Boise State Football

Harsin challenges Boise State’s newcomers after opening practice fails to meet standard

Sweat, strength and energy: BSU football team in the weight room

The Boise State Broncos hit the weight room on the first day of fall camp.
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The Boise State Broncos hit the weight room on the first day of fall camp.

Coach Bryan Harsin felt “really good” about the Boise State football team’s first veteran practice of fall camp Friday morning.

The same couldn’t be said of the afternoon session with the Broncos’ newcomers.

“I think this practice was really hard for them. And it’s really not that hard,” Harsin said. “Part of that I think a little bit is that anxiety of being unprepared. Part of that is the anxiety of not knowing every single thing that’s about to happen, but the reality of it is, what we do, it’s not that complicated. You have a certain tempo that you play at. You go hard, you finish and you do those type of things.

“I just felt like today, I think they’re out there trying. But I think they got very fatigued fast, and I think that got to them. Practice dipped quite a bit, and that was not where it needs to be. That’s not the standard.”

While he wasn’t pleased with the group’s lackluster first practice, Harsin emphasized there is plenty of talent across the board. But the newcomers will need to adopt better practice habits quickly or get left behind once the team dons full pads starting Wednesday.

“Football is more than just talent. Football is the work and the discipline and the toughness and coming out here and pushing through some things like that,” Harsin said. “I don’t think today we did a great job of that, and that was addressed.

“... If they stand out here and they just want to be cool, then they’re going to get their reps for the next three practices. Then they’ll be on scout team and they won’t get any reps moving forward, and that’s not what we want. We want these guys to contribute somehow.”

Noles talking trash early?

On Florida State’s first day of fall camp, Seminoles redshirt freshman receiver Warren Thompson had something to say about Boise State, Brendan Sonnone of Noles247.com reported.

After a nice catch, Thompson yelled “Boise ain’t ready,” Sonnone said.

The Broncos didn’t take the bait.

“It’s day two of fall camp. That’s all we’re working for,” Boise State defensive lineman Chase Hatada said. “When 8-31 comes around, we’ll find out.”

The Broncos open the season against Florida State at 5 p.m. MT Aug. 31 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.

Marriage treating Lui well

Observant fans will notice a slimmer, more mobile Sonatane Lui this season.

Boise State’s returning starter at nose tackle weighed in at 319 pounds last season but is now down to 275 as of Friday.

Lui credits his new bride with helping him eat better and stay focused.

“My wife’s pretty much my rock now,” Lui said. “She does everything to make sure I’m on top of my nutrition. She made it so I started eating cleaner, made sure I started waking up more on time and make sure I’m focused.”

The Luis kept their wedding in St. George, Utah, short but sweet.

“It was just a small little wedding, like a 20-minute service,” Lui said. “Then we had our reception at Golden Corral for an hour and a half and then went on our way. It was a nice little wedding. That’s how we both wanted it.”

Boise State opens weight room to media

Local media got a glimpse inside the football team’s lifting routine on Friday.

Before getting started, the veterans crowded together just inside the door to the weight room and pumped themselves up. Then they rushed inside with cheers and excitement.

“We grind each and every day,” Lui said. “The guys get in there. We try to bust our butt in there and do everything we can to get better. ... It’s awesome because we get to bench as a group, so when we lift together it pushes each other to rise to new heights.”

So who’s the strongest guy in the room?

“John Molchon. That guy’s just different,” Hatada said. “That’s the strongest guy I know. He’s a different animal.”

Quick Hits

Boise State put up its banners for the 2019 football season along the Broadway side of Albertsons Stadium this week. Instead of featuring individual players on four banners, there are multiple past and present players represented. The banners include “One team, one city, one goal,” and three others honoring the Broncos’ 19 conference championships, 19 bowl appearances and three Fiesta Bowl championships. ... The Broncos will take Sunday off and resume split practices Monday. The whole team will begin practicing together with full pads Wednesday.

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Rachel Roberts has been covering sports for the Idaho Statesman since 2005. She attended Northwest Nazarene University and is Boise born and raised.
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