Joe Southwick on Boise State football career: ‘I’m proud of what I did here’

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com
© 2014 Idaho Statesman

Eight of the Boise State football team’s 2013 seniors worked out at pro day Monday at the Caven-Williams Sports Complex.

All but one team — the Cincinnati Bengals — had representatives on hand. The group included Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, a former Boise State assistant, and Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano.

The former Broncos who worked out: defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, quarterback Joe Southwick, defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, center Matt Paradis, offensive tackle Charles Leno Jr., punter Trevor Harman and wide receivers Geraldo Boldewijn and Aaron Burks. Former offensive lineman Will Lawrence also took part.

Results are later in this post.

Here is the photo gallery.

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Southwick hopes to overcome short-circuited senior season

Southwick broke the lower end of his fibula in his right leg Oct. 19 against Nevada. He missed all but four plays of the final seven games, including a suspension for the Hawaii Bowl.

He declined to discuss what happened in Hawaii but talked about his career, the fixes he’s trying to make to his mechanics and his dream to play in the NFL. Here are the highlights:

— On the bitter end to his career: “I’m proud of what I did here, man, I really am, at the end of the day. I remember reading somewhere my winning percentage is up there with the best guys who have played quarterback here. My completion percentage (too). I’ve done things that I am proud of. I know some people don’t recognize that or don’t … fans sometimes don’t recognize that, but I’m proud of what I’ve done, and we did it as a group. Obviously last season was underachieving for multiple areas but even my junior season, that was tough, we went 11-2 and that wasn’t good enough for people and I was really proud of it – first Mountain West championship and we won a bowl game against a quality opponent, as we found out this past year. So yeah, I’m really proud of it. It’s unfortunate that it got cut short due to an injury but that’s life I guess.”

— On pro day: “I was pleased. I was able to come out here and show I was healthy and the ankle is back.”

— On the time he missed last year: “That’s a lot of film I didn’t get to put out. I’m happy with the film I did put out last year and now it’s just an evaluation process.”

— On the injury: “We were watching film the other day, my last two games, I was starting to take off. Fresno, we lost by a point, I still had an outstanding game. Southern Miss, had a great game. And Utah State, even though we had two picks, was by far my best game of the year – by far. And then I felt really good going against Nevada, too. I felt like we were going to keep climbing, I felt like the offense was really starting to jell and click. It’s part of the game. I’ve never really been injured before so it was different territory for me but everyone did a great job keeping my spirits up and I tried to return the favor.”

— On his ankle: “I’m still getting there, getting more and more healthy, trying to get as much treatment as I can while training, which is tough, because you’ve got to push it to get better but at the same time it’s a fine line.”

— On his testing results at pro day: “I think a lot of people knew that I broke my ankle. I had high expectations for myself but I kind of knew I wasn’t going to be super-human testing. My goal was to try to get back to where I was junior day, going into my senior year. I knew realistically I wasn’t going to PR in everything.”

— On what’s next: “Just try to sit by the phone and see if the phone rings, try to get some (private) workouts. Some guys talked to me today from different teams and I think they want to set up some workouts.”

— On Boise State QBs getting NFL chances: “A lot of them got chances. (Jared) Zabransky got a chance with (Houston and) Pittsburgh. (Taylor) Tharp had a chance with Carolina. Kellen (Moore) is obviously still with Detroit. It’s possible. It’s been done. Those guys did a great job kind of laying the way and now it’s my job to work as hard as I can and just try to get in a camp and show coaches I can still play some ball.”

— On the mechanical changes he made to his throwing motion: “I kind of looked at it like a Tiger Woods almost change the swing type of thing, kind of reconstructed the swing with throwing the football. … And I think it showed today. Some scouts came to me and said, ‘Wow, you were really popping the ball today. We didn’t expect your arm strength to be like that.’ Because that was a big question for me. … I’ve always felt like I was an accurate quarterback, so I was trying to get more pop. By changing a few things in my throwing mechanics it just kind of came naturally.”

•••

Lawrence preps as a linebacker

Lawrence expects to be a 3-4 outside linebacker with an emphasis on pass rush. Colts linebackers coach Jeff FitzGerald put him through an extensive workout Monday with an emphasis on his lateral movement and pass drops.

Here’s what Lawrence said:

— On the day: “It went pretty good. I had a couple drops, a couple catches I needed to make, but overall it went pretty well.”

— Lawrence ran the 40-yard dash in 4.80 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine. He hoped to crack the 4.5s Monday. His time of 4.65 seconds still was impressive.

— On why he left Boise State a year early: “Really the timing of the whole situation that went down at Boise State, I felt like it was a great time to up my level of play, plus the coaching change. … It took a moment, after I talked to (former coach Chris Petersen) and some of the other coaches, they said I’d be better off either way, stay or league, so I thought it was time to up my level of play.” He said the NFL advisory group rated him as a first- through third-round pick.

— On his Boise State career: “I think I did pretty good here at Boise State and had a big impact on the team and really helped myself out for the draft.”

•••

Other quotes

— Leno on pro day: “The combine is way more serious than this, way more nerve-racking. I took this seriously but nothing compares to the combine.”

— Boldewijn on pro day: “There’s a lot of pressure because it’s one shot. You only get one shot. It’s a little nerve-racking and it puts a little pressure on you, but it’s good.”

— Boldewijn: “I was able to show them that I’m an athlete and I have a lot potential and a lot of room to grow and with my limited time of football I think I can learn a lot more and I’m pretty sure my best football time is still ahead of me. There’s a lot of room for improvement.”

— Paradis just did drills: “Just tried to continue to show my athleticism and hard-working ability and show myself well in the O-line drills.”

— Paradis on similarity to walking on at Boise State: “Exact same thing. I think I’ve prepared a little more for this than coming into Boise (State). I just want a chance and go into camp and do everything I can.”

— Paradis (up from 300 to 307 pounds) on draft prep: “Not having school is pretty awesome. That really has enabled me to focus on football. I didn’t realize how much more time I could have put in if I didn’t have school to worry about. In Atlanta, we were working out at least six hours a day.”

— Tjong-A-Tjoe: “I wanted to just keep up with the other guys who went to the combine. I was just trying to show my athleticism. That’s a big thing for me.”

•••

There are no official results, but an NFL scout provided numbers to the Idaho Statesman.

40-yard dash

Boldewijn 4.49 seconds
Burks 4.46
Lawrence 4.65
Leno 5.20
Southwick 4.73
Tjong-A-Tjoe 5.37

20-yard shuttle

Boldewijn 4.16 seconds
Burks 4.23
Southwick 4.32
Tjong-A-Tjoe 4.81

Three-cone drill

Boldewijn 6.80 seconds
Burks 7.05
Southwick 6.99
Tjong-A-Tjoe 7.91

60-yard shuttle

Boldewijn 11.65 seconds
Burks 11.57
Lawrence 11.82

Bench press (225 pounds)

Boldewijn 18 reps
Burks 12
Tjong-A-Tjoe 19

Vertical jump

Burks 40 inches
Boldewijn 34
Leno 31.5
Southwick 29.5

Broad jump

Boldewijn 10 feet, 7 inches
Burks 10-9
Leno 9-4
Southwick 8-9


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Chadd Cripe has spent the past 12 years as the Boise State football beat writer. You can follow him on Twitter @IDS_BroncoBeat.

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