Nervous laughter emerged from the Boise State football team’s seniors Sunday morning as they were briefed on the greeting they would receive from Jake — a 455-pound sea lion that wanted to give each of them a hug or a kiss at the San Diego Zoo.
“Is there a tongue involved?” one player asked.
“That’s up to you,” came the reply.
The seniors and coach Bryan Harsin took turns approaching Jake — some enthusiastic, some a little worried.
“I didn’t really want to get too close,” said cornerback Donte Deayon, who had never been to a zoo.
Said nose tackle Armand Nance: “I don’t do exotic animals like that. I let him sit there.”
The Broncos will visit SeaWorld on Monday.
NANCE’S STREAK CONTINUES
Nance is expected to make his 30th straight start Wednesday in the Poinsettia Bowl against Northern Illinois — the longest active streak on the team.
“I feel like it’s all toughness,” he said. “I feel I’m a tough guy. I get beat up from time to time. It’s all mental — if you want to go out there and do it, you’ll get it done.”
Nance came to Boise State in 2012 as a tight end/fullback. He leaves three and a half years later as a 306-pound nose tackle.
He plans to pursue pro football and then return to Boise State for the one semester of work left to complete his degree. He wants to get into sports broadcasting.
Defensive coordinator Marcel Yates called Nance “an unsung hero.”
“He doesn’t get a lot of press time or praise,” Yates said. “I don’t remember him missing a practice (this year). He’s that solid force in the middle.”
MCNICHOLS AND SNOOP DOGG
Rap artist Snoop Dogg played a concert in Garden City on Friday while wearing a No. 27 Boise State football jersey. He posed for a photo with Boise State sophomore tailback Jeremy McNichols and tweeted it to his 13 million followers.
Snoop Dogg was one of McNichols’ coaches in a 7-on-7 youth football league. McNichols also is friends with Snoop Dogg’s son, Cordell Broadus, who signed with UCLA but quit the team.
POINSETTIA BOWL: BOISE STATE VS. NORTHERN ILLINOIS
▪ When: 2:30 p.m. Wednesday
▪ Where: Qualcomm Stadium (71,500, grass), San Diego
▪ TV: ESPN
▪ Radio: KBOI (670 AM) and KTIK (93.1 FM)
▪ Records: Boise State (8-4, 5-3 Mountain West); Northern Illinois (8-5, 6-2 Mid-American)
▪ Coaches: Boise State, Bryan Harsin (20-6, second year; 27-11, third year overall); Northern Illinois, Rod Carey (31-11, third year)
▪ Series: First meeting
▪ Vegas line: Boise State by 8 1/2
▪ Tickets: $39, $61 or $78 at BroncoSports.com/bowlcentral. Tickets about $10 more through SanDiegoBowlGames. com.