BOISE — Missing games due to injury is never easy, but doing so as a senior made it even tougher to take for wide receiver Aaron Burks.
Burks returned to the Boise State offense Oct. 12 vs. Utah State after missing the previous two games and had four catches for 45 yards, including a key 24-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
“It was really tough seeing my team out there playing and feeling like I could help and just wanting to be a part of the team,” Burks said Wednesday. “We have like 12 or 13 games and now I’m looking at 10, so I have to make the best of it. That’s pretty much what I was thinking when I came back. I have to make my mark now.”
Burks has 10 catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns on the season. He’s had a reception of at least 22 yards in each of the past three games he’s played, including a 54-yard touchdown catch against Tennessee Martin.
He has 39 catches for 585 yards and three touchdowns in his Boise State career.
“Aaron is a very critical part of our offense,” offensive coordinator Robert Prince said. “He’s one of our deep-threat guys. He got a chance to get loose a little bit in the red zone, and that was awesome.”
As for his injury, the 6-foot-3 Burks said it occurred in practice when, “I was blocking and took a shot to the leg.”
BSU LOOKING TO GET APPROVAL FOR NEW NIKE CONTRACT
The Boise State athletics department hopes to get approval on a two-year contract extension on an apparel deal with Nike when the Idaho State Board of Education meets today and Friday in Lewiston.
According to an agenda item provided by the State Board, Boise State hopes to get approval on a new deal that will add two years and provide more apparel to the existing six-year deal that the sides got approved by the Board in April of 2012.
The proposed amendment would increase the value of product Boise State receives from Nike from $6 million to $7.9 million by the end of the 2018-19 school year. Boise State would also receive an additional $100,000 in cash over the final two years, bringing the total cash compensation to $340,000, from 2011 to 2019.
The current deal makes Nike the exclusive provider of uniforms, equipment and sideline apparel for the Boise State athletics department.
The State Board will also consider a proposal from the athletic directors at Boise State, Idaho and Idaho State that will give head and assistant coaches 192 hours of annual vacation that would be lost if not used by the end of the year.
Currently, coaches are able to accumulate vacation time and receive payments for unused time when they leave the school.
PARADIS RELISHING SENIOR YEAR
Senior center Matt Paradis is relishing each game of his final year of collegiate football.
“It’s going good,” Paradis said. “It’s weird being a senior, and it’s weird thinking this is the last time I’m going to play Nevada, which is what I do every week. I’m like, ‘Dang, this is the last time I’ll do this at BSU,’ and it’s a little different situation from when I was younger.”
Paradis said he’d love nothing more than to reach the first Mountain West championship game and win it before his Boise State career ends.
“Absolutely,” Paradis said. “Every senior in the conference wants that and I think we have a shot to do that, but we have to keep improving and keep playing every week.”
PRINCE PREVIEWS NEVADA DEFENSE
Prince, the Boise State offensive coordinator, offered a scouting report of the Nevada defense for reporters this week.
“They play very hard and they are a very physical team,” Prince said. “They don’t do a lot of blitzing, but when they do it’s pretty effective. They play what they play and they know their assignments and they play hard.
“They did play two top 10 teams and that makes it a little bit tough. … Don’t be fooled, they are a very good defense.”
Boise State basketball coach Leon Rice will serve as the grand marshal of the Boise State Homecoming Parade, which begins at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. The parade will start at the Brady Garage on University and continue down University before taking a right on Denver to finish the route. The men’s basketball team will follow Rice with handouts for the crowd.