Listen to Bronco Mendenhall evaluate today’s practice and how he felt his team looked at the link below:
Bronco Mendenhall Post-Practice Audio
The offensive line continues to be a position group in flux but it appears that three of the positions have an entrenched starter this far into camp. Left Tackle De’Ondre Wesley, Left Guard Kyle Johnson, and Right Tackle Ului Lapuaho appear to have a chokehold on their positions. Lapuaho had been rotating heavily with Michael Yeck but a broken toe has shelved Yeck for the time being and Lapuaho is beginning to run away with the job.
Today’s practice saw true freshman Tejan Koroma as the starting center. Coach Mendenhall said that Koroma was initially overwhelmed with the demands of football and school at BYU but has caught up and has impressed. Mendenhall said that Koroma was lifting all summer with Brock Stringham, BYU’s strongest player, and held more than his own. Koroma may be undersized at 6’0”, 260-pounds (280 according to the BYU roster) but he’s strong as an ox and may find himself getting playing time this season. Edward Fusi and Terrance Alletto saw time at center this morning as well.
Brayden Kearsley wasn’t at practice today so Brock Stringham and Alletto saw time at Right Guard in his stead. Kearsley’s absence wasn’t explained but it would appear that he’s the number one option at right guard right now.
An interesting note from practice that hasn’t been observed from the offensive line was that players who jumped and were called for false starts were pulled off the field and required to up-downs until the coaches told them to get back on the field.
De’Ondre Wesley took some time after practice to talk about his fall camp and how the offensive line is progressing. Listen to that audio here:
De’Ondre Wesley Post-Practice Audio
Adam Hine continues to be the number one back in camp right now but Algernon Brown is gunning for the job and looked good in his first live work that the media was able to observe. Brown flashed soft hands and an ability to get open out of the backfield. He took a swing pass 60 yards to the house during 11-on-11 drills off a pass from Taysom Hill. Brown’s ability to pick up tough yardage between the tackles and his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield will help him as he seeks to carve out a niche on this BYU squad.
Trey Dye’s star didn’t dim on Tuesday after he was one of the standouts in Saturday’s scrimmage. Dye hauled in a touchdown pass during team drills that was thrown directly over his head, a la Cody Hoffman against Georgia Tech last year, on a pass from Christian Stewart. Coach Mendenhall reiterated that Dye still needs to put all of the mental aspects of the position and offense together but that his ability with the ball in his hands is pure electricity.
Tuesday saw Jordan Leslie shifted to the outside during team and pass skeleton drills. With Nick Kurtz set to undergo surgery tomorrow, Leslie is now lining up as the starting “X” receiver opposite Mitch Mathews. He caught a touchdown pass during pass skeleton drills on a laser thrown by Taysom Hill. Keanu Nelson has also been moved to the outside to provide depth, after both he and Leslie began fall camp as inside receivers. Nelson is playing the “Z” receiver and was second string behind Mitch Mathews on Tuesday. He also caught a touchdown pass in skeleton to end practice on a pass from Christian Stewart.
BYU’s offense looked good in pass skeleton drills, scoring touchdowns on 7 of 8 drives that began at the 20 yard line, going in. Devin Mahina, Terenn Houk, Colby Pearson, David Kessler, and Ross Apo caught touchdown passes during the drills in addition to the aforementioned Leslie and Nelson touchdowns. The only drive that wasn’t a touchdown turned into a converted field goal by Vance “Moose” Bingham after Christian Stewart and second team offense were stonewalled on the 3 yard line.
You can hear Wide Receivers Coach Guy Holliday talk about his position group here:
Guy Holliday Post-Practice Audio
Pass Defense Needs Work Coach Mendenhall said during his availability that his defense looked solid during 11-on-11 drills on Tuesday but that his pass defense needed work after giving up the 7 touchdowns mentioned above during pass skeleton drills. The defensive secondary looked a bit ragged today and that may be due to the strain of fall camp getting to the guys.
Michael Davis and Jordan Preator were rewarded for their standout performances during Saturday’s scrimmage as they were running with the first team defense today. Davis corralled a nice interception during team drills off a pass that was thrown behind Ross Apo. It appeared that Apo may haul in the reception but Davis broke on the play and stole the ball away from Apo.
Listen to Trent Trammell evaluate where he is physically and his position group as a whole right here:
Trent Trammell Post-Practice Interview
Inside Linebackers Coach Paul Tidwell spent some time talking about his position group after practice today and was very complimentary of Harvey Langi. Langi has done nothing but impress in fall camp and entrenched himself as a fixture in the two-deep at inside linebacker. Coach Tidwell, when asked, said that if the UConn game were tomorrow his starters would be Austin Heder and Harvey Langi, with Teu Kautai and Jherremya Leuta-Douyere as the backups. Listen to the full conversation with Coach Tidwell here:
Paul Tidwell Post-Practice Interview
Special Teams Notebook
The media were able to watch kickoff cover practice for the first time today and the kick returner depth chart went as follows:
The off-man or lead blocking position on the kick cover depth chart was:
Sophomore Running Back Peter Welsh was injured during kick off cover drills. Welsh was rushing downfield and was picked up by Va’a Niumatalolo but went down with minimal contact. He was examined by trainers on the sidelines but no update was given as to the variety or severity of his injury.
Injury Report & Final Notes
Peter Welsh was the only notable injury that occurred during media observation. Matt Sumsion was seen doing rehab work today and was catching passes from McCoy Hill, who continues his rehab from knee surgery. Phillip Amone and Sam Lee continued their work in rehab as well. Defensive Back Grant Jones, who had the only interception during Saturday’s scrimmage, was seen in the rehab group with a shoulder injury from the look of things. No update was given on his timetable to return to the field.
The plays of the day belonged to Algie Brown (60 yard swing pass TD) and Trey Dye (over-the-head TD reception) on offense and Michael Davis (interception of Taysom Hill off Ross Apo) on defense.