Hague adding to his resume

Once named Utah's 5A Player of the Year and a first-team all-state selection as a senior running back, Mike Hague was recruited to BYU after rushing for 2,001 yards his final prep season. But he made the switch to free safety his junior year at BYU, playing behind Travis Uale. Now Hague is adding one more position to his list.

During Tuesday's practice, the offense broke the huddle and came up to the line of scrimmage. Number 32 walked over and lined up on the outside opposite the x-receiver. At the free safety position was Joe Sampson, so a search of the roster for a cornerback with the number 32 jersey showed only Mike Hague.

"Well, you know, it's just a test thing and we're just seeing what's going on," Hague said. "People are prepping in a lot of different positions, so this is just something that I'm doing now to see how I can do.

"On Monday I didn't play very much [cornerback] but I did play a little bit. When Joe went to free, I went to boundary [cornerback], and then [Tuesday] I was actually the number one boundary cornerback. I don't know, I go where they tell me to go."

As is the nature of spring ball, coaches often mix and match players and positions.

"I think we're trying to put some of our best football players on the field at the same time," said Hague. "I am competing for a starting job and I don't think this is going to stop it at all. If I'm not at free safety, I don't want to be on the sidelines.

"If I'm not at free safety I would rather be taking some reps at boundary corner, you know, just getting some extra work in, so if anything, getting to know another position well and get some experience at another position. It makes you more valuable I think."

Free safeties must understand every position on the defense and be able to direct individual defenders based on the offensive formation. But, that doesn't mean a free safety can successfully play every position. So, how successful was Hague at boundary corner?

"I think it's awesome because our boundary corner plays a lot like our Sam linebacker in the scheme that we run, because he gets rolled up a lot in a cloud corner in a cover-two scheme. I mean, it's fun! You get to go and fly around a lot and read your keys quick, knowing you have a lot of help behind you."

All in all, it's a new experience for the 5-foot-10-inch, 190-pound Hague.

"I've never played corner before," Hague said. "I mean, just here and there just on 7-on-7 days when we don't have one, but it feels good and I'm excited to be there."

What was also surprising is that field cornerback Robbie Buckner was moved to play the boundary side corner on the first day of spring practice. The mixing and matching of the secondary is a testament to this group's versatility.

"Robbie Buckner was the first-string boundary cornerback [on Monday] and Jordan Johnson was the starting cornerback at the field side," Hague said. "I was surprised to see Buckner at field side corner, but I think that's another perk to our defense.

"We have guys that we can move all over. Our boundary corners can go play field corner and our field corners can go play boundary, and our Kats [strong safety] can go play free and our free can go play Kats."

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