What does it mean to be a Bronco? If you asked most fans you will likely hear about overcoming adversity, being undersized, and playing harder than the guys on the other team. Thomas Byrd was all of those qualities and more when he put on the Boise State uniform. For almost every snap Kellen Moore took in his entire career at Boise State. Thomas Byrd was not only there, but he was also the man snapping the ball. Because of this, the BTN is very excited to give you our latest installment of our offseason interview series with Thomas Byrd.
BTN: Now that you are no longer at Boise State what are you up to? What did you think of this year’s football team?
TB: I am currently a Graduate Assistant at Arkansas State University. I am assisting with the offensive lineman. I enjoyed watching Boise State football team play this year. I believe your team is defined by how they compete in the tough games. And they battled every week against every team! It says a lot when you can win a conference championship and a bowl game with a so-called “recovering team”.
BTN: You spent your career snapping the ball to Kellen Moore, what was that experience like? How important was your relationship with Kellen to your personal success and the team’s success?
TB: I believe the most important thing about me and Kellen’s relationship is the fact that we respected each other and was always positive. No matter if he threw an interception or I muffed a snap. He always had my back and I had his.
BTN: You played a lot of big games in your career, what team presented the toughest defensive line to block? You often faced larger defensive lineman how did you overcome that obstacle? And what advice would you give to young centers who may face the same challenges?
TB: The hardest d-line that I went against was Oregon in 2008. They were good. They had a defensive end that lead the nation in sack the previous year. And a defensive tackle that got drafted by the Steelers. When I went against them and other good defensive lines I tried to focus more on my technique and not trying to overpower my opponents. You can be strong but if you don’t have technique then it is very difficult for you to play strong.
BTN: Coach Petersen always seemed to get thrown around in rumors of taking a head coaching job somewhere else, but now we know none of them have been true. How did you and other players handle the rumors? Did you ever believe them? What do you have to say to fans that worry about Petersen leaving Boise State in the near future?
TB: We never worried about him leaving. We knew that he was all in. For people that worry about him leaving, you shouldn’t worry about the rumors unless it comes out of his mouth. Coach Petersen is the ultimate LEADER. He has built a foundation in the program and mentored the current coach so well that the Broncos will be competitors no matter what.
BTN: What is your favorite personal moment and team moment during your football career at Boise State?
TB: The Georgia game. I was having lingering injuries and didn’t know if I could compete as good as I did in the past. But God blessed me with the ability to play one of my best games in my career. And I thank God everyday for that moment. Because it was nothing short of a miracle that I played that well.