By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
Boise State junior wide receiver Aaron Burks had a chance to make a big impact at Michigan State.
He got open on a deep ball in the fourth quarter, with the Broncos trailing by four. The ball was underthrown, but Burks was able to draw a pass-interference penalty on the defense.
He hopes for more chances like that this season. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder from Texas ran the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds this spring, the fourth-fastest time on the team.
“I’m just hoping to provide consistency,” he said. “I feel like I already have a good relationship with the quarterbacks, just that they trust us. I want to be a big-play guy. I want to take that role and run with it.”
Burks has 12 catches for 115 yards in his career, largely in mop-up duty.
He is 10 pounds heavier, stronger and faster this year — tools he hopes will make him more dynamic on the field.
“I’m just trying to make a big play,” he said.
True freshman linebacker Tyler Gray starts on three special-teams units — kickoff, punt return and kickoff return. And he could be a big factor down the road.
“He did a good job … for a new guy, in that environment,” special teams coach Scott Huff said of the opener. “… He’s a big, athletic kid. He’s got a lot of ability there.”
Boise State did not award the Hammer for a hit against Michigan State. However, nickel Dextrell Simmons will carry it out Saturday because he’s representative of what the Hammer means, Huff said.