Three former Boise State football players seek to prove themselves at all-star games

By Chadd Cripe
© 2013 Idaho Statesman

Three former Boise State football players have spent this week under the watchful eye of NFL scouts and decision-makers and will play in all-star games Saturday.

Left tackle Charles Leno Jr. will play on the West team in the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. (2 p.m. MT, NFL Network).

Center Matt Paradis and defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe will play on the American team in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Carson, Calif. (4 p.m. MT, ESPN2).

I caught up with each of them yesterday. Here’s what they had to say:

Charles Leno Jr.

— “It’s been really good, going against some really good competition.”

— On what he wanted to show: “A little bit of everything — physicality, athleticism, technique.”

— On the importance of getting an all-star invite: “It was really good exposure for me, I believe.”

— He’ll train for the combine in Arizona.

Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe

— “It kind of feels like fall camp. We’ve been doing a lot of stuff. We’re staying busy. It’s going pretty well. I keep trying to get better and measure up with everybody else.”

— On meeting with scouts: “It’s just nonstop for the last three days. You come off the field and you talk to scouts. You go to the hotel and talk to scouts.”

— “I’m definitely trying to prove that I should be there and do the best I can and, for sure, win.”

(His agent, Brett Tessler, added: “He’s done a fantastic job out here this week and it’s been a great response from the teams in terms of the amount of people who have reached out to him.”)

Matt Paradis

— “I’m kind of considered a smaller O-lineman and I wanted to show that I am physical enough and strong enough to play against some of these bigger defensive linemen.”

— “I feel like I’ve practiced really well. I’ve got good coaches here who helped me with a lot of good direction.”

— On competing against Tjong-A-Tjoe: “We’ve kind of tried to stay away from each other. I think the scouts have enough film of me and Ricky going against each other.”

— On having a teammate with him: “Walking into an environment like this with all new coaches, all new players, you really don’t know anybody. Knowing one guy has made it a lot easier on me.”

— He’s going to train in Atlanta. He’s still hoping for a combine invite.

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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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