Boise State tight end Holden Huff's big game could be a hint of what's to come

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

Boise State redshirt freshman tight end Holden Huff’s breakout game last week at Hawaii could be just a hint of his future with the Broncos.

“He’s going to be really good down the road,” coach Chris Petersen said. “Down the road — I don’t know if that’s next week or next year or whatever. He’s a new player in terms of really being in there and getting his feet wet. Like so many of our guys, he’s been beat up and sick and all those things. He’s really been showing good toughness hanging in there and finally we got a few things done this (past) week.”

Huff recorded season highs of four catches and 47 yards against Hawaii. He also caught his first touchdown pass.

His most impressive play was a leaping 24-yard catch down the middle of the field. He hung onto the ball despite a hit in the back.

“It’s great, especially for the tight ends,” Huff said of making a tough catch. “That means we’ll get the ball more. … Hopefully that opens it up.”

It’s been a difficult year for the tight ends group. Co-starter Gabe Linehan played through an injury for four games before getting shut down for the rest of the season, sophomore Kyle Sosnowski hasn’t played because of an injury and true freshman Hayden Plinke has missed three straight games with a suspension.

That has put more strain than expected on Huff (6-foot-5, 213 pounds), a talented receiver and blocker who still is trying to fill out his frame.

“Practice is just way more intense now,” Huff said. “There’s a lot more to learn. During the week, it gets pretty hectic.”

Petersen has been impressed with Huff’s ability to handle the workload, especially mentally. The tight ends play a key role in the run game with their blocking assignments.

“He definitely shows flashes of having the potential to be a really good player for us,” tight ends coach Scott Huff said. “The thing I was most encouraged by with Saturday’s game was showing the ability to make some plays … like the 24-yard pass he caught, going up and being a playmaker.”

Huff has missed some opportunities like that this year. He said he was jittery early in the season but has become more comfortable.

The next step is to add some weight. He has added a few pounds during the season, when it’s easy to lose weight.

“I have confidence when I’m running routes, but when I’m on the line, just seeing somebody who’s bigger than me, I don’t think about it much now but I did in the beginning,” he said. “Gaining weight will definitely help that confidence.”

Huff has 12 catches for 156 yards this season.

•••

I wrote a feature on Jamar Taylor for today’s paper. A trimmed version was in the newspaper; the full version is here.

Here are a few other notes that didn’t make the story:

— Taylor, on senior day: “It’s kind of sad. You look back at the past five years, it seems like it went by in a blink of an eye. I’m looking forward to going out with the guys I came in with. I know I’ll be real emotional on Saturday. I know I’ll be crying.”

— The knock on Taylor in high school was his speed, defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said. In the Broncos’ testing sessions, Taylor ran the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds in 2009, 4.40 seconds in 2010 and 4.33 seconds in 2012. “I never thought I was slow,” Taylor said. “At the end of the day, it’s technique. I was never a guy who liked track.”

— Taylor says he could have done better than his 3.5 GPA. “If we didn’t have football, I think I could get a 4.0,” he said.

— Linebacker J.C. Percy on Taylor: “I’ve never seen somebody watch as much film as he does. He’s always well prepared because of it. That’s been, in my opinion, the key to his success. … You always hear him out there telling us what to watch out for. He breaks down every game, every formation. He knows what’s coming out of everything.”

•••

Boise State’s 2013 game at BYU is scheduled for Oct. 26. An incorrect date had been included on the school’s schedule.

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