About a dozen media members gathered in the Bleymaier Football Center on Tuesday, Nov. 5 to await a much-anticipated interview. Nervously walking in for his media debut with his pads still on was true freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier.
One member of the media joked about his pads, saying, “He’s heard we’re pretty rough.”
Though Bachmeier arrived in Boise in January, this was the first time the media was able to speak with him as Boise State Athletics generally does not allow first-year players to partake in interviews. Like former true freshman quarterback Brett Rypien, Bachmeier was an exception.
Bachmeier’s collegiate career began at Doak Campbell Stadium when the Broncos took on Florida State University. The history of Florida State and its fan base makes playing at FSU a heavy task for anyone, but Bachmeier led the Broncos to a 1-0 start and threw for more than 400 yards.
“It was an incredible honor. It was definitely very exciting,” Bachmeier said. “It was a great place to play and I just think, as a unit, we prepared really well. And then obviously, we won the game. It’s definitely a moment that I’ll always remember.”
Bachmeier graduated high school a semester early, came to Boise State and won the starting job over quarterbacks Chase Cord and Jaylon Henderson. He has since missed two games but is 7-0 when starting. On the field, Bachmeier is cool, calm and collected, but in interviews, his teammates have often called him “weird.”
Bachmeier was asked about how much being “weird” plays into his leadership style.
“I hope they’ve said some nice things about me,” Bachmeier said with a laugh. “[I] just bring passion and play for fun. I look back to the days when I just played Pop Warner and I think that that’s the biggest thing that translates. If you have fun every day, I think that it’s gonna just translate to all the other guys. I just bring that energy.”
Bachmeier runs physical. Generally, coaches prefer a quarterback to slide rather than take a hit, but sliding is somewhat of a rarity for Bachmeier.
“I just do whatever I can for this team,” Bachmeier said. “I know that every single one of my teammates is going to do everything they can for us to win the game. So I’m going to do my best and just help us win.”
Bachmeier has taken hard hits this season, and the coaching staff has emphasized that he needs to work on sliding. When Bachmeier was asked if head coach Bryan Harsin has talked to him about this, he smiled and said, “Maybe a little bit.”
Bachmeier risking injury by taking hits shows heart and commitment to the team, and it is not going unnoticed by the coaches.
“[Bachmeier] has been steady in his progression. He’s a competitor,” Harsin said. “It’s just his nature, his ability to go out there and create plays, his ability to go out there and execute, not just the game plan, [like]in situations where [he makes the]decision to run.”
For a few years now, the Broncos’ game plan has consisted of giving multiple quarterbacks snaps on the field. Bachmeier has earned the majority of playtime this season, but Cord and Henderson have had their fair share.
For these quarterbacks, it is not a competition to win the most reps. It is about watching each other succeed and using it as motivation.
“It’s fun seeing guys succeed, I’m never rooting against any of our guys at any moment,” Cord said. “When [Bachmeier] goes out and throws a touchdown or makes a big play, that fires me up. Even if that’s not my number being called.”
Bachmeier commented on the dynamic of the quarterback room, whose nature is supportive.
“Chase, Jalen, Zach [Matlock]; they’re all my brothers. It’s very genuine. We prepare every single day in the weight room, on the field, in the film room, so I think that just all those hours spent together have just created a unique bond,” Bachmeier said. “I think the whole unit is amazing and whoever the starter is, they’re always just helping prepare and everybody is just trying to help each other out. Our goal is to win as a unit.”
Bachmeier’s passion for being a Bronco is crystal clear. When he was asked, “why Boise State?” he answered simply, “Why not Boise State?”