In good times, it seems like such a boring word.
In bad times, it seems so elusive.
Consistency — that’s what the Boise State football team has lacked during a November to forget.
And that’s the strength of junior right guard Steven Baggett, who has started 24 of the past 25 games while playing two positions and has graded the best among the offensive linemen this season.
“I would attribute that to his family and his upbringing,” said Bob Wager, who coached Baggett at Martin High in Arlington, Texas. “He was the exact same way here — never missed a day, a practice, a game, a lift, after school, summer, Fourth of July, you name it. He just never missed.
“Boy, as you go through life, I don’t know if there is a greater attribute than consistency.”
Baggett (6-foot-3, 282 pounds) started all but one game at right tackle last season. It wasn’t a natural fit, but he performed well.
He moved to right guard in the offseason. He remains a backup at tackle and could factor into the competition at center in the spring. He also is an excellent student in construction management, earning CoSIDA Academic All-District 7 honors with a 3.77 GPA.
“He’s a real smart kid,” offensive line coach Scott Huff said. “He’s balanced on and off the field. He dominates school. ... It totally carries over to the football field.”
Baggett traces his consistency to his parents.
His dad pours concrete and Baggett worked alongside him when he was as young as 10. His mom went back to school and became a nurse — beating her son in the race to become the first family member to graduate from college.
Baggett learned to approach every assignment — on the field and in the classroom — with the same attitude.
“That’s a big thing for me, it’s how I am and how I like to be. I like people to know what they’re going to get from me,’’ he said.
Baggett’s mom was born in England but he was born and raised in Arlington. He played football in elementary school and was immediately typecast as a lineman because he was above the weight limits for ball carriers. His dad liked baseball better but Baggett enjoyed the gridiron, where he saw himself improve every year.
He became a 38-game varsity starter at Martin.
“He was dominant here,” Wager said. “A very physical run blocker. Light feet for a big kid. And just an absolute joy to coach. ... You could always count on him.”
The Broncos will count on Baggett in new ways next year. He’ll be one of three senior returning starters on the offensive line, which might be the most veteran position group on the team. The other seniors-to-be on the line are right tackle Mario Yakoo and left guard Travis Averill.
“We’re all going to have to be more out there as leaders,” Baggett said. “I think we’ll be ready for that. It’s just kind of crazy that that’s coming.”
Baggett’s goal: Become even more consistent with his fundamentals.
“Being able to play with great fundamentals every play, that’s probably the hardest thing to do,” he said. “You’ve got to get both hands inside, your feet in the right place, stay low. If you’re getting all that done every single play, you’re probably going to be a pretty good player.”
Boise State at San Jose State
- When: 1:30 p.m. Friday
- Where: Spartan Stadium (30,456, FieldTurf), San Jose, Calif.
- TV: CBS Sports Network (John Sadak, Sed Bonner, Melanie Collins)
- Radio: KBOI (670 AM), KTIK (93.1 FM); Bob Behler, Pete Cavender
- Records: BSU 7-4, 4-3 MW; SJSU 5-6, 4-3
- Series: BSU leads 11-0 (Broncos won 48-0 in 2010 in San Jose)
- Vegas line: BSU by 7