Boise State camp report: Southwick, offense shine in scrimmage

The unit was a step quicker than the weary defense on Monday.

ccripe@idahostatesman.comAugust 13, 2013 

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Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick (16) throws a pass during the Broncos' first practice of the year in pads at Bronco Stadium on Friday, Aug. 9, 2013.

KYLE GREEN — kgreen@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

  • Spotlight on TE Jake Hardee

    Hardee, a walk-on from Bishop Kelly High, considered himself more of a “basketball guy” and could have played that sport in college, he said.

    “But it doesn't get any better for a guy from Boise to play for the Broncos,” he said. “It's a dream come true. I've been going to Bronco games since I was a little kid.”

    Hardee contributed on special teams and got some snaps on offense last season as attrition hit the tight ends hard. He carried that momentum into the spring and likely will factor into the tight end rotation this fall as a redshirt sophomore.

    “He's tough to keep off the field because he does everything right … nothing pretty, but it's always pretty efficient,” tight ends coach Scott Huff said.

    Hardee (6-foot-3, 241 pounds) weighed 180 pounds when he finished high school, where he was a wide receiver. He was recruited by former offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin and grayshirted to start reshaping his body.

    His playing time last year has paid dividends this year.

    “Getting my feet wet helped me with a little confidence going into spring ball and to now,” he said. “Hopefully I can make some plays this year. … We have a good group, but if I can keep showing up and improving, I think I can make an impact.”

    — Chadd Cripe

Boise State’s offense continued an impressive offseason Monday with a turnover-free scrimmage at Bronco Stadium.

The first scrimmage of fall camp was closed to the public and media. No stats were released.

“We’re in a good spot right now,” senior quarterback Joe Southwick said. “We’re ahead of where we were (last year). A lot of guys are back. I know not necessarily a lot of the ‘starters,’ but a lot of guys are back. That makes it easier on everyone.”

Southwick was named head coach Chris Petersen’s camper of the day at BroncoSports.com.

“Joe has been playing at a high level from day one of camp, and he didn’t drop off in our scrimmage,” Petersen said.

The defense, meanwhile, was unable to play at the pace Petersen wants to see.

“I was probably more impressed with our offensive conditioning than our defensive conditioning,” he said. “It’s harder to play defense, in terms of conditioning. You’ve got to be in tip-top shape to run sideline to sideline for as much as we want those guys to go. We’ve got a little work to do there. … They've got a little bit of camp legs going on, and I think it’s fairly typical.”

News and notes

• Redshirt freshman safety Chanceller James is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained last week in practice. The Broncos returned four of their top five safeties from last year, but James was expected to make a significant contribution on special teams. He was the Scout Special Teams Player of the Year last season.

• True freshman quarterback Ryan Finley has been limited during fall camp because of an injury and might not take snaps in the public scrimmage Sunday night, Petersen said. “Ryan’s got a little issue going on,” he said. “We’re bringing him along slowly.”

• Petersen expects to do more practicing and less scrimmaging at the public scrimmage (7 p.m. Sunday, Bronco Stadium, free admission). “We’re going to probably do it a little different,” he said. “I think half of it is going to be a little bit of a practice and half of it will be a little bit of a scrimmage, just to be smart with some guys. I think the fans might like that, to see some drills we run. They know what a scrimmage looks like, so we’ll do something a little different.”

BSU wants lower buyout for Coyle

Boise State will ask the State Board of Education this week to make sizable reductions in the buyout provisions of Athletic Director Mark Coyle’s contract, which runs through 2016.

The buyout will drop from $700,000 to $150,000 through 2014 and from $350,000 to $75,000 through 2015. There is no buyout for the final year.

Boise State says in the State Board documents that the new buyout puts Coyle’s contract in line with other university contracts. The buyouts for coaches in the department are roughly 36 percent of compensation. Coyle’s is more than 100 percent.

Coyle’s base salary is $331,500. He can receive up to $120,000 per year in incentives.

The State Board meets Wednesday and Thursday in Pocatello.

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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