During the 2016 season, BYU wide receiver Talon Shumway recorded one catch and that was against Southern Utah. It was not the kind of season he was hoping for given the fact his senior year in high school he hauled in 1,049 receiving yards and scored 16 touchdowns. This season Shumway expects things to be different and so far in spring camp it has been.
"It's a lot easier," Shumway said of spring ball. "In the fall it's a little harder because there's a lot of new stuff coming in. Now it's a lot of re-running what we've already learned, so we have to focus on different things other than just learning the offense."
There were claims that during the 2016 season Shumway wasn't fully healthy, which played into keeping him off the field. Shumway, on the other hand, says that's not true and has been healthy since the 2015 season.
"I've been fully healthy for quite awhile here," Shumway said. "I had surgery my first year at the beginning of the 2015 season, but I was back this past winter and I've been good ever since. There's no question of health anymore. It's great to be feeling good again."
No longer is Shumway juggling two sports like he did at Lone Peak High School, but he does think about his old high school basketball teammates in Eric Mika, Nick Emery, and T.J, Haws, who play for the BYU basketball program. An outstanding defender at Lone Peak, Shumway hasn’t thought about joining BYU's basketball team to apply his defensive skills.
"The thoughts not really, but I definitely miss it," said Shumway. "Sometimes it's kind of hard to watch, but I'm really proud of those guys. They're playing great."
He does miss playing with his former high school teammates but his is focused on developing as a wide receiver in Ty Detmer's offense.
"I do miss playing with them a lot," he said. "They don't need me. I feel like here being at BYU I'm starting to learn how to play football more and more. Before in high school it was basketball all year and then I would jump on the [football] field for a couple of months, but here I feel like I'm finally starting to learn a lot more about the game that I had no idea about. I think there is still a lot more to learn."
Moroni Laulu-Pututau has moved to playing tight end for BYU and Shumway misses MLP but said he and his fellow receivers are working to fill the void at the position after four other players graduated in 2016.
"I don't know and we'll see how things go," Shumway said. "I miss Moroni and he's not with us anymore. Everybody is working towards a certain goal. My goal is to get to the best spot I can individually. Obviously it's got to fit in with what we're doing here."
Although he’s listed at just over 200-pounds, Shumway was getting looks as a tight end potentially but says he’s going to remain as a wide receiver for the time being.
"Yeah, I would say it's permanent but obviously it's up to the coaches, but I feel like that's probably where I'll stay unless they have something else in mind," Shumway said. "I feel really comfortable just having that year to learn the offense throughout that year. Now I'm really starting to feel comfortable there. I think we're starting to feel a little bit of a groove. I think when we get to fall we'll up it a little more."
BYU’s wide receiver corps is young and mostly unproven. However, Shumway feels the group has a chance to exceed expectations this season.
"I think this is probably the youngest group we've had in awhile," Shumway said. "We have two seniors and no one has really been here that long. There's pros and cons to it but I think there is a big pro in that we can rewrite our own identity as a unit. It's a pretty tight knit group and so I think now what we're starting to see some of guys stepping up and taking a leadership role within the unit. I think the longer that we're with Tanner (Mangum) it turns into a more of a cohesive group. Things are looking up, always."