With more attention comes more responsibility for Boise State senior cornerback Jonathan Moxey.
The lone starter returning at his position, Moxey is now the face of his group after Donte Deayon’s gradution. Moxey started all 13 games last season and 12 games in 2014. He had two interceptions last season and led the team with 10 passes defensed.
“I’m stepping into that leadership role, pushing the guys,” Moxey said. “... I kind of lead by example, push myself every day and hopefully the rest of the guys do the same thing.”
As he gets more eyes looking up to him and more looking at him from the outside, Moxey also hopes that he can dial back some of the negative plays from last season. He has found himself drawing some unwanted attention for his post-play actions, including a key personal foul for a little extracurricular jawing Sept. 12 at BYU.
“That comes with the game, I play with a lot of passion, I’m working on controlling my emotions when I’m out there on the field, but at the end of the day, I’m just a kid, I like going out there, having fun,” Moxey said.
Facing teams’ top receivers won’t be anything new for Moxey, who said “I did that last year ... I’ll be ready for it.” He said he has no set personal goal, just team goals, to win as much as possible. As far as losing key players like Deayon, Darian Thompson and Kamalei Correa, it’s something not exactly new to Boise State. Sophomore Tyler Horton and senior Raymond Ford are two others who have seen a fair amount of snaps and fighting for the other starting spot.
“We lost a lot of great players, every year we lose a lot of great players,” Moxey said. “There are a lot of guys that played that are really good that are ready to emerge, guys that haven’t played that people have never even heard of that might emerge this year. That’s one great thing about Boise State, we’ve always got great players, we all grind hard and you never know what expect when the season comes around.”
A little more from today’s interviews:
JUNIOR RUNNING BACK JEREMY McNICHOLS
On the running backs behind him: “They’ve been doing good, they’ve been stepping up, showing a lot of progress this spring ... whoever comes in will get the job done.”
On the group goals: “We just want to continue off last year and get better.”
On limiting big hits and avoiding concussions: “Being smarter taking on those hits. I’m a physical runner, so sometimes it happens. I’ve just got to be smarter. It’s just being a smarter football player, knowing where those guys are going to be and how they’re going to tackle.”
TIGHT ENDS/SPECIAL TEAMS COACH KENT RIDDLE
On the tight ends: “Alec Dhaenens is coming along great, he’s having a really good spring. I’ve been really impressed with him, showing he can do everything we want and more. I think Jake Roh’s really coming along and growing as a player, too. Between those two guys, we’re in great shape. Jake Knight and Matt Pistone are getting a ton of reps and learning, they’re getting better every day, and that’s what we need from them.”
On how Holden Huff can be replaced: “He was multi-dimensional. He could really do everything. You’re starting to see Jake (Roh) develop into that, and Alec, too. Holden was probably our best line-of-scrimmage blocker last fall, and Alec has really taken over that.”
On special teams: “Matt Cota is doing a good job (at long snapper) and Nicholai Pitman is doing a nice job. Matt’s been around, he’s developed over two years, been in a few games, so it’s not all new to him. We’re working a ton of guys at (returner). We haven’t done a ton of full-field stuff, but Akilian Butler’s done a decent job at punt return. Jonathan Moxey can do some good stuff, Cedrick Wilson, Chaz Anderson. Jeremy McNichols has done a good job in the past, and will continue to do so (at kick returner), so has Ryan Wolpin.”
RUNNING BACKS COACH LEE MARKS
On the second group: “It’s been good so far. It’s just those guys being consistent. Right now, it’s just a deer in the headlights a little bit, really trying to figure it out.”
On Tuesday’s first practice with pads: “... you really try to see if a guy can break a tackle, can he really make that guy miss. Until you get in some live situations, that’s really when you find who can do it and who can’t.”
On vitality of developing second group behind McNichols: “Every football definitely needs a No. 2, and a No. 3, to be honest, especially at that position. It’s just building those guys’ confidence. One, you guys wouldn’t be here if we didn’t believe in you. We believe in you, you have the ability to do it, now it’s time to go out there and show out a little bit. You guys were able to do that in high school when you were the man, you just cut it loose, you had that confident. It’s really no different when you get to the college level. The hardest part of college is adjusting to how fast the game is, how much stronger everybody is. Now, my guys have been in the program for a few years now, so they really have no more excuses.”
SAFETIES COACH GABE FRANKLIN
On his group: “Looking for guys who want to compete and get better, the physicality. We got pads on the first time today, so that was fun. ... right now we’ve got Chanceller James and Cam Hartsfield at the high safety, Evan Tyler and Skylar Seibold at the other spot. DSG’s getting back too.”
On Evan Tyler: “He’s a long safety, tall kid, he’s really smart. He’s a physical kid. He’s trying to get better every day, working on his communication. I see him as a high safety for us for a long time.”
On James: “It’s big having a guy like that. He’s played in the system a long time, played a few spots, he can coach guys up if there’s something maybe I don’t see, so it’s my first spring, glad to have a guy like that.”