Game Breakers

It's Rob James time again. In his continuing effort to help pass the football-less summer months, James has a bevy of top ten list to occupy our attention.

It's what?

May?

I guess its time to formulate hypotheses, affect presumption, deem judgment, apply theory, and deduce foolish supposition.

There's all kinds of time and fun ways to look what we got and guess how they'll be used. Let's get to it.


Top 10 Proven Players
These are they that have already proven they have great value for the team and can make significant contributions this year.

1. John Beck – Jr. Beck will return as the conference leader in passing, total offense and second best in passing efficiency. Doman will also have lit his leadership fire. How Beck does this year, is how BYU does this year.

2. Todd Watkins – Sr. Todd is will return as the conference leader in average yardage per catch (19.0) His surgery recovery is on schedule, and we should expect he will again be the focus of fly patterns any time you see one on one coverage this year. This is one of those plan and simple BYU offensive truths that was missing this spring.

3. Curtis Brown – Jr. The power behind Beck will be the conferences 3rd best returning running back. Curtis averaged a whopping 6.0 yds per play in conference play last year. His fiery leadership will be invaluable for the team this year.

4. Cameron Jensen – Jr. Jensen is the team leader in tackles, the conference's second best tackler, and the heart and sole of Bronco's defense.

5. Jake Kuresa – Jr. Jake has become the anchor of the offensive line. Prediction: 1st team all MWC.

6. Lance Reynolds – Sr. Lance made the transition to offense flawlessly last year. He and Jake will be solid leaders for the O-line this year.

7. Nathan Soelberg – Sr. Best cornerback we have according to most. Let's hope he stay's healthy.

8. Fahu Tahi – Sr. Tahi could end up being our top receiver this year. His versatility and toughness will add a required component to BYU's offense.

9. Moa Peaua – Sr He's too good a blocker not to add to the scheme. Coach Anae will not ignore this bulldozing, smash mouthing, railroad rampaging, bowling ball bashing, mouth guard jarring, beast. He will be highlight fodder once again.

10. Bryce Mahuika – So. 22.5 yards per K.O. return is good for 2nd in the MWC. His resume also boasts nearly 500 punt return yards. With speedy guys up and coming, we have yet to see if he hangs on to return duties, but his experience is invaluable.


Top 10 Stabilizers
Players that have proven themselves as contributors that can help this year.

1. Matt Ah You – Jr. Matt returns as one of the more experienced linebackers under Bronco's system.

2. Jeremy Gillespie – Jr. Gives our TE position solid depth and experience.

3. Spencer White – Sr. Once a walk – on. Now a leader in the backfield.

4. Justin Luettgerodt – Sr. Great things are still expected from this JC standout.

5. Vince Feula – Sr. The Monster in the Middle. When the coaches tell the defense to "GO HEAVY" This is what their talking about.

6. Mark Staffieri – So. A pleasant surprise last year. A staple for the defense this year.

7. Daniel Marquardt – Sr. Solid in every way. He'll make his share of big plays on the defensive line this year.

8. Quinn Gooch – So. Should show why the hype was deserved when he was recruited.

9. Brett Cooper – Jr. Speed can never hurt on the outside.

10. Brian Sanders – Sr. Watch the "lite" version of the lunch box do his thing this year.


Top 10 Unproven Cougars
They might be great. They might be bombs. They are "the unproven".

1. Jonny Harline – So. The next big BYU star?

2. Matthew Smith – So. With his ACL on the mend, the Missoula Man is eager to show what he can do opposite a player like Watkins.

3. Aaron Wagner – Jr. With his mandatory year out – out of the way. Aaron is ready to explode. Can he live up to the hype?

4. Chris Hale – Sr. Chris has always received high marks from coaches and other players, but he's never broken out during games. Can he make a break out as a Defensive Back?

5. Gary Lovely – Jr. We caught a glimpse of his skill when he ran a fumble back for a touchdown. He should get time to prove more this year.

6. Ray Feinga – Fr Ray has all the tools to be one of the best on the O-line. Can he put it to good use this year?

7. Derek McLaughlin – Jr. U of W Transferred from the Washington Huskies where he was stand out freshman kicker. Will he be healthy and capable enough to replace Matt Payne as one of our premier special teams tacklers?

8. K.C. Bills – So, Has the running back, turned linebacker, turned safety finally found a home? Insert nails in teeth and standby.

9. Michael Marquardt – Jr. More hyped than his brother. Coming back from injury and a mission, can Michael make a difference?

10. Zac Collie – Jr. Has gotten very little playing time so far as a Cougar, but might make a mark this year.


10 Big Expectations, 10 Big Question Marks
Can they? Will they? Are they? Should they?

1. Bryan Kehl – So. Can he regain Pre Mission form? Will he redshirt?

2. Manaia Brown – Sr. Are the injuries over? Does the Beast bring his game this year?

3. Daniel Coats – Jr. After his freshman year, almost everyone predicted he would be the next All-American tight end. Can he bring back the magic?

4. Joe Griffin – Jr. He was actually had more receptions as the counter part to Todd Watkins in junior college. Can he play the same roll coming back from injury?

5. Phillip Niu – So. He showed great talent back from his mission, but has had the injury bug ever since. Can he make a comeback and fight for the start?

6. Paul Walkenhorst – Sr. The Mystery Man. Between injury and who knows what else, Walkenhorst has been lost as a fan favorite for a couple years now. Can he make a comeback?

7. Ray Hudson – So. It's unnerving that he's not been in Provo for a while. Will he be back? In Shape? In time?

8. Matt Berry – Sr. I'm guessing the chances are about 50-50 that Berry will be needed this year. Can he be effective in a role as the back up?

9. Gary McGiven – So. Fans are always told how good he can be. The question is has he given up football for good?

10. Dallas Reynolds – Fr. Fresh off his mission, will he redshirt or make an impact.


Top 10 Newcomers
Never played in front of the LaVell Edwards stadium thousands, but they are the future of the program. 10 was a short list. There are others that you could argue can do more, but this is a good start.

1. Richard Nehring – Fr. A pleasant surprise during the spring.

2. David Oswald – Fr. A standout during practices and scrimmages during the spring.

3. Aaron Singh – Fr. A great recruit that's been on a mission and has yet to show his stuff.

4. Harvey Unga – Fr. One of the Fab 4 from Timpview. Will he get a chance to show off his brutal running style before he leaves on a mission?

5. Nate Hutchinson – Fr. A feisty, fearless gem that has been reported to be a dominant force in the defensive backfield during practices & scrimmages.

6. Russell Tialavea – Fr. A top recruit that many expect to contribute on the D-line this year.

7. Stephen Covey – Fr. A Fab 4 from Timpview. Great speed and quickness may contribute to him being able to get some playing time.

8. Michael Reed – Fr. The Hype started in Texas, and has reared it's head on the practice squad. Can he change the hype to heroism?

9. Vic So'oto – Fr. Probably one of our premier recruits this year. Will fight for playing time among a talented and deep group of Tight Ends.

10. Luke Ashworth – Fr. It's been a while since the fans were able to cry LUUUUUUUUUKE! Can the new Luke find playing time enough to show off his amazing twist move?

Kindly remember the opinion of this writer may differ with your opinions in every way. That's okay. Opinion is good.

Next let's look at how this year's starters compared with last year's starters. Then we'll examine the coaches, the schedule and anything else we can dissect in an effort to pass the summer time away.


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