BYU helping new athletes ease in

Coach Mendenhall and BYU want to raise the bar, and that includes raising academic standards. However, that would shrink an already small recruiting pool that BYU can draw from, given all the other unique qualities that recruits must have in order to be considered. In order to help new recruits ease on into the deep end of the academic swimming pool, BYU has developed a new program.

During BYU's big recruiting weekend in January, a new program called the Summer Bridge program was explained.

"The Summer Bridge program is going to be a good one," said defensive back recruit Matt Hadley. "It's a new program that helps you to take small baby steps to help you get ready for fall semester if you're a new player coming in. It's to help you to know what it's like to live the college life and understand what's expected of you in college classes. I really think it's a good idea."

The new program for the incoming student athletes starts on June 18 and is a voluntary program.

"You go down in June," said linebacker recruit Rhett Sandlin. "You take a couple of classes and you work out with the team. You have to have a certain amount of credits to play, so you do this and you get the feeling of what it's like to go to college while getting credits to play.

"There are, like, three classes you take. I think one is creative writing and then some other basic classes you take. They were just telling me about it and I think it's for the players that have later birthdays and aren't going on their missions until after fall camp starts. It's just a program to help some of the new players coming in get used to what it's like in college while being able to work out with the team."

"It's kind of like summer school to give you a head start on college," said defensive lineman recruit Theodore King. "The only class that I heard about is a study habits class and there are some other basic classes. I don't know much about it but I'm looking forward to getting out there."

Some within the 2012 class will elect to serve an LDS mission first before enrolling at BYU, and therefore will not enroll in the Summer Bridge program. Others within the class will be in school in the fall, and will thus participate in the program.

"I know Tanner Mangum is going straight out on a mission first, so he won't be in the program with us this summer," said Hadley. "Phillip Amone is also going straight out on a mission, so I know they won't be with me in the program."

"I think it's a good idea because it will help me get used to being in college, and that will help me to know what's expected," said King. "That way it helps me to get used to the heavy school load when we start playing football. I think it's a great idea because I can come in early and get to know my way around the campus a bit."

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