Playing QB and flying a plane … There’s a correlation
LAS VEGAS, Nev., -- Craig Bohl was asked during the annual Mountain West Media Days if he has enjoyed recruiting virtually over the past year.
You can just imagine the look on his face, can't you?
"Umm, No," Wyoming's head coach said, slightly shaking his head. "I'm not going to B.S. you."
There are many reasons for the quick, sharp response.
One, Bohl loves being out on the road, meeting with potential players and their families and talking face to face. Gaining trust, if you will. That's big for him, even when dealing with the media.
Secondly, he's a guy who used to fly his own plane to scout new players when he was at North Dakota State. It was also a convenient way to go watch his son, current UW linebackers coach, Aaron Bohl, play on Friday nights.
One would have to imagine pretty darn impressive -- to see a college head coach land in your town. It also served as another way to look a recruit in the eye.
That brings us to the quarterback position.
Yep, Bohl shared his first solo flying experience and compared that to what a young quarterback goes through when he first steps under center during a game.
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The pressure is on. There are a million things racing through your mind. Is everything prepared correctly? Will this be a success in the end?
One scenario likely ends in flames. The other, being benched. That's where the comparison takes a nose dive (pun intended). But you can see where Bohl is coming from, right?
"You look at all things that guy has to process," he said of the QB position. "If I gave you our play sheet and what they have to do, you'd go 'holy .....' I mean, you have to be right and do that all the time."
Speaking of being right, despite 40 hours of training, flying each time with an instructor, something wasn't going to plan on Bohl's first venture into the clear blue on his own.
"I take off, God, my heart's going 100 miles per hour," he said, gasping and playing the part, adding that he was circling high above the airport in his Mooney aircraft. "I got to get this thing down. They told me, OK, whatever you do -- you got all this stuff going on -- just get the landing gear down."
Though he had gone through the drill dozens of times before, Bohl said the chaos and anxiety of the moment caught up to him. Just 100 feet above the runway, red lights are going off all around.
"I don't have the damn landing gear down," he said with a nervous laugh.
That was a lesson for the next quick decision he was forced to make in his plane, which he has since sold since coming to Wyoming in 2014.
"I was taking off and I lost all my power," Bohl said. "So, you had to start processing. I was calm, cool and collected. That's what that quarterback has to do."
Make no bones about it, Bohl is a defensive coach. He was on that side of the ball as a player, a graduate assistant and throughout stops at NDSU, Tulsa, Wisconsin, Rice and Nebraska.
Still, he knows what the toughest position is on the football field.
"Playing quarterback, I tell you as one of the general managers in the NFL told me, is the hardest thing in all of sports," Bohl said. "... So, we try to put them under duress situations and we weren't able to do that as much last year because of where we are at."
How much do you want to bet Sean Chambers, Levi Williams and even Josh Allen have heard that story?