‘He’s a team guy.’ Boise State QB Green focused on composure, leadership as camp begins

JULY 31, 2023 6:06 PM
Boise State football coach Andy Avalos said there’s no greater compliment for a player than when older teammates take notice of what they’ve done.
He said the subject of the veterans’ praise this year is redshirt sophomore quarterback Taylen Green, who is heading into his first full season as the starter.
“Taylen is a guy who is willing to put in the time, whether it’s by himself or with teammates,” Avalos said during Mountain West Media Days in Las Vegas. “He has shown a lot of growth over the summer, and the older guys on offense really appreciate how hard he has worked.”
Green took over as the Broncos’ starter when the team was at a low point last season.
Boise State was 2-2 after a surprising loss to UTEP, which led to offensive coordinator Tim Plough getting fired. Four-year starting quarterback Hank Bachmeier was also in the transfer portal. He’s set to begin his final season of eligibility at Louisiana Tech.
Green — a 6-foot-6, 220-pound specimen — leaned on his athleticism to lead the Broncos to an 8-2 record in 10 starts last season. The team ended the year 10-4 and knocked off North Texas in the Frisco Bowl.
Green also showed incredible growth as a passer under interim offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who has since returned to retired life. Green ended the season as Mountain West Freshman of the Year while posting 2,042 yards and 14 touchdowns through the air and 586 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.
A couple of older Boise State players — sixth-year seniors DJ Schramm and Riley Smith — said during media days that they were impressed with how Green performed in a tough spot last season. They also said they’re inspired by how he’s handled success since then.
“Him being put in that position, he made mistakes, but he learned and grew from them and never felt sorry for himself,” said Smith, a tight end who posted career highs in receptions (25) and receiving yards (214) last season. “He seems like a seasoned vet right now. He’s being vocal, and he’s always in the film room cutting it up.”
“Going against him every day makes us so much better, but he’s also just a great dude and I love having him in the locker room,” added Schramm, a linebacker who led the Broncos with 107 tackles last season. “For all the praise he gets — and the dude deserves every bit of it — he just has no ego. He’s awesome to be around, and he’s emerged as one of our top leaders on offense.”
Life looks a lot different for Green this year as the Broncos prepare to open fall camp Wednesday.
He was still in the shadows when fall camp began last year, putting in the work behind the scenes that it takes to shoulder the demands that come with being a college quarterback. He was a promising athlete but an unknown commodity as a quarterback.
This year, he’s on preseason watch lists. Green and running back George Holani are on the watch list for the Maxwell Award, which was released Monday. The award goes to the best player in the country.
Green is also enjoying the popularity that comes with being Boise State’s starting quarterback. He’s constantly making appearances and signing autographs. He threw out the first pitch at a Frisco RoughRiders baseball game in Texas, and he held his first youth camp Thursday in Nampa.
He has also signed his fair share of name, image, likeness (NIL) deals, including one that netted him a Ford F150 pickup truck.
I am extremely excited to announce my partnership with Lithia Ford! Thank you for the amazing truck! Bronco Nation, Let’s Ride! @BoiseFord pic.twitter.com/0DhKq4mgJS
Taylen Green (@taylengreen17) June 6, 2023
Chief among all the things that are new for Green this year is his offensive coordinator. Former Boise State quarterback Bush Hamdan was hired in December 2022.
Hamdan and Avalos both said Green has been focused on developing in three main areas this year: the mental side of the game, the physical side and being a leader.
This physical side comes naturally to Green, Hamdan said Monday. His athleticism and long stride make him a nightmare to chase down. Where Hamdan said Green can improve this year is being more consistent on deep passes.
“I tell these guys you always have to be balanced, but you also have to throw the ball down the field at an elite level,” Hamdan said. “Our ability to run the ball is going to dictate that a lot of defenses are going to play us tighter, so our ability to do that will be critical to our success.”
Avalos said Green’s ability to lead the team is unquestioned.
He said Green spends extra time with receivers and tight ends, developing the chemistry needed to make the offense flow. He also said his quarterback leads by example in the community — a fact that was highlighted when Green partnered with the Idaho Foodbank to hold a canned goods drive in conjunction with his youth camp.
“You’re talking about a guy who is humble and hungry, and a guy who cares about his teammates,” Avalos told reporters Monday. “He loves the game, and he’s willing to put the work in to be great.”
The mental side of the game is where Hamdan said he’s seen Green take the greatest strides.
Hamdan admitted that Green wasn’t as adept at breaking down film and understanding game plans when they started working together earlier this year. He also said that has changed in a big way.
“It’s one thing to come off the bench and play free and not overthink things,” Hamdan said. “It’s a whole other thing when you’re the guy everybody looks to. Taylen has embraced that, and he’s become a different kind of player this summer.”
Hamdan, who was a backup quarterback at Boise State from 2004 to 2008, said mastering the mental side of the game isn’t just about how well a player grasps the game plan week to week. It’s also about keeping a level head in the heat of battle and ignoring all the outside distractions that come with being a starting quarterback.
He calls it mental endurance.
“We have to spend an equal amount of time on his mental approach, how he’s going to handle the ups and downs of each week, as we do with the scheme and his physical development,” Hamdan said. “That’s the hardest part of playing the position. Can you stay focused on one play at a time over three hours and always be in this constant state of improvement?”
Green showed he knows how to stay in the fight in a 20-17 win at Wyoming last season. The Broncos earned their three-point lead with a fourth-quarter comeback, but they almost let it slip away in the closing seconds.
Holani lost what was just his second fumble of the season with less than a minute remaining. Wyoming defensive lineman DeVonne Harris scooped it up and looked like he was destined to score a game-winning touchdown, but Green chased him down and made a game-saving tackle.
Avalos said that play showed him all he needed to know about his starting quarterback.
“He’s a team guy,” Avalos said. “The expectations at that position are to not only lead yourself, but to lead the others around you. Taylen is a guy who will do whatever it takes to help his brothers succeed.”

Latest Player Notes

How a Wisconsin legend got his German protégé into Badgers pro day

Mar 15, 2024 Marlon Werthmann put his life on hold for the opportunity in front of him Friday at the McClain Center.Werthmann ...

Why former Wisconsin football running back Braelon Allen didn't run the 40 at pro day

Mar 15, 2024 Braelon Allen’s sweat covered his shirt and dripped off his beard as he approached a group of reporters Friday.The ...

How can UW recruit its best class ever? It starts with these five prospects

By Andy Yamashita Seattle Times staff reporter Jedd Fisch has lofty recruiting goals at Washington. He didn’t waste any ...

Texas football kicks off spring practice Tuesday. We answer 24 questions for the 2024 team

Things certainly look fresh for the 2024 college football season, especially on the Texas campus.There’s a new conference ...

College Football Playoff: Conferences solve their differences (for now) and agree on general framework for 2026 and beyond

The FBS conferences and Notre Dame agreed on Friday to continue the College Football Playoff beyond the 2025 season, signing ...

Ball security, leadership key as Aztecs look to identify starting quarterback

San Diego State seemingly auditions a new starting quarterback on an annual basis.In the past 12 years, the Aztecs have opened ...

Results and more: A look at what happened at Penn State football’s Pro Day inside Holuba Hall

Most of those at Penn State’s Pro Day Friday were relatively quiet throughout the afternoon’s workouts, but there was one ...

Defense dominates first two weeks of Oregon State spring practice as Beavers ready for 2-week breather

CORVALLIS – Oregon State hit the break of spring practices Saturday, not exactly the midpoint but a good place to assess ...

Dillon Gabriel to have similar input, autonomy as Bo Nix had in Oregon’s offense

Published Mar. 16, 2024, 6:26 p.m.By James CrepeaEUGENE — Dillon Gabriel will have much of the same autonomy as Bo Nix did ...

Two transfers, one underclassman who impressed in Missouri football's spring game

With that, spring camp’s a wrap.Missouri football held its Black & Gold spring game Saturday in front of a healthy crowd ...
See More Player Notes