Boise State Football

Boise State’s Avalos reaches career goal with coordinator post

Andy Avalos reacts to landing the Boise State defensive coordinator job

Boise State's then-new defensive coordinator, Andy Avalos, met with the media in 2016.
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Boise State's then-new defensive coordinator, Andy Avalos, met with the media in 2016.

Boise State’s new defensive coordinator knew the offer was coming when his phone rang, and he provided his answer immediately.

Coach Bryan Harsin promoted linebackers coach Andy Avalos to replace Marcel Yates, who took a coordinator post at Arizona. The promotion was announced Monday at the same time as Yates’ departure.

“I was excited,” Avalos said Friday in his first media availability since the promotion. “There was no callback needed. That phone rang, I saw who was calling, I was like, ‘Well, here we go.’ And that’s the way it’s been until where we’re at right now. It’s exciting. It really is. Obviously my wife and my family are extremely excited about this opportunity. They’ve seen me grow up through this athletic department, through this team. They’re excited about it moving forward.”

Avalos, 34, played linebacker at Boise State from 2000 to 2004 and was a key contributor to building the program into a dominant presence in the WAC.

His first college coaching job was as a graduate assistant at Colorado in 2006 under former Boise State coach Dan Hawkins. Avalos’ goal as he embarked on this career was to become the defensive coordinator at his alma mater. He returned to the Broncos in 2012 as the defensive line coach and became the linebackers coach when Harsin replaced Chris Petersen in 2014.

“You always want to be working toward something,” Avalos said. “You set that goal, you set it aside and then you go to work and you focus on the things you need to get better at, and that’s part of the deal right now. Not only do I look forward to being a defensive coordinator and all the responsibilities, but even more so is continuing to develop personally as a mentor, as a teacher. I look forward to that challenge.”

He compared his situation to that of the prospects who will sign with Boise State on Feb. 3.

“Here’s the beginning of an opportunity,” he said. “... And now it’s what do you do with that opportunity, how do you go forward from here.”

Avalos plans to run a similar system to the one implemented by Yates, which was a 4-2-5 base but included many three-man fronts and replaced the nickel defensive back with a linebacker for certain matchups.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in the system that we’ve run in the last few years and feel really comfortable with that stuff and really like it,” he said.

CORREA GETS SECOND-ROUND GRADE

Former Boise State defensive end Kamalei Correa has a 90 percent chance of landing in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft based on recent results.

Correa received a second-round grade from the NFL’s College Advisory Committee, Avalos said Friday. In the past two years, 90 percent of underclassmen with grades in the first two rounds have been selected in those rounds (38-of-42). In the past five years, no more than three such players have fallen out of the first two rounds.

Correa’s agent announced his decision the day after the Poinsettia Bowl. The Idaho Statesman reported the night before the game that Correa had made his decision and would leave. Correa said immediately after the game that he hadn’t seen the NFL report.

The report indicates that he made a sound decision to leave early despite slipping from first-team All-Mountain West in 2014 (12 sacks, 19 tackles for loss) to second team in 2015 (seven, 11).

He was defensive MVP of the Poinsettia Bowl with four tackles, two sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

“Extremely excited for Kamalei,” said Avalos, who was the defensive line coach when Correa was recruited in 2012 and began playing in 2013. “It’s been his dream. ... Basically what the NFL said was, ‘He can come out.’ ”

Correa’s agent hasn’t responded to an interview request.

HENRY, DEAYON GET ALL-STAR SHOTS

Former center Marcus Henry doesn’t hold an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine yet, which adds additional importance to the week he has spent at the East-West Shrine Game in Florida.

Henry performed in front of and met with NFL personnel at the annual event for some of the top college players. The game airs at 2 p.m. Saturday on NFL Network.

“All I’m looking for is a shot and for a team to take a chance on me,” he said. “I’m looking to do the best I can this week and at the game and hopefully I’ll get my shot to prove that at the combine.”

Henry made the All-Mountain West first team this past season but wasn’t pleased with his overall performance. He missed much of fall camp with a broken foot and the injury held him back for the first half of the season, he said.

Former Boise State cornerback Donte Deayon is scheduled to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at 4 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2).

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