The four Paradis children received the same indoctrination to school and hard work.
When they turned 5, they entered the afternoon session of kindergarten.
That left their mornings free to drive a truck around the family cattle ranch while their dad fed hay to the cows off the back.
Each continued to work the ranch until college.
Its been a ton of work, said Boise State senior center Matt Paradis, the youngest of those children, but I think its been great for my life.
Paradis worked his way from 1A eight-man football to Boise State walk-on defensive tackle to scholarship offensive lineman to two-time All-Mountain West center (first team in 2012, second team in 2013).
He also graduated last week with a double major finance and business economics.
He will play his final college game Tuesday against Oregon State in the Hawaii Bowl (6 p.m. MT, ESPN) and turn that native work ethic toward the next step: the NFL, where he is considered a free-agent prospect.
If there is anyone who epitomizes Boise State football, its a guy like Matt Paradis, interim coach Bob Gregory said. Hes hard-working, tough, smart he certainly will leave a legacy here.
And at home in Council, the tiny mountain town where Paradis was raised. It sits in Adams County, which has 3,900 residents or about the same number of people who sat in the north end zone bleachers at Bronco Stadium to watch Paradis play.
I travel around this upper country quite a bit, said Mike Paradis, Matts dad and an Adams County commissioner. People from Weiser to McCall, they all kind of claim him. There have been people who really havent been football fans in the past and since he started playing are now big Boise State fans.
Paradis (6-foot-3, 300 pounds) was a Broncos fan with a college football dream as a child, but he never connected the two until then-Boise State offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin made contact.
I didnt view it as a possibility because nobody does it not just from my town, but the entire 1A division, Paradis said. People dont go play D-I football.
But he was different in part because of his upbringing.
The Paradis family runs the X5 Ranch 2.5 miles north of Council. They have about 300 acres and 120 cows. They also grow hay and grain.
Among the childrens chores: driving that flatbed pickup. Mike never got thrown off the back, he said.
They would stand in the seat and drive, Mike said. Id get in the back and feed the hay. Wed put it in low-range, four-wheel drive and granny gear and creep along.
We all had the philosophy to get your work done and then you can go do some of the things you want to do.
For Paradis, that meant sports and hunting.
He couldnt play football until seventh grade because Council didnt have a youth program. He played both lines and was the backup quarterback that year.
He became a three-year varsity football starter at Council as a defensive tackle and offensive guard. He also played basketball, competed in track and field and went out for summer baseball when he could. Council won a football state championship his junior year and he won the state discus title his senior year about six months after surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
He played in the football playoffs on that torn ACL and won the discus title two and a half weeks after he was cleared to start throwing again.
He was pretty focused when he put his mind to something, Council football coach Dan Shumway said.
Paradis was a rare lineman to win an Idaho Statesman Player of the Year honor in 2007. He was offered a partial scholarship by Rocky Mountain College in Montana and drew interest from Lewis & Clark in Portland but he chose to walk on at Boise State.
The thing I remember about Matt is he was as big and as strong as anybody we played against but he worked to be fundamentally better than everybody, Shumway said.
Paradis grayshirted at Boise State while his knee healed and joined the team as a defensive tackle in January 2009. He was the Scout Defensive Player of the Year as a redshirt.
But he briefly filled in as an offensive lineman on the scout team and experimented there again in spring 2010.
I wasnt ready to switch. I wish I would have, Paradis said. I said Id really like to stay on the D-line. I was doing well.
That fall, he changed his mind. The Broncos were loaded with tackles like Billy Winn, Chase Baker, Mike Atkinson and Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe. He told the coaches he was ready to move to offense.
I miss it. It was fun, he said of defense. You can see a call real quick and you dont really have to think. You just fire off and go. It was a blast, but Im very happy that I moved and I wouldnt move back.
The switch capitalized on one of Paradis strengths his intelligence. He received academic scholarship money as a walk-on and took honors classes.
Given a football scholarship going into his sophomore year, he became a key backup and seized the inside track for the open center job in 2012.
Now, Paradis is the communication center on the offensive line and tells three-year starting left tackle Charles Leno Jr. whats happening on the field before offensive line coach Chris Strausser gets a chance.
Hes a really smart football player thats probably what separates him the most, Leno said.
That, and the work ethic Paradis brought from Council.
Its just in his blood, Strausser said. He knows how to work hard. Theres never been once Ive asked him to turn up the tempo, go faster, go harder. He almost laughs at some of this stuff just based on what he did as a kid growing up.
A couple hours a day out there, thats just fun.
Its a compliment Paradis has heard often.
He credits his family.
The ability to work is something that is not necessarily instilled in people nowadays, he said. I can look at every job Ive had since I left there. Every boss has said, I really appreciate you being able to work. I just put my nose to the grindstone and get it done because thats how I was raised and thats what we were taught to do.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat