Boise State Football

Boise State’s Hedrick trades blue uniform for black, with a badge

Grant Hedrick
Grant Hedrick

He heads to work when many are in bed, starts every day with a meeting and wears a uniform.

Life these days, in a way, is similar to when Grant Hedrick played quarterback at Boise State. But football has been put away for a greater calling.

Hedrick was sworn in earlier this year as an officer in the Independence (Ore.) Police Department, his hometown about 25 miles north of Corvallis, where the Broncos face Oregon State on Saturday (1:30 p.m. MT, Fox Sports 1).

“I really do feel like I’ve taken things from my football career, the routine, the responsibilities, the team aspect. It helped the transition,” Hedrick said.

Hired on Jan. 1, Hedrick underwent 20 weeks of field training and 16 weeks at the police academy. His night shift typically lasts from 9:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. as he patrols a city of about 9,000 people.

“It’s a hard job to get and an easy one to lose,” Hedrick said. “I love it, giving back to my hometown, which gave me so much. I was a little nervous, but it’s helped a lot with people knowing who I am. It’s helped defuse a lot of situations, knowing the people and the resources.”

After he led the Broncos over Arizona in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl, he had a NFL tryout with the Denver Broncos and was in camp with the BC Lions of the CFL. However, he said, “It just wasn’t the same feeling I had playing at Boise State.”

So Hedrick, who earned a degree in criminal justice, wanted to apply what he’d learned. Again, football helped show the way.

“For me, it really started when I redshirted (in 2010). Coach (Chris) Petersen had all of us redshirts go on a ride-along with an officer, and I thought back then, ‘This is pretty cool, I could see myself doing it,’” Hedrick said.

Hedrick’s father, Shane, is the head coach at Central High in Independence. He considered going into coaching, but knew it could be an option down the road. The opportunity he had to become an officer may not always be there.

“Grant’s one of my favorite guys,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “I was kind of hoping he’d go into coaching, was kind of trying to entice him to maybe stay with us a little bit. This is what he wanted to do. Being a police officer, that just kind of doesn’t surprise me with his mentality. He’s a protect-and-serve type of guy. He cares about people.”

On Saturday, Hedrick will be on the Boise State sideline cheering for the Broncos. It will be his first time attending a game as a fan since he was in high school.

“It’s been a long time. I miss Boise, it’s a special place, so I’m really excited to have the team over this way,” Hedrick said.

Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin looks ahead to facing Oregon State before the Broncos' Sept. 22, 2016 practice at Albertsons Stadium.

TIGHT ENDS COULD HAVE BEEN BEAVERS

Three of the seven tight ends on Boise State’s roster were once committed to Oregon State: sophomore Jake Knight, redshirt freshman Matt Pistone and true freshman John Bates.

“I did not know that, but they’re good players,” Oregon State second-year coach Gary Andersen said.

Knight signed with the Beavers in February 2014, but after his position coach and offensive coordinator left, he opted to pursue track and field as a thrower at Auburn. A Meridian native and Rocky Mountain graduate, he transferred to Boise State last year.

Pistone committed to Oregon State in the summer of 2014, but flipped to Boise State that December, two weeks after coach Mike Riley left for Nebraska.

Bates, who attended high school about 10 miles from Oregon State’s campus, grew up in Fruitland and Nyssa, Ore. He committed to the Beavers last July, but switched to Boise State in January.

“They were guys we recruited all along. John and Jake are a little different because they’re local guys, and Matt was the coaching change,” Boise State tight ends coach Kent Riddle said. “It wasn’t something where we were targeting guys they were going after.”

ASSISTANTS BACK WHERE COLLEGE CAREERS BEGAN

Corvallis will present a familiar environment for two Boise State assistants. Riddle played quarterback for the Beavers from 1987-90, and receivers coach Junior Adams played receiver from 1998-2000.

“They’re doing a little bit better than when I was there,” Riddle said.

Oregon State won 11 games in the four seasons he played but has made 11 bowl games since 1999 after a 35-year drought.

Adams was part of that rebirth, playing on the Beavers’ great 2000 team that won the Fiesta Bowl and went 11-1. He was part of a receiving corps that produced future Pro Bowlers Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

“That was a special time,” Adams said. “I was able to learn a lot from those two guys.”

QUICK HITS

Oregon State has one Idahoan on its roster: true freshman linebacker Luke Leonnig (Eagle High). A walk-on, his great- and great-great-grandfathers played for the Beavers. Leonnig was the 5A state champion in the discus and second in the shot put in May. ... Former Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton is an offensive quality control coach for the Beavers. ... Boise State is 23-4 coming off a bye week since joining the Football Bowl Subdivision in 1996. ... Senior receiver Thomas Sperbeck’s 131.5 receiving yards per game (263 yards in two games) are No. 6 in the FBS entering this week’s games. ... The Broncos are 9-3 against Pac-12 teams since 2006. After beating Washington State in their last game, BSU sophomore STUD Jabril Frazier said, “We just think of it like it’s the Pac-12 championship for us.”

Dave Southorn: 208-377-6420, @IDS_BroncoBeat

Boise State at Oregon State

  • When: 1:30 p.m. MT Saturday
  • Where: Reser Stadium (45,674, FieldTurf), Corvallis
  • TV: Fox Sports 1 (Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman, Bruce Feldman)
  • Radio: KBOI 670 AM/KTIK 93.1 FM (Bob Behler, Pete Cavender)
  • Records: Boise State 2-0 (0-0 Mountain West); Oregon State 1-1 (0-0 Pac-12)
  • Kickoff weather: Mid-60s and sunny, slight winds and no precipitation
  • Vegas line: Boise State is favored by 13 points
  • Series: Oregon State leads 5-3 (last meeting: Beavers won 38-23 in 2013 Hawaii Bowl)
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