North Pole offensive lineman shines
July 31, 2005
He comes from North Pole, Alaska, home of Santa Claus, and he’d rather give than receive any day of the week.
He’d rather pancake a defensive lineman on a run play or pummel a pass rusher, and he does all that because he loves to do his job and he loves to give to his team. He doesn’t expect, nor get, many headlines.
Meet Boise State’s Daryn Colledge, arguably the best offensive lineman in the Western Athletic Conference, and a big cog in the high-powered Bronco offense.
Colledge is the guy who kept ex-BSU star quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie in one piece for three years, and he’s doing the same for current starter Jared Zabransky. He’s also the guy who opens holes for running backs, enabling them to maintain offensive balance.
“He’s a string bean from the North Pole,” BSU coach Dan Hawkins said. “He’s been a great player for us. He’s worked hard during his time here. He’s gregarious as you can tell; never at a loss for words. He’s a real leader for us.”
Colledge is so much into his role as one of three team captains that it took a lot for him not to check up on his teammates when he went to London on his honeymoon in mid-July. He admitted it was the longest he’d been away from his teammates in one stretch.
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“I tried to send a couple of e-mails,” said Colledge, who said the recent bombings were only three or four subway stops from where he and his new wife, Megan, were staying. “It was hard for me to be away for a week. I was glad to get back. Now I don’t have the honeymoon to worry about. She understands this is my career.”
If Colledge performs like he has the past three years, he’ll have a lengthy career at the next level. He doesn’t go out of his way to talk about the NFL. He wants to focus on the upcoming season and a possible fourth straight title. It’s hard not to look a little bit ahead, however.
“They (scouts) say anywhere between 1 and 260,” Colledge said. “I’m just trying to play football now. It’s a great opportunity that I have. It’s what I’ve wanted.
“Hopefully the scouts will like what I do. I’m not 6-9 and 350 pounds. I’m 6-4 and nearly 300 pounds. I can move (positions). I’ve never played anywhere else. I would play inside if they wanted me to. I could probably play center. I’m in the 49er or Denver mold. I’m not a Kansas City Chief. I don’t weigh 350 pounds.”
The NFL would be wise not to place too much emphasis on his size, or lack thereof because Hawkins says that Colledge is as good as anybody in the country. The preseason publications agree. He’s a Outland Award nominee, a nominee for the Lombardi Award and a second-team All-American selection by Athlon, a well known sports publication. Those people don’t care how big he is or isn’t. They just look at results.
And, when you are one of the best, people are out to get you. Colledge likes the challenges that being one of the best in the land brings. That’s why he probably has Nov. 10 circled on his calendar. That’s when the Broncos play Fresno State and WAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Garrett McIntyre from South Lake Tahoe. That should be quite a battle between possibly the two best linemen in the conference.
“He’s a great player,” Colledge said of McIntyre. “He was a defensive tackle last year. I didn’t see that much of him unless we were doubling. He’s big and strong. I look forward to facing him.”
And winning the battle.
n Darrell Moody can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (775) 881-1281
THE COLLEDGE FILE
Birthplace – North Pole, Alaska
Year – Senior
Major – Communications
Position – Offensive tackle
Height – 6-5
Weight – 298