Boise State defensive linemen face daunting task this season

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com
© 2012 Idaho Statesman

No need to remind the Boise State defensive linemen who they’re trying to replace this season. Senior defensive end Darren Koontz thinks about it every day.

The Broncos lost their top five linemen, including three who likely will be drafted and at least one more who will be in an NFL camp.

“The pressure is definitely there,” he said. “Our whole starting D-line you’re going to be watching on Sunday now. You’re going in behind that. You do good at practice and you still feel like you did bad because you’re comparing yourself to the guys who were there before you. We were all lucky to have them in front of us to show us how to do it. We’re trying to fill that void. I definitely feel we have the ability and the skill to do it.”

Koontz has bounced between end and tackle during his career. He also has battled the injury bug, including three broken feet in 2010 — his left foot twice and his right foot once.

He’s playing the end spot that Ryan Winterswyk and Tyrone Crawford held in recent years.

Like many of the Broncos’ seniors, this season represents Koontz’s chance to shine.

“Everybody is ready to take advantage of whatever opportunity they get, to play their role, to get out there and kind of lead the team in our way,” he said. “We’ve watched everybody do it before us. Now it’s kind of our turn to do it. It feels kind of weird sometimes. You’re looking to someone else to lead you and you realize you’re the oldest guy here.”

•••

The Broncos held a closed scrimmage Friday morning at Bronco Stadium. No stats were released.

Koontz, on which side was better: “I’ve gotta go with defense, always, no matter what. We’d like to start faster but we got into ’em.”

Senior tight end Chandler Koch: “It was pretty even. There were good things on both sides of the ball. It was a good, hard scrimmage and it was nice to finally go live out there, to play some good football. Everybody got better. It was a good building block.”

•••

Koch has yet to play an entire season. He missed two games with a knee injury last year and never was fully healthy all season.

“I’ve gotten hurt twice in fall camp,” he said. “It’s always like the last week of fall camp, a freak accident.”

He’s part of what could be a very productive group of tight ends. Senior fullback Dan Paul and junior tight end Gabe Linehan headline a group that also has some intriguing young talent.

“The talent’s there,” Koch said. “Everyone brings their own things to the table.”

Redshirt freshman Holden Huff, who grayshirted out of high school and joined the team in January 2011, has looked good as a receiving threat in spring ball. He’s up to 220 pounds and has reached 226 — strong growth for a guy who weighed 199 at the end of his senior season of high school.

He says he’s blocking and running routes with confidence this spring, which is much different than last spring. He spent most of his time in high school split out as a receiver.

“I can’t even explain to you — 10 times, 20 times better,” he said of his comfort level. “… I was really unsure at first. I came in the spring (last year) not knowing anything. It was really different for me. Now I’ve come to love (tight end). You get a good block, it’s just like making a great catch. It’s the same energy.”

•••

In Sunday’s paper, I’ll have a story on the Broncos’ senior class — a star-crossed collection of guys who have endured much adversity, from walking on to injuries to a lack of playing time.

“A band of misfits,” Koch said.

•••

The Broncos begin spring break Saturday. They don't practice again until April 3.

They're going to have to actually study acedemics?

Is that the daunting task? Sorry, football and football players never have impressed me a great degree.

Seriously?!

Nice of you to go to an article about football and football players just so you could say something negative. I guess you couldn't find something more productive to do with your day. How very sad for you...

Hmmm

It appears as though acAdemics may be a your daunting task.

People who can't spell

People who can't spell should not talk about academics. Dunderhead

arlo bed tiime

sleep wel

Buffoons who can't even spell Academics

are just plain absurd and laughable (in the extreme) when they try to discuss anything regarding academics. And most certainly do not "impress" anyone else. LOL

good spelling nerd

theWeisberg

work on your acedemics

gus. gus the goof.

don't you think that's a pretty general statement?

How many football players have you personally observed both in the classroom and seen class transcripts for them? And you're not impressed by football either because of your all-pro career? Unless your gustatus is the screen name for Jerry Kramer I think I'm not impressed with your observations.

Ignorance must be bliss

I can only assume that you never played the sport because if you did, you would know that it teaches kids more life lessons than any other sport I can think of. Team work, goal setting and discipline. Go look at the football team's graduation rate before you come on here and make comments like that.

While

I agree with most of your comment about life lessons in sport, as in team sports, these lessons are not just limited to football. Team sports in general do teach kids, men and women alike many lessons in life.

Daunting task at Cupcake State?

Playing a bunch of cupcakes every year is not a daunting task. Nice attempt by Crippe or Murphy to sensationalize another story on Cupcake State - as usual.

Yeah,

their schedule isn't up to those of the AQ's, but when they play the AQ's they beat them--and usually quite easily.

Wahoo!

Congrats - you can beat an AQ team once or maybe twice a year and then beat the usual platter of JV Cupcakes in every other game - except Nevada and TCU when it really counted the last two years.

pony trots again

which institution of higher learning did you attend?

Blassie come back

Cupcake dtate will get whippef by the team in Michogan

Weisberg is back

Nation i am back /

where is ugly

He is hiding

Well---

Heard we have a new recruit?