The Bulldogs will rely heavily on their passing game this year, thriving off the big play ability of the wide receiving corps. Isaiah Burse figures to be a large part of that production. Entering his senior season, Burse looks to build off his stellar output in 2012.
As a junior, Burse earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors, and finished the season ranking third in the conference in receiving yards and fourth in all-purpose yards. His explosiveness and versatility have also recently landed him on the Paul Hornung Award watch list.
The Bulldogs have endured a grueling regiment of workouts throughout the summer, but Burse is positive that it has prepared them for the upcoming season.
"By far this has been the hardest off season," Burse said. "Obviously the heat has made it tough, but [Joey] Boese our strength coach has so much stuff in his head and he thinks of so much crazy stuff, he just kind of turned it up on us this summer. We're flipping tires, we're doing sleds, sometimes I feel like he wants to win more than us. It's worth it though and I feel like, you know, all the guys are coming along, all the guys are working hard, and that's really going to show come August 29."
The extra work the Bulldogs have put in this offseason is one of the reason Burse believes that the offense has become much more fluid in Tim DeRuyter's system.
"People are a lot more comfortable, not like saying 'I'm comfortable I already got my job,' but like comfortable as in knowing the system, knowing what you have to do, and just having better bonds with some of the players. I feel like that's going to help us a lot this year."
With the fast tempo of the Bulldog's offense, they will need production from numerous players in order to keep fresh legs on the field. Burse believes the Bulldog's new arrivals will rise to the challenge at the receiver position.
"You know, Devon Brown is coming in he's been good, he's real fast, one of the fastest dudes I've seen in person on the field," Burse said. "Another guy is Delvon Hardaway, he's good, he really wants to learn and he asks a lot of questions. We just have a lot of dudes that can come in as receivers and produce and we need that. We need some of the young dudes to step up when guys start to get tired."
The Bulldog's have one of the Mountain West's best groups of receivers. That being said, Burse and his teammates are not hanging their hats on last season's performance.
"We're working hard man," Burse said. "We've been working on a lot of footwork, cone drills, ladders, and stuff. We're just focused on getting our timing down and understanding the audibles, all types of stuff that can carry over into a game."
As a leader of the receiving corps, Burse has taken it upon himself this offseason to be a coach on the field, and is helping to bring along some of the less experienced receivers.
"I'm more of a lead by example guy, I've never been really vocal, but this year I kind of have no choice but to be. I just get in the younger guys ear after every route and every rep they take so that the tips I'm trying to give them with stick eventually."
All the work the Bulldogs have put in this offseason has left Burse with high expectations for his senior season.
"I want to win another Mountain West championship," Burse said. "I'm hoping we can stay injury free and defend our title because there was no better feeling than after that last game against Air Force with everybody coming together and getting to hold up that trophy."
The Bulldog's receiving corps, led by Burse, hopes to pick up where they left off last year, and continue to give opposing Mountain West secondaries headaches throughout the 2013 season in pursuit of their second-straight Mountain West title.
Steven Morehart is a new staff writer for FSBulldogs.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @StevenMorehart.