LAS VEGAS — San Diego State coach Rocky Long said he wants to pick a starting quarterback early in fall camp to get him settled into the role.

As Chris Petersen decides between four competitors as to who will be Boise State’s next signal-caller, he’s taking more of a wait and see approach, just as he’s done the last few times the Broncos needed a new quarterback.

“We want to get it done, too, but you’ve got to give it ample time to play out in as many situations as possible,” Petersen said Tuesday at Mountain West football media days. “... You don’t want to rush a decision.

“If you’ve got time, let’s play it out.”

With junior Joe Southwick, sophomore Grant Hedrick, redshirt freshman Jimmy Laughrea and true freshman Nick Patti in the fold, Petersen said one positive of a four-man race is that he has about as much depth as he’s ever had at the position.

Southwick completed 14-of-19 passes for 145 yards and led a last-minute scoring drive in the spring game. Petersen said Tuesday “I could feel Joe take a step forward.”

“I think Joe did a great job in spring ball, but I think the other kids did, too,” Petersen said. “They all show flashes. The other guys are just young in terms of knowing the system. Joe knows it very well, so you’d like to give those guys an opportunity to progress. Competition is good and healthy.”

Petersen praised Hedrick’s ability to throw and pass, then said “Jimmy has an arm like we’ve never had at Boise State,” but said both need to continue to absorb more of the offensive system.

A few more notes from Petersen’s sit-down with the media:

- He said it’s possible four kickers will compete for the starting job, though there is a chance freshman Sean Wale could grayshirt. Petersen said he is still trying to figure out his roster.

- He said he likely will still operate with 82 scholarships instead of the full 85 as he and the Broncos await word from the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions regarding its reconsideration of penalties.

- Other than the transfers of defensive ends Justin Jungblut and Nick Alexander, Petersen said no other scholarship players left this summer.

- When asked about pursuing a Penn State player, eligible to transfer immediately, he said “never say never,” but mentioned that there might be only one player on the Nittany Lions that BSU recruited.

- Petersen also said he owns a blue and orange samurai sword given to him by his assistants as a gift.

Bulldogs’ Carr, Aztecs’ McFadden have high expectations

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr and San Diego State cornerback Leon McFadden were named the Mountain West preseason offensive and defensive players of the year, respectively.

Carr is the younger brother of former Bulldog standout David Carr and is coming off a sophomore season where he threw for 3,544 yards. Now he enters a system under new coach Tim DeRuyter that is expected to be a no-huddle, spread-type scheme.

“Who wouldn’t be excited about that?” Carr said.

McFadden (15 pass breakups, two interceptions last season) was praised by Long, who said he will be an immediate contributor in the NFL next season.

“It sets the bar pretty high,” McFadden said.

Offensive guru wants defense, running attack for team

Norm Chow has mentored Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks Ty Detmer at BYU and Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at USC. He’s instructed six NFL first-round draft picks, including Steve Young (BYU) and Philip Rivers (North Carolina State).

After more than 40 years  of coaching high-powered offenses, Chow, 62, finally landed his first head coaching job at Hawaii — and now he’s talking about anything but throwing the football.

“June (Jones) and those fellows did a terrific job with the run-and-shoot, I think the run-and-shoot is a tremendous way to play college football, but that’s not us,” Chow said Tuesday. “We want to be able to run the ball, we want to be able to play tough, hard-nosed defense. Our No. 1 goal is to win by playing good defense.”

Fresno State taking different approach this season

DeRuyter, in his first season, has taken former Bulldogs coach Pat Hill’s famous mantra of “play anyone, anywhere, anytime,” and expanded on it by stating “but our goal is to win this league.”

The last time Fresno State won a conference title, it was a three-way tie for the WAC championship with Hawaii and TCU in 1999.

Now, DeRuyter wants to change things up.

The former Air Force and Texas A&M defensive coordinator said his team will transition from a pro-style offense to a more spread, no-huddle offense, and its defense will go from a 4-3 alignment to a 3-4.

Quote of the day

“Following Boise State is like following Lou Holtz at Notre Dame.”

- New Mexico coach Bob Davie, who took the podium with his players immediately following the Broncos’ session. He was Notre Dame’s coach from 1997-2001, taking over after Holtz.

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