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Boise State position preview: Quarterback

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Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com

Boise State position preview: Quarterback

By Paul Gerke. CREATED Aug 6, 2014

Ryan Dinwiddie, Jared Zabransky, and Kellen Moore - the holy trinity of Boise State signal callers.

"The tradition of quarterbacks here is pretty remarkable," said starter Grant Hedrick.

Hedrick wants to join that triumvirate in the pantheon of greats, and he's seeking out their counsel to get there. Grant has been in close contact with Moore and other former Bronco quarterbacks this summer.

"It's good for me to have resources like that, where I can go and reach out and ask questions and kind of pick things up from them," he admits.

Hedrick opens the season with the starter's job locked down. It's a new challenge, after being rushed into duty for an injured Joe Southwick in 2013.

"Getting live bullets shot at you is a lot different than running against the scout team in practice," cautions Hedrick. "You'd like to say you prepare the same, but in reality it is a little bit different. You prepare like you're going to take the first snap and you study a little bit harder because hopefully you're going to last the whole season."

Hedrick has seamlessly stepped into the starting role, organizing player-run practices over the summer to keep his teammates sharp.

"I think these have been the most efficient player-run practices that we've had since I've been there," said senior wide receiver Matt Miller. "Grant has done a great job scripting plays and has been very efficient. He has really taken that role as the guy who is going to be starting at that quarterback position."

New offensive coordinator Mike Sanford wants to see Hedrick improvise and use his legs more this year, but that won't be the focal point of the Broncos' offense.

"Attacking the defense, and not so much laterally, but vertically- that's kind of our main goal," reveals Hedrick. "We've worked a lot over the summer on that."

Redshirt freshman Ryan Finley has solidified himself as Grant's backup, battling through a torn rotator cuff that limited him all last year and through the spring.

"You saw 100 percent of Finley, but you saw about 80 percent of his physical ability in spring," said head coach Bryan Harsin. 

"I felt like I wasn't part of the team for some of the season because I wasn't able to participate in some stuff, but I definitely overcame that, and I'm feeling really good," admitted Finley. "It was actually okay that we got a coaching change. With the new coaching staff, I kind of got a fresh start, which was really nice."

Finley is 100 percent healthy now, and his teammates have said the Broncos wouldn't miss a beat with him as a starter.

"Me and Grant have definitely built a great relationship of just competing with each other," continued Finley. "I'd like to think I've pushed him a little bit, and he definitely pushes me. Mentally, he is a surgeon. That's one of the things I can definitely learn from Grant."

Behind Hedrick and Finley sit sophomore Tommy Stuart and Sanford's first QB recruit, Alex Ogle. Ogle will likely redshirt, but Stuart will get to practice with the first team at some point this fall.

"Tommy Stuart is kind of that spark plug in our room," says Hedrick. "He brings a lot of energy every day, and he's a big playmaker."

Despite future playmaking potential under center, Hedrick is still the only quarterback on Boise State's roster to have game experience. Will his name one day carry the weight of a Zabransky or Moore? Or will he be forgotten, just a bridge to the next legendary Boise State quarterback?

"I'm ready to go," says Hedrick. "I've put in a lot of work for this and i just feel a lot more comfortable with everything and taking that leadership role."