BYU Offensive Coordinator Robert Anae was all smiles and greeted all of the assembled media with handshakes today. His body language was loose and his demeanor fun-loving. He seemed like an offensive coordinator whose offense is running on all cylinders. While it’s still too early to say that his offense is doing just that, it was apparent that he is enjoying the results of early fall camp.
Offensive News & Notes
The offensive line continues to work on finding a rotation of contributors that can make an impact. The team segment that the media observed featured five different groups that took the field. They were comprised as follows (L-R):
De’Ondre Wesley, Kyle Johnson, Terrance Alletto, Brayden Kearsley, Ului Lapuaho
Ryker Mathews, Solomone Kafu, Tejan Koroma, Chase Larson, Michael Yeck
Wesley, Johnson, Edward Fusi, Kearsley, Brock Stringham
Johnson, Alletto, Fusi, Stringham, Lapuaho
Mathews, Kafu, Koroma, Brian Rawlinson, Quinn Lawlor
Through four days of camp it would appear that the depth chart on the offensive line is as follows:
Left Tackle – De’Ondre Wesley, Ryker Mathews, Kyle Johnson
Left Guard – Kyle Johnson, Solomone Kafu, Terrance Alletto
Center – Edward Fusi, Terrance Alletto or Tejan Koroma
Right Guard – Brayden Kearsley or Brock Stringham, Brian Rawlinson, Chase Larson
Right Tackle – Ului Lapuaho, Michael Yeck, Brock Stringham, Quinn Lawlor
Tuni Kanuch continues to work through his injury concerns but will be assumed to be the starter at right guard if he’s healthy. Kanuch had firm control of the position throughout spring camp.
Taysom Hill and Christian Stewart continued to flash consistent ability to deliver the football down the field and into tight windows. There have been ample reports of more passes than usual going downfield and both players are not afraid to sling it. True freshman signal caller Hayden Griffits ran as the third-string quarterback today. McCoy Hill was injure on the first day of camp and hasn’t returned to the practice field yet.
What is becoming very apparent in fall camp is the ball distribution by Taysom Hill. In pass skeleton drills today, Hill threw the ball eight times with only Paul Lasike receiving more than one catch in the series from out of the back field. One pass to Mitch Mathews, who made a great leaping catch over Nebraska transfer Harvey Jackson, who was in place to make the interception, but Mathews snagged the ball and took it to the house, covering approximately 40 yards in all. In the same series, Hill connected with walk-on receiver David Kessler on a deep route and Devon Blackmon for 20 yard on another play during the drive. It’s becoming very apparent that Hill is very comfortable throwing the ball to various receivers.
Adam Hine wore a red, no-contact jersey today but still ran drills as the starter at running back. Paul Lasike is the second string back in single back formations, followed by Nate Carter. Tuesday saw, inside slot receiver Mitchell Juergens get work out of the backfield, much like true freshman Trey Dye was seen doing on Friday and Saturday. Robert Anae said that the move was to do some cross-training to help bolster depth. According to Bronco Mendenhall, Algernon Brown could return to practice as soon as the school posts his grades. Mendenhall wasn’t sure when that would be exactly.
Emerging Tight End
Bryan Sampson had a very good day today during team practice. Sampson ran with the first team offense and caught three passes in a row from Taysom Hill; one reception went for over 30 yards after he made a great snag out of the air up the seam. Sampson looks like he’ll make a contribution to the squad this season based on early camp performances.
Offensive Play of the Day
The highlight play on offense came on a deep pass up the middle from Christian Stewart to walk-on wide receiver Travis Frey, who took the pass to the house. The play covered approximately 70 yards. BYU’s offensive sideline was seen motioning for the pass to be thrown when the ball was snapped and were celebrating when Frey hauled in the pass.
The big news from practice was the switch of Michael Davis from wide receiver to cornerback. Davis said after practice he was informed of the change just before practice today. He also said he’s happy to do whatever is best for the team and added that Bronco Mendenhall and other coaches have indicated that he may have brighter prospects as a professional in the defensive backfield. It remains to be seen if the shift is permanent for Davis, who’s bounced between receiver and cornerback throughout his first 2 years on campus.
Robertson Daniel had a brief showing during media observation before joining other players with the trainers. It was unclear what was ailing Daniel, but he appeared to be moving freely following practice as the team exited the field.
True freshman outside linebacker Troy Hinds recorded what appeared to be a sack today on Stewart Christian. Hinds blitzed off the edge and was able to get around the corner to record the whistle sack.
Buck linebacker Jherremya Leuta-Douyere made a great play in pass coverage down field during pass skeleton. Nick Kurtz came across the middle and was met by Leuta-Douyere who batted the ball down. Utah transfer Harvey Langi and true freshman Sione Takitaki ran with the second string today. Regarding Takitaki’s status, Coach Mendenhall said that “there are no issues” regarding him being on the team. TotalBlueSports.com had previously reported that Takitaki had been dismissed from the team for fall semester. Takitaki has been in uniform and participating since fall camp opened.
Defensive Play of the Day The defensive play of the day belongs to the aforementioned Robertson Daniel, who ripped a pass away from Mitch Mathews during team drills to record an interception. He was mobbed by his teammates after making the play.
Absences from Practice Devin Mahina and Terenn Houk were limited in practice this morning, working out with trainers off the side during media observations. Reports say that Mahina participated in some drills early on in practice. As many as 22 players missed practice for a myriad of reasons this morning. Ross Apo, Jordan Johnson, Zac Stout, Trey Dye and McCoy Hill were among players who missed practice this morning. Recently returned missionary Phillip Amone, Tuni Kanuch, Sam Lee, Kamalani Kaluhiokalani were also injured and working with trainers this morning.