BOISE, Idaho Hard work is what the running back position at Boise State is all about and this is the attitude senior fullback Michael Lose are taking as they prepare for the start of the 2007 football season.
“We have to have a blue-collar mentality, everyday,” Lose said. “We want everything you have to give, everyday.”
This is the approach Lose has taken his entire career. He was not highly recruited coming out of high school in Sacramento, Calif., and decided to walk on to play for Oregon State but a coaching change altered his journey towards Boise State. He joined the team as a walk on prior to the 2003 season and as a member of the scout team in 2005 he was named scout player of the year as he continued to work hard at everything he did.
“I was always told hard work pays off and fortunately for my situation it did,” said Lose.
Lose saw that dedication and commitment to the team pay off both on the field and in the classroom. He was awarded an academic scholarship prior to the 2007 season and he figures to see the majority of the snaps at fullback after serving three seasons as a backup at the position.
This hard working identity Lose and the rest of the running backs take pride in all stems from running back and special teams coach Jeff Choate.
“We want to create the tough guy mentality,” Choate said. “We want to be the guys that are as tough as the offensive line, with a punishing running game and be physical pass blockers.”
This mentality goes beyond just carrying the ball for all the running backs and coach Choate.
“We emphasis the Big Four here,” coach Choate said. “Number one is ball security. We never want to put the ball on the ground. We take a great deal of pride in protecting the football. Number two is assignment knowledge. We don’t want to make mental mistakes on the field. Number three is pass protection. Number four is route running and catching skills. If we can be good at all four of these things we are going to have a chance to be successful.”
There are six running backs that coach Choate installs the Big Four Bronco mentality into everyday and each one brings a unique set of talents to the Boise State football team.
Ian Johnson, 5’11”, 195 lbs., junior, was selected to numerous All-American teams for his 2006 campaign which featured 1,713 yards and 25 touchdowns while averaging 6.2 yards per carry.
“The thing that probably describes Ian the best is his patience,” Choate said. “He does a great job with the running style and has a very good understanding of the offense.”
Michael Lose, 5’10”, 229 lbs., senior, has been with the program since the 2003 season, serving as the backup fullback for the last three seasons.
“Lose is a great program kid,” said Choate. “He is almost a coach on the field. He has had a tremendous off-season. We will be using him in short yardage and goal line situations.”
Jeremy Avery, 5’9”, 173 lbs., freshman, redshirted during the 2006 season.
“Avery had an awesome spring,” Choate said. “He probably has the best change of direction and quickness of any of our backs. He can be a really good outside stretch runner and we are hoping to utilize him on third downs and as a screen back.”
Jarvis Hodge, 5’9”, 195 lbs., freshman, redshirted for Boise State during the 2006 season.
“Hodge had a very nice summer,” according to Choate. “He is very, very assignment sound and has improved his pass protection.”
Doug Martin, 5’10”, 195 lbs., freshman, joins the Broncos out of St. Mary’s High School in Stockton, Calif.
“Doug has excellent balance and change of direction,” Choate said. “He has shown that he is a really good pass protector and that has probably impressed me about him the most during Fall Camp.”
D.J. Harper, 5’10”, 191 lbs., freshman, came to Boise State after playing his high school football in Cypress, Texas.
“He has a great pop-in burst with a slasher running style,” said Choate. “He has done a nice job picking up the offense.”
Stephen Gabbard, 6’0”, 210 lbs., freshman, walked on to the Broncos after playing high school football in Huntington Beach, Calif.
“Gabbard provides depth for us at fullback,” Choate said. “He has done a nice job picking up the offense.”
With the success Lose and the rest of the Boise State running backs have had through the years it goes to prove hard work and effort do get rewarded.