Boise State junior wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes said Wednesday that he likes his role for 2014 better than last year — even if it means he’ll catch fewer passes.
Williams-Rhodes made 77 catches last year. He estimated 65-70 percent of those came at or behind the line of scrimmage.
The new staff has made him into more of a traditional receiver, which Williams-Rhodes likes.
“Because it means I’ll get more downfield opportunities,” he said. “ Being a traditional receiver helps out the offense a lot, helps out Matt (Miller) and Jay (Ajayi).”
To make the transition, he has needed to learn how to run routes like a receiver.
“My routes have gotten much better than last year,” Williams-Rhodes said. “That was probably something holding me back last year from being a traditional receiver.”
Other quotes from Williams-Rhodes:
— On the opener: “That kind of sets the tone for the whole season. If you come out and get a win, when we come home for the first home game it’s going to be like it’s a new team. We’ve lost our last two openers. To win our first opener would really open eyes for our fans.” More: “It’s setting the tone for the new era, for us, for these coaches, for all the recruits that are coming in. This game plays a role in everything from recruiting to current players now and even to past players.”
— On what the Ole Miss defense does: “Cause chaos. They have a lot of guys who run to the ball — big, aggressive guys.”
— On this year’s offense: “I think there are going to be a lot more explosive plays this year.”
— On what’s different this year: “It’s just a swagger, the way we walk around, everything — it’s just different. We really have something to prove.”
Boise State has deleted the video of its football coaches training with a Boise SWAT team. School statement here.
If you watch the practice video above, you’ll see some players wearing black jerseys. Those are the scout team players. However, true freshmen in regular jerseys — like tailback Jeremy McNichols and tight end Chase Blakley — aren’t necessarily going to play. Sometimes, coaches hold players on the bubble for the first weeks of the season. Running backs coach Kent Riddle said McNichols is ready to contribute if necessary.
Sophomore linebacker Ben Weaver comments:
— On game prep: “It’s really what makes the game so much fun is all that studying you get to do about our opponent.”
— On the opener: “This kind of sets the standard for the whole season. If you look at last year, obviously we lost to Washington and then didn’t have a very good season. If you’re able to go out and win the very first game, especially a big one like this against a big-time opponent, then you definitely get the confidence as a team and you’re able to keep going off of that, keep the ball rolling.”
— On a marquee opener: “I love that. It just kind of shows which team is prepared more and which team is ready to go.”
— On opener again: “Everyone is kind of looking at Boise State right now like, ‘Are they the team they were or who are they now?’ So if we can come out and beat a team like Ole Miss like we have previous times I think it could be really good for this program.”
My running backs preview will be up around 7 or 8 p.m.
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