Jamaal Williams ran with the second unit on Friday and explained after practice that he’ll be in that position for a while as he will be suspended for the season opener against UConn. You can hear William’s comments here:
The starters at running back were Adam Hine, backed up by Williams, and Paul Lasike, backed up by Nate Carter. True freshman Trey Dye, who was expected to play wide receiver is listed as a running back on the roster.
Incumbent Devin Mahina was limited on Friday due to injury and a failed conditioning test. Jordan Leslie and Terenn Houk ran at the flex position while Bryan Sampson, Colby Jorgensen, and Matt Sumsion were playing the attached tight end position.
Jordan Leslie: If Leslie can continue to do what he did on the first day of fall camp throughout the season then the Cougar offense will have a very capable contributor this season. Leslie isn’t a burner as a wide receiver but at the flex tight end (Y) position he’ll have enough speed and ability to be another weapon in the offense. On the first day of fall camp, Leslie took an inside seam route 40 yards to the house. He looked comfortable within the offense, which is to be expected since he’s been playing FBS football at UTEP for four years now. The biggest asset for Leslie is his experience, which he brings to the field in comfortable fashion.
Keanu Nelson: Another one year player that could contribute right away, Nelson, also a veteran player who transferred from Stanford, looked comfortable out on the field and within the offense. There was no hesitation in his route-running or caution within his responsibilities. Nelson, much like Leslie, looked as though they had been within the system longer than just a single fall camp practice.
Devon Blackmon: Not quite as polished as Leslie and Nelson but there is no questioning his speed. Blackmon was aggressive in his play but wasn’t as successful in stretching the field as Leslie, Mitch Mathews, Nick Kurtz, or Nelson. Blackmon did most of his damage in the short range offense where he could work in open space.
Trey Dye: Dye was playing tailback today for the first day of fall camp. Dye, who was slated to play slot receiver, looked surprisingly well for a true freshman practicing in his first collegiate practice. Dye is quick and shifty and caught multiple passes out of the backfield.
Nick Kurtz: It’s amazing what a summer can do. Kurtz was all over the field and caught a few long balls over defenders. Kurtz looks night and day in comparison to his spring camp performance. He looks comfortable running routes and is aggressive in doing so. No longer is his head on a swivel but rather he is assertive and more in control now that he and Taysom Hill are more on the same page. Kurtz stretched the defense and caused problems against a very good BYU secondary.
Harvey Jackson: Jackson looks like an elite safety in the backfield. He’s built like a linebacker and moves really well for his size. However, it was easy to see he has some growing to do when it comes to understanding the defense. He’s a physical player and can cover ground fairly well, but his ability to read and react will improve once he feels more comfortable within the defense at the safety position.
Jherremya Leuta-Douyere: At the buck linebacker position, JLD made some plays. He anticipated well and even recorded a tackle for a loss at the quarterback to running back exchange.
Travis Tuiloma: Tuiloma came home from Samoa at around 260 pounds. Now that he’s been home it’s nice to see him now at around 285 pounds and he looks solid. Tuiloma spoke today about wanting to beat Texas since the Longhorns beat BYU 17-16 back in 2011 when he was playing. He wants to go to Austin and exact some revenge.
Jordan Preator: Preator played really well today and even deflected a pass intended for Mitch Mathews and Michael Davis. Preator is young and still has some room to grow, but his performance for the first day of fall camp definitely caught some attention. He’s a confident player who can plaster the receiver’s hips well in defending the long ball. Preator had a very good first day of fall camp.
The starting unit on Friday was (Left to Right) De’Ondre Wesley, Kyle Johnson, Edward Fusi, Brock Stringham, and Ului Lapuaho. The second unit was a jumble of players including Michael Yeck and Ryker Mathews at left tackle, Terrance Alletto, Solomone Kafu, and Brian Rawlinson at left guard, Alletto, Parker Dawe, and Tejan Koroma at center, Johnson and Brayden Kearsley at right guard, and Yeck, Brad Wilcox and Quinn Lawlor at right tackle.
The starting three linemen to take the field were Graham Rowley (LE), Travis Tuiloma (NT), and Remington Peck (RE). The second string was Tanner Balderee (LE), Marques Johnson (NT), and Tomasi Laulile (RE). Third unit was Logan Taele (LE), Kesni Tausinga (NT), and Theodore King (RE).
Wheel linebacker Bronson Kaufusi was limited on Friday due to a hamstring issue so the starting WLB was Jordan Egbert backed up by Michael Alisa. Alani Fua was the starting Sam linebacker backed up by D.J. Doman.
Zac Stout was the starter at Mike linebacker on Friday backed up by Austin Heder. Manoa Pikula was in street clothes at practice and his status is still uncertain. The starter at Buck linebacker was Jherremya Leuta-Douyere backed up by returned missionary Va’a Niumatalolo.
Day one saw Trent Trammel starting at the field corner spot backed up by Robertson Daniel. Senior Skye PoVey was the starter at boundary corner backed up by Jordan Johnson.
Craig Bills (Free) and Dallin Leavitt (KAT/SS) were your starters on Friday. Kavika Fonua and Kai Nacua backed up Bills and Harvey Jackson, Michael Wadsworth, and Chris Badger backed up Leavitt.