Cougars Buckle Down in Final days of Practice

As BYU's football team knuckles down to their final days of practice for the Georgia Tech season opener Thursday night, head coach <b>Gary Crowton</b> answered some lingering questions.

Crowton told that true freshman linebacker David Nixon, a 5A All-State player from Texas last year, will play this year before leaving for an LDS mission. Meanwhile, two other freshman linebackers, both All-State Utah athletes last season, Dan Van Sweden and Matt Ah You, will redshirt this year.

As expected, standout defensive end Shaun Nua will also redshirt. Crowton noted that C.J. Ah You, another DE who is expected to contribute significantly this year, is recovering well from arthroscopic surgery to his knee last week. He may see some playing in the Georgia Tech game. He added defensive tackle Manaia Brown will definitely play against the Yellow Jackets.

On the offensive side, Crowton is still undecided whether to redshirt standout offensive lineman Scott Young.

"Scott Young has only one year and he's just so strong and powerful that we won't waste that year unless he plays. We thought he'd redshirt this year for sure," Crowton said, "but he's just so far ahead of where we thought he'd be at this point that we're considering playing him. He's just so physical. We just don't want to use up that year of eligibility on Scott if he wasn't going to play the whole year of even half the year. We also want to bring Ofa (Mohetau) along."

He added that "we think we have some outstanding guards. We think (Jake) Kuresa will be outstanding and Quinn Christensen is real solid and has some experience. Ofa is outstanding as well and will be a great player."

Crowton confirmed that wide receiver David Christensen will return kicks for the Cougars.

Yesterday's practice brought another surprise visitor in University of Tennessee transfer Shannon Benton, who showed up to watch the team run through light drills with his family. Benton said he will join the team Wednesday to begin participating in practices. He will sit out this year and play next fall.

Finally, Crowton announced scholarships have been given to three walk-ons who have earned them: Offensive lineman Gary McGiven; defensive back Nate Soelberg; and fullback Kyle Wilson.

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