STILL MAK­ING ’EM SMILE

No one has fun quite like him, but more ma­ture Weaver makes Boise St. even bet­ter

The Idaho Statesman - - Sports - BY DAVE SOUTHORN dsouthorn@ida­hostates­man.com

When he was young, Cur­tis Weaver had to earn at­ten­tion.

His mother’s side of the fam­ily is Filipino, and friends and rel­a­tives would of­ten con­gre­gate to play games or have din­ner in his home­town of Long Beach, Calif. There was a cousin his age, but most other kids were tod­dlers.

So they’d hang around the grown-ups, and that’s when Weaver took cen­ter stage.

“I’d be 10 or 12 years old, try­ing to make peo­ple that were adults laugh, and it kind of came nat­u­rally. I kept it go­ing as I got older,” Weaver said.

Even­tu­ally, Weaver got no­ticed for his abil­i­ties on the foot­ball field, but that sense of hu­mor has been what makes him unique in the Boise State locker room.

His first two sea­sons on cam­pus, the STUD end was not made avail­able to me­dia, so his per­son­al­ity was a bit of a leg­end. Sopho­more cor­ner­back Av­ery Wil­liams called him “a hu­mon­gous child.” His po­si­tion coach, Spencer Daniel­son, semi-jok­ingly said he’d need 45 min­utes to try to fully de­scribe his young star.

But some­thing funny hap­pened lead­ing up to this sea­son, when Weaver was com­ing off an 11-sack red­shirt fresh­man cam­paign.

“The best thing Cur­tis has done is not fo­cus on that, last year was last year ... the guys that get hung up on that, that’s where is­sues come into play,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “What I like about Cur­tis is his ma­tu­rity from last year to this year.”

Wait — ma­tu­rity? Weaver? Be­lieve it.

“You catch him in the locker room, he’s one of the goofi­est guys around, last year he’d

def­i­nitely carry it onto the field ... but this year, he’s able to turn it on and turn it off,” ju­nior line­backer Tyson Maeva said.

Se­nior STUD end Jabril Fra­zier — Weaver called him his “big brother” — feels the same way.

“He’s a whole dif­fer­ent per­son — he doesn’t talk about what he did last sea­son, it’s all ‘what am I go­ing to do the next game’ and ‘how am I go­ing to help the team?’” Fra­zier said. “Cur­tis has been play­ing all along the D-line, we’re mov­ing him every­where.”

That, per­haps, has been the big­gest change for the 6-foot-3, 266-pound sopho­more. His pro­duc­tion has been just as good, if not bet­ter than last sea­son. He has 7.5 sacks through nine games, and 11 tack­les for loss. He’s been more of an ev­ery­down player than a pass­rush spe­cial­ist.

Weaver had a ca­reerbest seven tack­les, in­clud­ing two sacks, against BYU last Satur­day, and did some­thing new — he had his hand in the ground a few times play­ing de­fen­sive end with se­nior Dur­rant Miles lim­ited.

“Cur­tis stepped up last week ... he did a hell of a job. He doesn’t do what he did the other night, nor­mally, in a week’s time. (Coaches) got him ready to play, and he was re­ally ef­fec­tive,” de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Andy Ava­los said.

Be­ing ultra-pro­duc­tive is one way to im­press coaches, but be­ing able to find ways to be help­ful — that’s what has made this sea­son even bet­ter for Weaver.

“I’d play quar­ter­back if they wanted me to — ac­tu­ally, that would be pretty fun,” Weaver said with a laugh. “I think the coaches are able to trust me more. I re­al­ize there’s a time and a place to be jok­ing around. They know I’m se­ri­ous about this, I know how they’ve de­vel­oped me, so there’s trust both ways.”

Don’t be mis­taken, though — that patented Weaver sense of hu­mor is still very preva­lent.

Look no fur­ther than after the BYU game, when Weaver said he doesn’t trash-talk quar­ter­backs. He said he asked BYU’s Zach Wil­son what he had for lunch the pre­vi­ous day, and has asked oth­ers what books they read.

“They’re pretty mean most of the time, they don’t like an­swer­ing the ques­tion. I don’t know why,” Weaver said.

His own team’s quar­ter­back wasn’t buy­ing the in­quis­i­tive rou­tine, so maybe it was said with tongue firmly in cheek.

“I think he prob­a­bly does more trash-talk­ing than he prob­a­bly does any­thing, I can vouch for that,” se­nior quar­ter­back Brett Ryp­ien said.

So de­spite the mat­u­ra­tion in cer­tain ar­eas, rest as­sured that Weaver will re­main a headache for op­pos­ing quar­ter­backs be­fore, dur­ing and after the snap.

Weaver’s 18.5 ca­reer sacks are al­ready on the precipice of the top 10 in Boise State his­tory — two play­ers are tied for ninth with 19. If he gets 3.5 more, he will have the most for any player who played his full Bronco ca­reer at the FBS level.

Maeva said that Weaver has be­come “one of the guys on our de­fense the op­pos­ing of­fense has to game plan for, he’s def­i­nitely a threat out there.”

“I want to bring peo­ple up, and I think that’s the fun side of me, so I’ll keep that go­ing. But I want to help this team on the field, so when it’s time to fo­cus, I’m go­ing to put all I have into that,” Weaver said.

FIVE QUES­TIONS

You’re proud of your Filipino side. Tell us a lit­tle about that.

“It made me a pos­i­tive per­son, that’s how they are. Ev­ery­one gets treated like fam­ily, and that’s how I treat my brothers on this team. I’m only dis­ap­pointed that there’s not a Filipino restau­rant here, so when my mom vis­its, she tries to cook as much as she can.”

Ru­mor is you’re a re­ally good video game player. What are you good at?

“I used to play a lot of Fort­nite. I’d say I’m def­i­nitely top 5 on the team, I like play­ing NBA2K, but haven’t play much re­cently. That sea­son catches up to you. I’ve been pretty much go­ing to bed right away with foot­ball and school.”

Jabril Fra­zier wears No. 8, and it looks sleek, but you wear No. 99. Is that a mark of honor?

“I em­brace it 100 per­cent. It’s what I wore when I got here and was about 300 pounds. I re­ally wanted 56 be­cause of Lawrence Tay­lor But you see guys like J.J. Watt and Aaron Don­ald, big dudes wear­ing 99, and to stand up wear­ing it, I think it’s cool.”

You have a good sense of hu­mor. Who or what makes you laugh?

“(Sopho­more cor­ner­back) Jalen Walker makes me laugh, any time, any day. He’s my room­mate, we do ev­ery­thing to­gether. You might see us do some dance moves out there. Av­ery and Des­mond (Wil­liams), those guys are hi­lar­i­ous. I’d def­i­nitely say my team­mates are what make me laugh the most.”

What is the most in­ter­est­ing place you’ve vis­ited?

“I’d love to visit the Philip­pines, I’ve never been to Mex­ico or Hawaii, any­thing like that. The far­thest I’ve trav­eled was North Carolina on a visit to Duke. That was a whole dif­fer­ent at­mos­phere than what I’m used to.”

OTTO KITSINGER States­man file

Boise State’s Cur­tis Weaver cel­e­brates after a sack against Troy last sea­son, his first game with the Bron­cos as a red­shirt fresh­man.

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