BOISE — Interim Boise State coach Bob Gregory claims he’s not doing much different than he normally did as an assistant head coach and linebackers coach before Chris Petersen left for Washington.
“I just blow the whistle when we change drills, that’s about it,” Gregory said. “I’m still coaching the linebackers. I’m leaning a little bit more on my GA Byron Hout on the linebackers, but nothing has really changed. I’m just making sure practice is going smooth.
“It’s been great. I love being around these guys. It’s been fun.”
Gregory is one of the few coaches that apparently doesn’t know what his future holds beyond the upcoming Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24 vs. Oregon State.
Assistants Scott Huff and Andy Avalos will stay on staff under new coach Bryan Harsin and several others, including defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski, are expected to join Petersen in Washington.
If Gregory has something lined up, he’s not saying so publicly.
“I don’t,” Gregory said. “I’m sure all of that will happen after the bowl game.”
Gregory said he has not spoken with Harsin about the possibility of remaining on staff at Boise State.
The longtime California defensive coordinator finds himself in uncharted territory as the head coach of a game for the first time in his career. And though it will only be a one-game stint, he’s hoping to make the most of it.
“I’ve just leaned on the guys here,” Gregory said. “Chris Strausser is awesome, being able to lean on that guy and our two coordinators, Robert Prince and Pete Kwiatkowski have been great. Obviously all of us had a great mentor in Chris Petersen, so I’ve paid close to attention to what he’s done.
“Just like we tell our guys, you have to take it one step at a time and be in the moment, and all of us are in the moment right here. If we’re back next year, if we’re not back next year, we’re just going to enjoy the moment and being with these kids. … I’m just excited to represent these guys and Boise State and finish this thing the right way. It’s been great. It’s been fun.”
SOUTHWICK, HEDRICK WILL PLAY
Gregory said Wednesday that senior Joe Southwick and junior Grant Hedrick will both see time at quarterback in the Hawaii Bowl.
“Both guys are going to play,” Gregory said. “We’re working packages for both guys at this point.”
Southwick had started 20 consecutive games dating back to the start of last season before suffering a broken ankle on Oct. 19 vs. Nevada. He returned to play the opening series on Senior Day vs. New Mexico on Nov. 30 and went 2-for-2 for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Hedrick started four games while Southwick was out but has been the primary quarterback the past six games.
Southwick is apparently at, or near, full strength.
“He’s getting better and better all the time,” Gregory said. “We feel good about Joe. We just feel like both guys are going to play.”
AJAYI NOT CONSIDERING NFL
Redshirt sophomore running back Jay Ajayi said Wednesday he is not planning to get an evaluation on his NFL Draft stock and expects to return to Boise State for at least one more season.
Ajayi is eligible for the upcoming NFL Draft since he is three years removed from high school. He’s rushed for 1,328 yards and 17 touchdowns this season.
“Not at this time, no,” Ajayi said. “I’m just enjoying my college experience and just trying to make big plays for my team and just enjoy my family here at Boise State.”
Asked if that meant he would be back for at least his junior season in 2014, Ajayi said, “Definitely.”
FREE TIME IN HAWAII
The Broncos will depart this afternoon for Honolulu in preparation for the Dec. 24 matchup with Oregon State. And they figure to get plenty of time to relax under the sun.
“There is a fair amount of free time for them, which there should be,” Gregory said of the schedule. “They deserve the break. We’ll practice in the morning like we always do, but they will have enough time to explore and have some fun.”
The team is slated to attend at least one of the Boise State men’s basketball team’s games in the Diamond Head Classic.
Running back Derrick Thomas won’t travel to Hawaii with the team due to a violation of team rules. … Gregory said it was a mutual decision for running back Aaron Baltazar to leave the program. He expects him to transfer. … Shane Williams-Rhodes will be a game-time decision due to an ankle injury. He wore a boot Wednesday and did not participate in practice.