Cleaning out the notebook from spring football ...
Boise State defensive end Kamalei Correa’s stats were so gaudy last season that it was easy to overlook the flaw.
He didn’t disrupt offenses consistently.
He hopes to change that this year – and that started with a dedication to every-down effort in spring ball, which concluded earlier this week.
“I’m trying to run to the ball a lot better than I did last year,” Correa said. “I kind of took some plays off, watching film from this past season.”
Correa led the Mountain West with 12 sacks last season as a true sophomore, ranking 13th in the nation. He led the team with 19 tackles for loss and was fifth with 59 tackles, earning All-Mountain West honors.
“When he’s playing well and things are going good and he gets in a rhythm, he can be great,” defensive coordinator Marcel Yates said. “He needs to grow a little bit when things are going bad. He needs to be that player that makes that play for us to get us going.”
That’s what Correa did on the final play of 2014. With Arizona 8 yards from a potential tying touchdown in the Fiesta Bowl, Correa sacked quarterback Anu Solomon. The clock ran out and the Broncos prevailed 38-30.
Correa met with defensive line coach Steve Caldwell after the season and they agreed he needed to improve his consistency.
“I’m just trying to grow as a player, as a person,” Correa said. “I’m just trying not to be where I was last year because if I am at the same point as last year I’m not really growing.”
He made an impression this spring.
“Kamalei Correa,” senior safety Darian Thompson said, “is one monster of a defensive end.”
Junior wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck, the Fiesta Bowl offensive MVP, gained all of his team-leading 877 receiving yards in the final 10 games. He was a reserve until star Matt Miller was injured.
“It took a lot of patience,” Sperbeck said. “I knew my time would come eventually. I was just ready.”
– Sperbeck on new offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz: “You don’t really notice a difference. He’s done a great job and is picking it up really well. It’s all been smooth.”
– Senior defensive tackle Armand Nance: “I feel like we should be the best D-line in the nation. We have the depth, we have the seniority, we have the talent. We just have to get it done on the field.”