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BOISE — Dylan Herberg wasn’t sure how to react or what to do because the scenario never had popped into his head.

Even he couldn’t have dreamed that moment up.

Herberg, a local product from Timberline High School, scooped up a blocked punt and ran seven yards into the end zone for the first touchdown of his college career — and near the seats he rooted hometown the Broncos on from as a kid.

“I kind of blacked out for a little bit,” Herberg said. “I got in the end zone and it was like the scene from Talladega Nights where Ricky Bobby is like ‘I’m not sure what to do with my hands’ and that’s kind of how I felt.

“It was an unreal experience. Something I’ll never forget.”

It’s been a memorable few months for Herberg, who earned a scholarship in mid-September and a few days later earned his first name, image and likeness deal with Ridley’s Family Markets. Herberg earned cash and store credit for groceries for making a social media post about the local store.

Herberg was a big Boise State fan growing up and attended lots of games. He had a standout career at Timberline including a monster senior year in 2017 in which he had 105 tackles, five interceptions and 15 tackles-for-loss on his way to being named to the Idaho 5A First-Team Defense.

He joined his dream school Boise State as a walk-on and redshirted in 2018. He saw action in 12 games as a redshirt freshman in 2019 and had his first career sack against New Mexico.

He saw action in all seven games last season and has continued to carve out a role on special teams and as an EDGE rusher this season as a redshirt junior. Herberg has six tackles, a sack and a forced fumble — and now his first career touchdown.

With Boise State leading New Mexico 10-0 early in the second quarter Herberg lined up for his normal spot on the punt block team. Alexander Teubner got through the line and blocked the punt, and the ball bounced right towards Herberg. He picked up and saw nothing but daylight, scampering untouched into the end zone to put the Broncos up 17-0.

“Did I ever expect in my career to do that? No,” Herberg said. “But when it does happen, it’s just one of those things where you get to the sidelines and it takes a little bit to fully understand what happened.

“It means everything. From going to the games, I could imagine myself as a kid in the stands and seeing something happen because we used to have tickets down there in that south end zone. So just imagine being a kid, seeing that happen right in front of me, I would have been absolutely blown away as a kid, and for me to actually do it? It’s just insane.”

The best part? Herberg got to share the moment with his family, who were all in the stands to witness it in person.

“It’s real special,” Herberg said. “I think my mom cried. If you ever met my mom, she definitely cried when she saw that. But they were really proud of me. It’s just something that shows hard work pays off. It’s a good feeling.”

Herberg and the Broncos still have time to make more memories this season. Boise State closes the regular season Friday at 10 a.m. against No. 21 San Diego State in Carson, California, on CBS.

The Broncos will spend part of their Thanksgiving flying to Los Angeles, so Herberg said he was planning on having an early Thanksgiving dinner with his family on Wednesday night.

He’s got plenty to be thankful for this time of year — and the list got bigger last weekend.

“I’m very thankful for everything — just the experience, the coaches letting me as a local kid come walk-on the team and try to earn my spot and I’m very thankful for my family,” Herberg said. “It’s just been hard work and dedication and you have to just trust the process. And all that hard work is finally paying off.”

B.J. Rains has covered Boise State athletics for the Idaho Press since 2013 and is a three-time winner of the NSMA Idaho Sportswriter of the Year Award. He appears on KTIK 93.1 FM The Ticket every Friday at 4 p.m. for the Blue Turf Sports report.

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