Bronco Beat

Boise State LB Tanner Vallejo hopes to improve on 'average' debut season

Boise State sophomore middle linebacker Tanner Vallejo’s own evaluation of his play in 2013: “Average.”

Vallejo tied for eighth on the team with 51 tackles as a true freshman. He started six of the last seven games.

“I strive to be the best,” he said. “I don’t want to be average.”

Vallejo says he’s better prepared to contribute this year with his game experience. He also went into camp knowing he was going to play. Last year, he began the season on a redshirt track.

“I just have a bigger role and I know that,” he said. “Coming into camp last year, I had to earn it. I still have to earn it, but I know that I’m having a bigger role coming in this year.

“It takes a lot more work off the field than I really thought, so I need to be in the film room more, the weight room more, everything.”

The offseason was important for Vallejo because he missed the physical development that freshmen usually get during their redshirt seasons.

“I feel like I made some good strides,” he said.

Others quotes from Vallejo:

— “I’m definitely knowing the playbook better now. Last year, sometimes I was just playing out there.”

— “Linebackers are supposed to be some good special teams players and coach (Andy) Avalos is always telling us if someone is in your spot on special teams ahead of you, you need to go up and compete against them so you can get that spot.”

— He said physical play is the No. 1 emphasis of defensive coordinator Marcel Yates: “We’re trying to get it back to the old Bronco way. That’s why everyone came here.”

I’ll have more notes after the team’s interview availability this afternoon. Highlights from the morning practice are attached. There’s another practice this afternoon.

Email me at ccripe@idahostatesman.com.

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