jenkins (the 350 pound JC NG) left half way through the first practice (heat), was back the second day

Boykin's (all SEC DB) and Hamilton (starting S) spent the third day of practice on the sideline with Hamstring issue

Outside linebacker Cornelius Washington missed his second straight day with a hamstring injury.

BTW - Jenkins, all 350 pounds of him, will wear #6

And that Crowell (the #1 HS RB) has looked impressive in drills


that's the way Pete wants it....


slcbronco is exactly right. We are on fairly tight limitations in what we can report from practice. I can pick out some highlights and talk generally about players, but I can't report injuries or exactly who's where on the depth chart unless I get that info from a coach. And Petersen isn't talking to us for the first time during camp until Monday. ... Chadd

Completely understand

I am now following you on twitter.

This little tid-bit from CMR

this morning:

Idaho newspapers and some national websites, including, have been making a big deal of what Richt said in an interview with an Atlanta radio station this week. Richt told 790 The Zone UGA thought quarterback Kellen Moore had left when they scheduled Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.

Actually, Richt had been telling that story as a joke on Bulldog Club tours all summer.

“I probably embellished the truth a little bit,” Richt said with a laugh Saturday. “[Athletic Director] Greg [McGarity] did say I think that quarterback is gone when it first came up. But by the time we signed the contract, we knew he was coming back. Maybe it will go to his head a little bit and he’ll be overconfident.”

With the overall numbers

and talent at the WR position, some kind of platoon system could be devastating in wearing down opposing defenses. They're big and physical, they're fast, and they are one after the other--and Kellen knows where they are going to be!

As for our backup QB's, I see no worry there as both have strong arms and can pull it down and run which will give us an extra dimension post Kellen. I'm pulling for those guys, it sounds like they're comfortable in their roles and will keep improving.

Typically, Kellen throws to

Typically, Kellen throws to 8 to 12 different receivers each game. I am watching the 2008 game with Oregon when Kellen was a redshirt freshman. Kellen hit 10 different receivers by the midway point of the third quarter. The DB's have a hard time adjusting to so many different receivers. We will see plenty of all the receivers, I am sure of that.