Center Andrew Tercek of San Antonio, Texas, already was going to commit to the Boise State football team when coach Chris Petersen told him why the Broncos are known for playing so hard.
The Broncos, Petersen told him, often take players who are considered a little too small or are otherwise overlooked and play with a chip on the shoulder.
When he said that, it kind of fit me perfectly, said Tercek, who committed Friday during his first visit to campus. I knew that was the right place for me.
Tercek is 6-foot-3, 285 pounds. He has started at left tackle for three years at East Central High but is moving to center this year. He has been the backup center throughout high school and played the position at lower levels.
The 2013 commit also had offers from Rice, Nevada, Navy and North Texas. He attended the Texas football camp last summer, saw the way the larger players were studied by the coaches and knew he wasnt likely to get an offer from the elite schools in his state.
He told one of the Texas coaches he could outplay the taller kids.
Sure enough, he watched me and said, You did hold up to your word. Youre a heck of a player, Tercek said. I never heard from them again.
Tercek ranks 13th in his class of about 700 academically, he said, with a GPA around 4.0.
He was sitting on the Boise State offer for about two weeks before visiting. He came to Boise with the intent to commit and had to wait till the end of a 7-hour schedule Friday to meet with Petersen.
I wanted to get it off my chest, he said. After that, (Petersen) had a big ol smile on his face. He jumped up and gave me a hug, went to the other coaches offices and yelled out, We have a new Bronco.
Tercek was drawn to Boise State largely by the relationships he built with the coaches. He liked them personally, and was impressed that they cared about more than football.
I understand when I get up there that family feel will all go out the window and its all about work and tough work and Im prepared for that, he said. I cant express to you how much Im looking forward to it not only to play for Coach Pete, but to live in Boise. Its a beautiful town. Its probably one of the most beautiful places Ive ever been.