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With spring sports canceled and no Boise State games or practices to write about, the Idaho Press is using this time to check in with former Boise State athletes. This is another entry in our series called ‘Where are they now’.

David Mikell was a four-year contributor for the Broncos from 2000-03. He played in 47 games during his Boise State career and scored 37 total touchdowns as a rusher, receiver and returner. He scored at least six touchdowns in each of four seasons. As a senior in 2003 he had 242 rushes for 1,142 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns to help Boise State to a 13-1 ranking and a No. 16 ranking in the final Associated Press poll.

Idaho Press: What’s life like for David Mikell these days?

David Mikell: I’m a family man now. I have two daughters, one is 12 and she’s into softball, so I’m a softball dad now. The other one is five and she’s starting t-ball. That’s pretty much my day, hanging out with my kids and working. I work at Rock and Armor Sports Performance and Physical Therapy in Meridian. I’ve lived in Meridian since 2010 when my wife and I moved out here. And I’ve been at Rock and Armor for about six years working with young athletes and kids.

IP: What made you want to stay in Boise and start a family here after finishing your career with the Broncos?

DM: I’m from Sacramento, California, and I came out here in 1999 and I built a lot of relationships. I met Ryan Dinwiddie on my recruiting trip and then we hung out back in Sacramento and ended up driving to Boise together. I just got close with my teammates and it’s like elementary school when you want to stay with your friends and go to the same high school. I built some bonds here and when I got done playing it just made sense for me to stay here. I liked the community, and at the time California was expensive to live in and I didn’t know what I would do if I went back home, so I stayed here and ended up meeting my wife and you know how that goes.

She’s from here and has a great family and they are close to us so our kids can see their grandma and everybody often, so it was a great situation and Sacramento is not far and we can drive back or get a cheap plane ticket. It’s all good.

IP: What memories do you have from your time at Boise State?

DM: At this point it’s the friendships and relationships we built as teammates. Whenever we get together we talk about that stuff. We don’t talk about stuff on the field, we talk about the stuff in the locker room or outside playing football. It’s funny because during football season we went and had lunch with coach Riddle and his wife and his son and me and Brock Forsey, Greg Swenson and Donny Heck. It was a great time and we talked about the old times and we took a picture. We were missing Matt Strofus, but we reenacted an old picture from Hawaii when we were at Pearl Harbor, we all lined back up together and you could see how much we aged in 20 years. Those relationships we have, and our kids. Working here I get to see some of my old teammates’ kids and they come train with us. Some of my old coaches’ kids come train here, so it’s amazing the relationships we have and to get to see all of our kids grow up together. Those are my memories I have and now I get to share with my kids.

IP: Do you have a favorite game from your career?

DM: I was just talking about this with a kid I train. My favorite game was Fresno State in 2002. Dinwiddie broke his ankle against Arkansas and had to sit out the first quarter and B.J. Rhode started the game. It was a Friday night game on ESPN and we talked in the running back room before the game about how we had a mission in the first quarter to be physical, not run out of bounds, take contact, and it was a perfect first quarter. We were up 21 points I think, and every play was working. That was our rival, it was a weeknight game, kind of rare, you are the only game on ESPN, and the whole thing was awesome. With the way we played, that was by far my favorite game.

IP: What about an individual play or moment you won’t forget?

DM: Oh yeah, my first touchdown. My first touchdown was an 87-yard kick return at Arkansas. It started our second half comeback when we almost beat them. I think it was in 2000. It kind of showed the coaches something. They didn’t know I could really do anything until that kick return, and then I started getting in the game plan more with coach Koetter. It was my redshirt freshman year and I wasn’t playing too much the first couple games, but after that, it set me up to get more playing time and be involved more.

IP: What’s it like to see how much progress Boise State has made in the 20 years since you arrived on campus?

DM: It’s amazing. Before I even came out here I had never even heard of Boise State. I didn’t hear about it until a friend of mine from back home signed in 1998, and I was like ‘what’s Boise State? Are they D-1?’ And to go from that to 20 years later when you are a top 25 team and other teams are scared to play you and you can play with anybody? It’s amazing. It’s fun to watch, especially seeing old teammates like Harsin be the head coach now and some Boise State coaches now all over the Pac-12 and other places, it’s just been amazing.

IP: How do you reflect back on your career? You scored at least five touchdowns every season, and rushed for 1,000 yards as a senior. That’s a pretty impressive career.

DM: When you get to my age now you are very happy with the success you had, but when you are younger, if you had asked me a year or two after I was done I would have said I could have done way more. You think about the times we were blowing teams out and we didn’t play in the fourth quarter. But at my age, when you sit back and look you can say ‘I made an impact. I actually was pretty good.’ I train kids and their parents remember watching me play. For it to be 20 years later and people still remember me, I have to feel good about that. I feel like I contributed here and made my mark and I’m happy about what I did here and my decision to come here and make Boise my home.

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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