Jordan Leslie Ready to Play UNLV

Following a victory over Middle Tennessee State, BYU is coming off a bye week where the team needed much needed rest. Cougar receiver Jordan Leslie stopped on by the media room to field questions from the press corps concerning a wide range of topics stemming from the Utah player fumble to his experiences at BYU.

With the bye week this past weekend, many BYU players got a chance to simple watch and catch up college football. Some, in fact, even went to local college games within the state. Jordan Leslie and Nick Kurtz drove north to watch Oregon play Utah at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

During the game, Utah wide receiver Kaelin Clay caught a 79 yard pass from Travis Wilson but dropped the ball prior to reaching the end zone. Oregon’s Erick Dargan recovered it but dropped it leaving Joe Walker to pick up the ball up and return it for 100 yards the other way. Watching the game was Jordan Leslie who is going to be extra careful about celebrating too early going forward.

“I was actually at the game and I kind of felt bad for [Clay],” said Leslie. “I mean you see it happen a lot. I mean, it happened last year in the NFL with Denver. It happened at UTEP and we had a player that got called a touchdown, but it shouldn’t have been called a touchdown. I mean that’s kind of what happens. You get excited and he dropped the ball. I kind of felt bad for him but now I’m going to make sure I run into the end zone covering the ball with two hands.”

The early celebration embarrassment by the Utah receiver was a lesson and a reminder to Leslie not to get too excited prior to entering the end zone.

“I’m going to make sure I tuck down, hand it to the official, and make sure it’s a touchdown,” said Leslie with a smile. “I was actually shocked and thought it was a touchdown and looked away. I was with Nick Kurtz and he was like, ‘Look!’ and Oregon was taking it back. I was like, ‘What are they doing?’ It was the right call.”

Aside from attending the Oregon game at RES, Leslie also caught up on some other games nationally.

“Yeah, I watched a little bit of the Auburn game; the Utah game of course because I was there, and just kind of a little stuff,” said Leslie.

He also checked out his former team UTEP as well, who was in a battle against Western Kentucky.

“Yeah of course,” said Leslie. “They were actually up this week 20 to 7 and somehow Western Kentucky came back, but they have the same record as us 5 and 4.”

The Cougars are looking for their sixth win of the season, which makes them bowl eligible. The Cougar’s 2014 season started off with a spectacular bang but fizzled like a sparkler after suffering four straight losses. The question that always arises is would it be better that BYU were in a P5 conference? While the position to be in such an alignment is hard to argue against, Jordan Leslie still feels he and his Cougar teammates have a lot to play for despite.

“I mean of course being in a conference you have the chance to going to a conference championship and stuff like that, but that’s always been a question that’s kind of bothered me,” said Leslie. “You know, 90 percent of the teams in the nation would love to have that available and we have great chance to do it. A lot of fans are like, ‘Oh we have nothing to play for. We already have a bowl game set.’ Right now were not bowl eligible so of course we have that to play for. Then we have UNLV, Savannah State, and Cal who are great opponents. That’s always a time to show your dominance and move up the rankings.”

For the UNLV game, Algernon Brown will return among a few other key players, which will add much needed depth to the roster since star running back Jamaal Williams is out for the season.

“You know it’s tough of course and you never want to see one of your players go down,” said Leslie. “If there is anybody, besides Taysom [Hill], that I know can come back from an injury it’s Jamaal. He has an upbeat tempo and wants to work hard. I think he wants to come back better than ever.”

Williams had been a sparkplug for the offense throughout the entire season. Losing him means losing one of the more inspiring players on the team who knew how to pick up his teammates when things were tough. Now that job falls upon the shoulders of others who will have to motivate, inspire, and uplift the team when things get tough.

“I mean, of course,” Leslie said. “There’s no one like Jamaal who’s going to be dancing before plays and dancing before a series trying to get you upbeat, but of course we’re going to have some people who are going to play that role and get us upbeat, get us going. You know, he’ll come to the sideline and get everyone going. You’re always going to miss that, but, you know, we’ve all kind of gotta play for him now. We have to play for Taysom and all the other players that have been injured this year.”

As for Taysom Hill, Leslie has had private conversations with him and the two have talked about Hill’s injury and how that’s affected him. The most difficult aspect for Hill is not being able to be out on the field with his senior teammates like Jordan Leslie.

“You know, I don’t want to get too much into it but we’ve talked about it,” said Leslie. “You know, of course he’s upset he can’t play with us now, but he’s been a great motivation for us. He kind of picks us up. He’s been really good with Stew [Christian Stewart] kind of talking to him about what he’s been through and stuff like that. So, it’s always kind of have a leader like that.”

The atmosphere of BYU and having teammates like Taysom Hill makes Jordan Leslie wish he had one more year to play at BYU. That way he could come back next year and play with those in whom he’s grown very close to over this past season while attending BYU.

“Of course, you know?” Leslie said with a smile. “Especially being in this atmosphere and having a whole bunch of fans here who said they wish they had me for four more years, but I wish I was here… I don’t want to rag on UTEP so I’ll say two there and two here.”

However, which college would he rather spend his redshirt year at?

“Oh, we’ll say three here [at BYU] and two there [at UTEP] and,” said Leslie with a smile. “It would be great. I’d love it.”

Cougar Cam: Jordan Leslie

Leslie jokes about how he can't stop smiling during the interview. He also talks about the bye week and how it was much needed for the team. He talks about what he's looking for over the next three games on the regular season. He also talks about his experiences both on and off the field at BYU and much, much more.

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