BOISE — John Molchon won’t get to sleep in his own bed this weekend when the Broncos travel to his hometown of Las Vegas to play at UNLV. But his parents will.
Molchon’s parents John and Lisa have traveled to nearly every game, home and away, since he began playing for the Broncos as a redshirt freshman in 2016. And in his final year, they’ll get to stay home and see him play in Las Vegas.
“They get to save money on this trip,” Molchon joked.
It’s been a crazy senior year for Molchon, who was voted a team captain by his teammates prior to the season. The expected left guard coming in, he’s already started at three different spots along the line through four games. He started the opener at Florida State at left guard, but has also started at left tackle and right tackle due to injuries to Ezra Cleveland and John Ojukwu.
“That’s what a captain does, right?” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “He didn’t really have a say, but he said I’ll do whatever we have to do to be successful. He knew what we had to do when guys got injured.
“Having a guy that can do all those things has been exactly what we needed and as a captain, that’s what you expect from guys like that. Whatever it takes. There’s no ‘hey that’s my spot’, he just moves around and does what he’s asked to do.”
Molchon has started 33 games during his Boise State career, the most of any player on the roster. He’s appeared in 38 games in all, which makes his the most experienced player on offense. Only two defensive players, Sonatane Lui and Kekoa Nawahine, have played in more games with the Broncos.
The 6-foot-5, 318-pound Molchon was picked to represent the Broncos at Mountain West Media Days in Las Vegas in July, and in August was named one of three permanent captains alongside David Moa and Nawahine heading into the season.
“He’s a warrior, and a true leader for us,” Boise State offensive coordinator Zak Hill said. “He’s the vocal leader and he kind of brings that energy every day. It doesn’t matter what position he’s at, he doesn’t care. He just wants to play football and play with the guys.
“Those are the types of guys you look for in a football player at whatever position. Guys that are unselfish and don’t care about ‘hey I’m a left tackle or a guard’, it’s whatever is best for the team so we can win championships.”
Molchon is an NFL prospect, which makes his ability and willingness to shift around the line so much this season admirable. He said being 4-0 was the most important thing, regardless of where he’s had to play.
“It’s already been a season to remember,” Molchon said. “It’s been awesome. Being able to play with different people and at different positions, it’s been super helpful for me. Kind of just doing whatever I can to help the team has been my mindset. My goal is to win championships. There’s no individual goal I’m worried about besides helping the team.”
The shifting from one side of the line to the other and one position to the next hasn’t been difficult for Molchon, who said, “at the end of the day I just kind of forget about it. It’s more about understanding the plays. As long as I know what to do each play, the technique is very similar for the most part.”
The unbalanced Mountain West schedule means the Broncos only play UNLV twice in a four-year span, and only once in Las Vegas. The Broncos last played there in 2015, when Molchon was redshirting and watched the game from the seats with his parents.
“It was weird seeing it from the stands,” Molchon said. “It will be fun watching part of it.”
Molchon doesn’t remember being recruited much by UNLV in high school and said he never attended any UNLV football games. He attended some UNLV basketball games at the Thomas and Mack Center growing up as a fan.
He did play once at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas when Boise State beat Oregon in the 2017 Las Vegas Bowl, so it will be his parents’ second time getting to see him play at home.
But it’s his first matchup in Las Vegas with the hometown team, and maybe his last chance in college to play in the town where he grew up.
It’s only adding to what he hopes is a special senior year.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Molchon said. “It makes it easier for my family and friends to come see me. It’s all falling really well, but we have to make sure we keep it up because we’re trying to continue this.”