Boise State senior Chris Potter is a player whose contributions cant be defined by stats.
Hes a part-time wide receiver. A trustworthy punt returner. A wildcat quarterback who usually dishes the ball to a running back.
He knows thats his role.
He embraces it.
But still, he is an offensive skill player. And those guys want touchdowns. Last year, he didnt score any.
Its tough you want to do whatever you can do to help the team. But sometimes, when you go three or four games not touching the ball and not getting into the end zone you feel like, even though youre doing your assignments right, youre not contributing that much, he said.
Once you can get past that and accept it, I realize moments like these now probably seem a lot better because Ive been through seasons like that.
Potter leads the No. 24 Broncos with three touchdown catches going into Saturdays home game against Fresno State (1:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network).
The 5-foot-9, 159-pounder has seven catches for 104 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown in the final seconds of the first half last week at Southern Miss. It was a quintessential Potter play he found the hole in the zone coverage, caught the pass from Joe Southwick, made one quick cut and darted into the end zone.
Hes kind of just sneaky good, coach Chris Petersen said. Hes just crafty. After the game, people see him come walking by and think, If thats not the ballboy, I dont know who is. Its just amazing what he can do with his stature.
Potter should get more opportunities in the coming weeks with the wrist injury to senior starter Mitch Burroughs, who is out indefinitely. Burroughs also shared the punt-return job with Potter; now Potter will handle most of those kicks.
Potter has served as the backup slot receiver in the first five games, but he has been used all over the field. He is listed as the starter at Burroughs outside spot this week.
Theyve kind of used me in a more diverse way, which has been fun, which is want I want to do, said Potter, who got married in May. I wanted to study all the (receiver) positions just in case I didnt get a starting position. Its been cool. It shows me that they have trust in me to put me at different spots.
Potter has earned that trust by building an impeccable reputation on and off the field. His mistakes are rare. Hes a team guy. He helps lead a weekly Bible study that has grown from a handful of players to about 35. He has completed his classwork he finished with an eight-week course and will graduate with a business degree in December.
Hes just one of those guys where you use those words a lot of people dont appreciate, like reliable and consistent, that as coaches you appreciate that so much, Petersen said.
Theres no finer person on our team than Chris, for sure.
Potter grew up playing football in Southern California. He was a quarterback until he arrived at Oaks Christian High, where Jimmy Clausen was the starter. Clausen, who was a year ahead of Potter, became one of the nations top recruits, played at Notre Dame and is a backup with the Carolina Panthers in the NFL.
Potter moved to wide receiver but often played the second half of blowouts at quarterback. He replaced Clausen as a senior.
He and Clausen became close friends and Potter accompanied him on recruiting visits all over the country to places like USC, Notre Dame, Florida and Tennessee.
Potters college options were much more limited. He chose Boise State over Troy and Colorado State.
He arrived to find stars Austin Pettis and Titus Young in front of him at wide receiver and decided to look for an opening on special teams. He led the team in punt-return average as a freshman in 2009, as the backup to Kyle Wilson, and returned a punt for a touchdown against Idaho in 2010.
For his career, he has averaged 12 yards per return the sixth-best average in school history (Burroughs is fifth at 12.5).
(Potter) is just relentless, junior wide receiver Aaron Burks said. Hes such a little guy and you dont think about a little guy like that doing big things.
Potter succeeds with a combination of quick feet and quick thinking. His pass routes are as much art as technique and he says he has learned to slip the big hit to protect his body.
Hes definitely a smart guy, and shifty, senior cornerback Jamar Taylor said. He never gives you the same look in his route.
Potter does have a favorite, though one hes run three times this year.
The one where I catch it and go to the end zone is probably my favorite, Potter said. However that happens.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat