Boise State QB Grant Hedrick: a Man for All Seasons

You might call him a Man for All Seasons.  I'm not talking about Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII, I'm talking about a quarterback who could be Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore's replacement.  With all the hoopla and planned celebrations by Bronco opponents who are looking forward to seeing Kellen Moore graduate, that celebration might be short lived.

Enter redshirt freshman QB Grant Hedrick, 6-1, 191 lbs, from out of the shadows and into the lineup.  Right now you have to look for his #9 jersey, because he spends most of his game time on the sidelines wearing headphones and learning the system. But when you see him he won't be standing around daydreaming as is he usually engaged in conversations with coaches, keeping a close eye on the field action, and conferring or exchanging information with Moore. He is a busy man on the move, displaying poise and confidence, and when you see him on the field, there is no question in your mind about his future roll in Boise State football. Maybe that is why every other game or so, head coach Chris Petersen is letting him get his feet wet on the playing field.  Barely noticed when he trots onto field for a single play, the Oregon native has averaged 11.2 yards per carry on the read-option plays this season.  In his last appearance on the field against the Fresno State Bulldogs he even got to attempt a pass, which has made him 0-1 for 0 yards on the season. So far its been exciting for the young Bronco who's first college play resulted in a first down against the fabled Georgia Bulldogs of the SEC. But Hedrick is under no illusions.  He knows he has a hard road ahead coming in behind record-setting and Heisman candidate QB Kellen Moore. From where I sit up in the stands, he looks like just the man to try and get it done. Now let me tell you why: Growing up in rural Independence, Oregon and playing in Class 4A (Oregon's third-highest classification), Hedrick was a bit off the recruiting path so he had to make his high school career count. And it was a stellar one. In his sophomore year he was all state honorable mention; as a junior he was named 2nd team all state; and in his senior year named the Oregon High School State Player of the Year. He was also a 3 year all conference first team selection. Those honors came on the back of some impressive stats. As a junior, he passed for 3,100 yards, 41 TDs and only 7 INTs. That same year he also showed what a threat he can be rushing, racking up 1,200 yards and another 13 TDs. The next year as a senior he tossed the ball for 2,500 yards, put up 34 TDs and only had a single INT. His ability to scramble under the toughest conditions also allowed him to post 1,500 yards and 17 more TDs that last year. He proved himself to be tough and resilient and able to make the big plays under pressure. What he lacked in size he made up for with heart and grit, and peppered with good judgement. During his last year at High School, he had a lot of phone calls and generated a lot of interest from the likes of Oregon, Boise State, and about 30 other colleges. That is why it is so surprising that Boise State was the only school that offered Hedrick a scholarship. Maybe it was his smaller size that made most of the coaches lose interest, just like they did with Kellen Moore years before. But Coach Pete was glad they passed, and the Boise team is happy they signed him. So far, he fits right in with the undersized crowd of superior talent the Broncos are known for. Hedrick is a gifted, dual-threat quarterback, and a strong-armed passer who's even more valuable when he tucks it and runs. But hey, those aren't my words bragging him up, they came from Scout.com. So you see, I'm not the only one who thinks he could be the real deal. For now Hedrick is playing third fiddle in practice and doesn't get many snaps.  Naturally, starter QB Kellen Moore gets the lion's share, which is about 60 percent, and backup QB Joe Southwick is getting most of the rest. But even with his limited field time, he's revealing his skills and athletic abilities, especially in scrambling. He's already being compared to former Boise State QB Jared Zabransky. "Right now, it’s just basically mental reps,” Hedrick has said. “That is a little bit difficult that I don’t get physically the reps, but I’ve got to stay on top of it mentally so hopefully I won’t lose anything this fall.". I don't think the Boise fans need to worry about that. He'll be ready for spring practice next year where he will getting a significant increase in practice time. Without a redshirt he will have even more incentive to compete for the starting job and give backup QB Joe Southwick a run. Until then, he has one of the best coaches around to keep him motivated after this season ends. No, not Coach Pete. And not Boise State offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Brent Pease, either. I'm talking about coach Shane Hedrick, his former Central High School football coach---Grant Hedrick's dad.
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