School Is in Session at BYU Spring Camp

BYU held its first full-contact scrimmage last Friday in front of close to 100 high school and junior colleges football coaches from across the states of Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada and Arizona. TBS spoke with a few of the coaches about what they saw at practice.

After an emotionally charged and informative coaching clinic hosted by BYU football coaches in the new BYU coaching facilities, high school coaches, many dressed in their school colors, strolled over to BYU's new indoor practice facility to watch BYU coaches put their words into practice.

Utah high school head coaches Les Hamilton of Alta High School and Cecil Thomas of Cottonwood High School were in attendance. Both men confirmed that BYU is recruiting and has offered a few of their talented football prospects.

"Braden Hansen plays O-line for us and is about to commit to BYU here soon," said Alta's Coach Hamilton.

Another Alta High School offensive linemen that has D-1 potential is defensive tackle Brian Vau'ulu. However, things aren't going so smoothly in the academic department for Vau'ulu, which has caused BYU to back off of him.

"Brian is 6'6" and 320 pounds but has academic issues," said Hamilton. "He just doesn't go to class."

Cottonwood's Coach Thomas spoke about five prospects he is currently coaching that are gaining D-I notoriety. They are defensive tackle Simi Fili, running back Stanley Havili, corner back Danny Payne, linebacker Zac Eldredge and quarterback Alex Cate.

"Cate has been offered by Arizona." said Thomas. "He's received letters from BYU and Havili's been offered by BYU. Payne is a legitimate D-1 prospect as well."

Lined up along the sidelines watching Mendenhall run his defensive units through drills, the coaches whispered among themselves, taking mental notes while discussing what they saw.

One of those coaches happened to be current Snow College defensive line coach Jason Ah You, brother of Oklahoma defensive end C.J Ah You and BYU middle linebacker Matt Ah You.

"You know the more I listen to what Mendenhall says the more I like him," said Coach Ah You. "He brings a lot of good things to BYU, and when I hear him speak and see the things he's doing out here with these guys the more I admire him.

"I like the intensity, lots of energy. There's a lot things we can take from here and try to implement at Snow College."

Following the preliminary drills, BYU's football team geared up for a full-contact scrimmage that had been eagerly anticipated by players, coaches and media alike.

"They wanted us to come out and give us a good hard, short practice and we kept it short because of our injuries and our lack of depth," said Fahu Tahi. "It was really a practice and it was fast paced and intense despite how short it was. This scrimmage was much more intense than previous scrimmages we've had in the past. Coach Mendenhall let us know what to expect during our meetings today, so we just came out here and let it all out."

Concerning the scrimmage outcome Tahi said: "I think we're getting it down good with the offense. We still have a lot to learn with our routes and stuff like that. I think the biggest difference with this offense is the running backs are more involved than we were in the past."

During the scrimmage, Tahi made a few hard nose, power runs up the middle and to the outside. He was also the recipient of a swing pass that went for 12 yards.

"I love Fahu," said head coach Mendenhall. "I like his maturity, I like his toughness, I like his leadership and I like his poise. He's seasoned in this program and he's a warrior. I like everything about him."

Snow assistant coach Jason Ah You confirms Mendenhall's assessments of Tahi.

"I like Fahu and I thought he looked light on his feet this year," said Coach Ah You. "He looked really good this year making good cuts and overall I thought he did really good.

"I thought the scrimmage was good. I know they're missing some keys guys on the offensive line. They had that one big play at the end and it's exciting. It's just exciting to see and I thought the quarterbacks were making good reads and thought they went after it really well."

Aside from the many high school and junior college coaches in attendance, there were two young men with eyes fixed on every Brown and Tahi run and every pass thrown.

"The scrimmage was tough and fast tempo," said BYU running back recruit Harvey Unga. "I'm excited to be apart of this offense, very ecstatic. It's different, way different from last year. It's good and I like it a lot. I'm excited to a part of it. I like catching the ball."

Taking in the day's action next to Unga was another 2005 recruit BYU fans know well.

"It was good and like Harvey said it was fast tempo and hard hitting," said former Timpview High School quarterback Stephen Covey. "It makes me want to be a quarterback. It will definitely be a change going from quarterback to cornerback, but I'll be ready to work and do what I can."

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