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BOISE — The Boise State football team’s road game Saturday at Utah State will be anything but normal for assistant coaches Frank Maile and Stacy Collins.

The two are in their first year at Boise State after spending the last five years coaching at Utah State.

“I certainly appreciated my time there and have a lot of love for those guys, but this is the business side of it,” Collins said Wednesday. “And I’ll tell you what, I’m damn happy to be at Boise State and I’m excited about the players we have here and the work they’ve put in. All we’re concerned about ... is playing our best football in Logan, Utah.”

Collins served in a variety of roles while with the Aggies from 2016-20. He was the special teams coordinator for much of it, but also spent time as running backs coach, inside linebackers coach and secondary coach. He was the co-defensive coordinator in 2020.

“I have nothing but great things to say about my time at Utah State,” Collins said. “It was awesome. It was a great place to raise my family. We had a lot of great experiences there and recruited a lot of those kids and spent a lot of time with them in the meeting rooms, at my house, in their living rooms with their parents. I wish nothing but the best for those guys.

“For me, hey we’re going into a place that I happen to be a little more familiar with, but that has no bearing on this football game. It has everything to do with our preparation, our focus and making sure we play four quarters of our best football.”

Maile has deeper connections to Utah State. He played for the Aggies from 2004 to 2007 and was a team captain his senior year. He’s had multiple stints in Logan as an assistant coach, including the previous five years in multiple roles including coaching the tight ends and defensive line.

He was also the assistant head coach and twice the interim head coach — including for the final three games in 2020 — while also serving as co-defensive coordinator last season.

“Fifteen years of my life have been in Logan at Utah State,” Maile said. “It’s always going to have a place in my heart. But for me it’s a business trip and it’s just another opponent standing in the way of what our family is trying to accomplish and that’s the Mountain West Championship.”

Maile estimates he still knows roughly 80 percent of Utah State’s team and has stayed in contact with some of them since he left. Those talks don’t include much football, especially this week.

“A few of those guys have reached out to say hello and see how I’m doing, some of my position guys on the d-line and some of my former players, so it’s been good to keep in contact with them,” Maile said. “Obviously we’re on a relationship level and not a football level, just checking in to see how everybody is doing.”

Boise State is leaning on both Maile and Collins this week and their familiarity with Utah State’s personnel as they put the game plan together.

“It’s just knowing the personnel a little bit better than most people and the strengths, the weaknesses, their tendencies and being able to help with the offense in identifying things with some of my former players that are there,” Maile said. “Their strengths and weaknesses, whether it’s special teams, offense or defense. That’s probably the benefit.”

Previous Utah State coach Gary Andersen was fired last November which led to Maile serving as interim head coach the rest of the season. The rest of the coaching staff was not retained after the season when Blake Anderson took over as head coach. That led to Maile and Collins ending up in Boise under coach Andy Avalos.

Collins currently serves as Boise State’s special teams coordinator and EDGE coach, while Maile is the defensive line coach and assistant head coach.

“That’s the beauty of college football,” Collins said. “We’re here at Boise State now. A lot of great times there and a lot of great players and we spent a lot of time recruiting those kids, but really it’s all about our players and our team and how we go down there and play football.

“This is where we’re at now and I’m happy as hell — damn happy — to be here at Boise State. ... This is an unbelievable city and an unbelievable place and I’m humbled to be here and hungry to keep developing what’s already been created here.”

BRONCOS PUT TWO LOCAL PRODUCTS ON SCHOLARSHIP

Boise State gave a pair of walkons from the Treasure Valley scholarships Wednesday. They are running back Tyler Crowe of Skyview High School and EDGE rusher Dylan Herberg of Timberline High School.

Both players made the announcements themselves on social media.

“This kid living in Weiser, Idaho, can say he earned a full ride scholarship for the team he loves,” wrote Herberg, who posted the message with an old photo of his family at a Boise State game when he was a kid.

Crowe posted a photo of a scouting service saying he wasn’t good enough to play at the FBS level while back in high school.

“This has been my background picture for two years,” Crowe wrote. “This is what the max preps scouter had to say about me. I got put on full ride scholarship today. This wasn’t for him or any of the coaches that passed on me. I did this for myself. If you find that you’re in my shoes bet on YOURSELF.”

Crowe has seven rushes for 45 yards and ranks third on the team in rushing, while Herberg has recorded one tackle while playing in a reserve role. Both also see time on special teams, with Crowe providing a key block that led to Stefan Cobbs’ 81-yard punt return touchdown against UTEP.

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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