BOISE — Maybe the most interesting thing he said came when the cameras and microphones had been turned off. Boise State true freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier revealed that his favorite milkshake is the ‘Quarterback Crunch’ at Baskin-Robbins.
Of course it is.
Bachmeier made his much-anticipated media debut Tuesday, speaking with a large group of reporters for the first time since he arrived on campus in January. Players are typically off limits during their first year with the program, but Bachmeier’s status as the starting quarterback finally pushed coach Bryan Harsin to allow him to do a group interview this week.
“He kept his pads on,” one veteran media member joked before the start of the interview. “He’s heard we’re pretty rough.”
Bachmeier said all the right things during his roughly 15-minute chat with reporters, showing off a sense of humor while also keeping most of his answers fairly short and to the point. He was asked about his decision to pick Boise State, what it was like making his first start at Florida State and the crazy names of his younger brothers: Bear, Tiger and Buck.
But the first words out of his mouth came in response to a question about what the past few months have been like, earning the starting quarterback spot and posting a 7-0 record as the starter just months removed from high school.
“It’s been pretty incredible,” Bachmeier said. “It’s been a great honor.”
Bachmeier said getting live reps in games has been the biggest catalyst for his development as he works to make improvements each week. He came off as a team player, often deferring questions about his personal strengths or goals to the success of the team.
“I’m just trying to do whatever I can for the team,” Bachmeier said. “I know those guys do everything they can to help us win the game, so I’m going to do my best for them.”
Asked about teammates calling him ‘weird’, Bachmeier chuckled and said, “I hope they said some nice things.” Coaches and players have described Bachmeier as having a different personality than former starter Brett Rypien. He has a serious, business-like approach when needed, but also will crack jokes here and there and make sure to keep things fun.
“I just like to bring passion and play for fun, that’s the biggest thing,” Bachmeier said. “I look back to the days when I was playing Pop Warner and I think that’s the biggest thing that translates. If you have fun every day, it’s going to translate to all the other guys. I just bring that energy every day.”
Bachmeier hasn’t posted to his Twitter account in more than a year, but his biography at the top of the page says simply that he’s a ‘milkshake connoisseur’. That prompted the question about his favorite milkshake in Boise, and his response about the Quarterback Crunch.
For those curious, the Baskin-Robbins description of the Quarterback Crunch is “A tasty touchdown. Vanilla flavored ice cream mixes with chocolate-covered rice crunchies and a rich caramel ribbon, good for the extra point.”
In seven games, Bachmeier has passed for 1,760 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s also taken several hard hits, many while refusing to slide or give himself up while scrambling for extra yards. He had an 18-yard run on third-and-long last week against San Jose State and was hit as he pushed forward to get the first down. He temporarily had to leave the game but returned a few minutes later.
He also missed the BYU game — Boise State’s only loss — because of a hit he took while running for extra yards against Hawaii.
When the topic was broached about his physical running style, he again referenced wanting to do whatever it takes to win. Asked if Harsin or the coaches had talked to him about sliding or taking it easy on some plays, he smiled and said, “maybe a little bit, yeah.”
Bachmeier admitted “everything has been a lot tougher” than high school, but said coming in early in January helped “tremendously” with his development.
On backup Chase Cord, who is slated to make his first media appearance of the season on Wednesday, Bachmeier referred to him as his “big brother.” He said their relationship is “genuine” after he was seen running onto the field to congratulate him for his touchdown when Cord subbed in for him for a play against San Jose State.
“Chase is amazing,” Bachmeier said.
Bachmeier reported that his dad is doing much better after he underwent brain surgery during fall camp. He didn’t get into much detail, but said “it was a scary situation, but he’s doing well now.” His dad still is unable to drive or fly, but Hank’s mother April drove him and the family to San Jose for the game. He also was able to make the UNLV game in early October.
April also broke her media silence Tuesday. She declined all media inquiries throughout fall camp and the early part of the season, but agreed to a phone interview with the Idaho Press on the same day that her son met with the media.
“It’s been an amazing experience for us to watch our son excel on and off the field,” April Bachmeier said. “He’s been playing football since he was 4. We’re super proud of him. We had 30 people (family and friends) again at San Jose State. My kids were on TV dancing, everyone was texting us.
“He’s setting a great example for the rest of the family. The kids are following behind him and he’s done an amazing job setting an example not just for our kids, but the other kids that hang out with our kids.”
Bachmeier echoed that thought, saying “the way I was raised, I hope my brothers and sister can watch me and learn. I try to be the best role model I can for them.”
He’s the oldest of five, but said he wasn’t sure why his brothers all got cooler names like Bear, Tiger, and Buck.
“I don’t know, but some people call me Hawk now,” Bachmeier joked. “It’s been pretty awesome that my brothers are getting some love, but I have a sister, too, and she’s awesome, Ella.”
Other topics during the wide-ranging interview included Bachmeier’s love for baseball, center Garrett Larson being the first player he met when he got on campus in January and why he ultimately decided on Boise State over Cal.
“Why not Boise State?” Bachmeier said. “I love this place. I love the people here. So genuine. It’s beautiful. I could definitely see myself living here the rest of my life.”
Rypien similarly made his media debut towards the end of his true freshman season. In fact, the two both started the same number of games — seven — when they first spoke with the media.
Who knows if Bachmeier’s time at Boise State will follow a similar path as Rypien, but he’s off to a nice start. He’ll look to keep the Broncos undefeated in Mountain West play when they host Wyoming on Saturday night at 8:15.
“I’m just excited to be here,” Bachmeier said, “and excited for the future.”