All signs point to former Boise State center Matt Paradis starting at center for the Denver Broncos this season and snapping the ball to Peyton Manning.
Paradis, who was on the practice squad last year as a rookie, started the preseason opener last week against the Seahawks. And coach Gary Kubiak’s early reviews were glowing.
“I really like Matt [Paradis]. Matt ran the group well,” Kubiak said, according to ESPN.com. “He went out there and got them on the right people and made the calls. I will go back and look at it, but for the first night out, you have to feel good about it.’’
Paradis would be one of the least likely starters in the NFL.
He walked on at Boise State as a defensive lineman after playing eight-man football at Council High and growing up working on the family cattle ranch. He moved to offense in 2010 and started in 2012-13, earning All-Mountain West first-team honors as a junior and second-team honors as a senior.
“If there is anyone who epitomizes Boise State football, it’s a guy like Matt Paradis,” interim Boise State coach Bob Gregory said in 2013. “He’s hard-working, tough, smart ... he certainly will leave a legacy here.”
Paradis was drafted in the sixth round in 2014. That was a bit of a surprise to him.
“It’s pretty surreal,” he said at the time. “I came from a really small town as a walk-on, and it’s just kind of a situation you never think can happen and it happened. It’s pretty amazing.”
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Paradis is one of 18 former Boise State players in NFL training camps. The full list is available here.
We’ll check in on each of the guys throughout the month of August.