Boise State STUD ends coach Spencer Danielson and his wife, Raechel, had his players over for lunch this summer.
It’s a group full of the most interesting personalities on the Broncos’ roster. One in particular seems to stand out the most.
“She came up to me and was like ‘Curtis Weaver is just a cool guy,’” Danielson said. “And I said, ‘You know what? He really is.’”
Weaver, a sophomore who came flying onto the scene last season with a Mountain West-best 11 sacks, is known by every fan. But he remains a bit of a mythical creature. Ask any player on Boise State’s roster who the funniest person is, and Weaver’s name inevitably comes up.
But it wasn’t until Thursday that Weaver got to talk publicly about himself, his team and his ascent.
“I just try to make everyone smile every day ... bring a good energy to the team,” Weaver said in his first media session.
That gregarious nature came in part from “wanting to be the center of attention” growing up, when his family had a weekly game night. He’ll deliver a well-timed one-liner to keep spirits light if a mistake is made.
“He’s just a humongous child, real fun, great sense of humor,” sophomore cornerback Avery Williams said.
Weaver can dish it out, but he can also take it. Danielson said “weekly” he and some of the fellow STUDs will find photos of when Weaver was a 290-pound high schooler and print them out for the others to see. Trying to encapsulate Weaver in a sentence or two is difficult for his coach.
“You got 45 minutes?” Danielson said with a laugh. “He has a phenomenal heart, he’s extremely engaging. He has a personality that will light up a room … guys can’t wait to mess with him or hang out with him. If you catch him not smiling, something’s up.”
Boise State saw something specially in Weaver, who initially came in as a defensive tackle, but moved to the end/linebacker hybrid STUD spot after a few practices. Even at 296 pounds, which he weighed when he arrived, he could still move. Weaver dropped weight quickly, down to as low as 252 pounds, but is now listed at 266.
“It’s crazy, but I’m still ‘Fat Boy’ here,” Weaver said, adding, “I don’t want to remember when I was like that, to be honest, I’m just looking into the future now.”
Playing in all 14 games last season, a third of Weaver’s 33 tackles were sacks. He also had an interception and a fumble recovery at Washington State in which he rumbled 55 yards for a touchdown. After the season, he was the fourth Boise State player to earn FWAA Freshman All-America honors.
It would be tough to repeat that sort of a season, as offenses perhaps start to key in on him a little more, but there are plenty of snaps where he could have made a bigger impact. Plus, he’s in a tough group with senior Jabril Frazier and junior Sam Whitney pushing him.
“He’s only getting to get better,” Danielson said. “He’s a unique kid, and he has a unique skill set. ... To be the truly dominant player we can see him grow into, there are a few things where he needs to get better. We told him, ‘if you’re on your game, you can be dominant, but if you don’t stay humble and hungry, you’ll be mediocre.’ And it’s a fine line.”
Motivation likely should not be much of an Weaver. Having never won a championship in high school in Long Beach, Calif., it was the Broncos’ December win over Fresno State that he said was his favorite moment of last season. And he wants to experience it again.
“When (Harsin) was holding up the Mountain West championship ... that was a big goal for me in life,” Weaver said.
Harsin described Frazier and Weaver teaming up on pass rushing situations as “velociraptors,” attacking from opposite sides. The Broncos will hope Weaver continues to be hungry, always on the hunt like those dinosaurs.
Senior defensive tackle David Moa noted on the second day of practice, Weaver struggled early on. He spoke to some of the veterans and asked for some advice. On the next snap of team drills, he got a sack.
“That kid amazes me every day,” Moa said. “... that speaks so much about his character. He’s never going to let anything get him down. He’s going to attack every single play and do what he can to help the team.”