Boise State tight ends coach Eliah Drinkwitz told tight end Alec Dhaenens that he was 1,000 reps behind his peers at the end of spring ball.
Dhaenens, a redshirt freshman, missed the spring because of shoulder surgery. The Fruitland High grad sustained a torn labrum on the scout team last fall.
“I really like his progress,” Drinkwitz said. “ He’s really had a great camp. I’ve been impressed. He’s got his butt whipped and he’s gotten back up there and he’s won some and he’s gotten back up there. That’s part of growing and that’s part of becoming a football player. Sometimes you get beat and how you react and how you come back really determines if you’re going to be a guy for us. He’s worked extremely hard. He’s been very attentive to detail in the meeting room. By no means is he perfect, but I appreciate what he tried to do this summer.”
Drinkwitz’s statement about how far Dhaenens was behind served as an eye-opener. Dhaenens took every rep he could during player-run practices.
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“I picked a lot of (the offense) up in the summer,” he said. “A lot of the older guys like Jake Hardee and Holden (Huff) taught me a lot of plays and walked me through a lot of that stuff. I was able to learn a lot from them.”
He isn’t just playing catch-up in the playbook. He also must match the physical play of an experienced defense.
“I knew it was going to be rough, especially coming from my injury,” he said. “I knew it was going to be a challenge. I’ve been able to do really well. I get beat some times. I beat them. It’s back and forth.”
Dhaenens, who played tight end, fullback and defensive end at Fruitland, is more of a blocker than a receiver right now. But he’s on the path to a well-rounded game.
“He’s really got a chance to be the complete package,” Drinkwitz said.
Junior cornerback Donte Deayon said appearing on one of the banners on the east exterior of Albertsons Stadium was one of his goals. He remembers seeing a Jamar Taylor banner when he arrived in 2012.
Deayon’s “Bleed Blue” banner was unveiled Monday along with banners for wide receiver Matt Miller, nickel Corey Bell and tailback Jay Ajayi.
“For it to happen, it’s been exciting,” Deayon said. “I’ve got to just take it in and be a leader. That’s what I look at it as. I’m one of the leaders on the team and I’ve got to take that role.”
What does “Bleed Blue” mean to him?
“True Bronco. I’m buying into the program. That’s what it is,” he said.
USA Today’s team-by-team countdown to the season hit the Top 25 on Tuesday. And No. 25 is Boise State. You can read the preview here.
I haven’t been able to transcribe all of the interviews from the past two days. You can watch the videos attached to this file. I’ll try to get through a lot of them tomorrow, when there is no media access to the team. Watch the Bronco Beat blog for posts.
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