Gurney Goes Off

After spending the better part of the last two weeks roving the practice fields at BYU's summer football camp, Brandon Gurney gives his take on four campers that have verbally committed to BYU: Rhen Brown, Nate Moncur, Robbie Buckner and McKay Jacobsen.

Rhen Brown

Rhen Brown's speed was made obvious as he ran a 4.49 during the one-day camp, clearly impressing the coaches in observance. Coaches often like to test guys more than once in the forty so Brown came back to camp this past Monday and showed that not only was his 4.49 time not a fluke, but it was a bit slow, as he posted times of 4.42 and 4.40.

Once a guy has proven he can burn straight ahead, the test becomes whether he can maintain his speed while moving side-to-side. Brown showed this ability early and often. In cone drills, reaction drills and overall agility drills Brown stood out. He moves extremely well laterally, which will compliment his straight-ahead speed nicely. I do not have a shuttle time for him yet, but my guess would be that it is easily around a 3.9-4.1. I'll check on it and put it up in my follow-up article on Brown.

Brown showed very well as a receiver in most drills. He has a good eye for the ball and can make adjustments on the fly. His route running is a bit raw right now, but it was better than most during camp. Like most DB/WR prospects, Brown showed better as a WR. He lacked some technique as a DB which can easily be learned through repetition.

It's very important to note that Brown played for the top high school program in all of South Carolina last season. He was slated to start both ways as a CB and WR before his team's starting quarterback got hurt. Brown was moved to fill in at quarterback for most of the season, which I feel speaks volumes regarding his overall athleticism.

A lot of high school recruits will tell TBS that they are 4.4 guys, but few really are. Brown is at least a 4.4 guy who can move effortlessly. BYU coaches evidently saw enough and felt it was in their best interest to offer him right away rather than wait to see how he performed this coming season as a DB/WR for Lone Peak High School in Highland Utah. If a recruit can run and move like Brown does, then the rest should come rather easily if it even needs to come at all.

Nate Moncur

I did not get to see much of him, as he only attended camp for a half day, but I saw enough.

Moncur played in the passing league on Wednesday and basically swallowed up the field. Some recruits look like high school kids while others look as if they have been playing D-I football for the past couple of years. Moncur is in the latter category.

The Bountiful High School two-way starter is the type of player that immediately catches your eye when he takes the field. The second he started playing, everyone was asking who he was. As mentioned, he has great speed and could probably play safety in college, but BYU wants him at linebacker, which is a position where he could really excel. He looks to be a Colby Bockwoldt/David Nixon type linebacker, which should bring a smile to most Cougar fans faces.

Moncur showed great closing speed and knows how to use his superior athletic frame. Not many passes got by him. He looked very aggressive and it is easy to see why BYU offered him. I looking forward to seeing his footage.

Robbie Buckner

This LDS athlete from Arknsas was as good as anyone in the agility and reaction drills. He did not stand out as much as Rhen Brown did, but was easily as fluid in his motion as anyone in camp save Brown and McKay Jacobsen.

Where Buckner stood out was during passing league drills. He completely dominated the field with his smaller frame. Every time I looked over at him he was picking off passes, catching passes and basically doing it all. He is a playmaker.

His size may be a bit of a concern as he looks to be around 5'9" in bare feet, but Buckner is an outstanding kid who simply gets it done on the field. He ran a 4.5 forty at camp and will find a place on BYU's roster. He may develop into a CB, but I can more easily see him playing the slot receiving position in Anae's offense or even taking snaps at running back.

McKay Jacobsen

I hate comparing incoming freshmen to Austin Collie as Collie proved vastly superior to just about every incoming freshman there in the country, but it is hard not to compare Jacobsen with Collie when watching him perform.

Size: Collie obviously has better size than Jacobsen with the Teaxas receiving phenom giving up at least three inches on to the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year. Jacobsen is well built though and showed on film that he can go underneath and take a hit while playing in the top league in Texas. Jacobsen will make up for a lot of what he lacks in size with his 38" vertical.

Speed: Jacobsen ran a 4.38 forty at camp and looks to have slightly better speed than Collie coming in. Jacobsen can get behind a defense on any given play. His speed is a bit deceptive as he moves so well running underneath patterns, and as preciously mentioned he can take a big hit and hold onto the ball. Jacobsen gets the edge in speed. Collie is no slowpoke; Jacobsen is just that fast.

Route-running: Collie showed a bit more flash in running routes while he was in camp before his senior season, but Jacobsen absolutely destroyed DBs trying to cover him with his precise route-running. He made DBs look foolish and was completely effortless in his movement. Jacobsen would have at least 3 yards of separation on any given pattern by the time he caught the ball and at least 5 yards on most fly and deep post patterns.

Hands: I cannot remember Jacobsen dropping a pass during camp. I remember well Collie dropping just one pass during his camp, for which he was very upset at himself.

Leadership/Demeanor: Collie has a swagger to him. Something the BYU brass refers to as "moxy." He knows he is good and he carries himself accordingly. Collie's "moxy" serves him well.

Jacobsen is a very confident young man as well, but his confidence is a bit more quiet than Collie's. While Collie shows perhaps more flash in how he plays, Jacobsen is a guy that just quietly goes about killing opposing DBs.

What impressed me most about Jacobsen was that he participated in every drill he was there for. He already had his offer and had committed; he did not have to prove a thing, but was out there giving it his all during every drill.

Jacobsen is the type of leader that Coach Mendenhall loves. Many of you know that Cameron Jensen broke his big toe during the first week of spring practice, but missed only one practice because of it. His toe never fully healed throughout the spring, but you would never have know it by Jensen's play. Jensen was not battling for a spot, but just wanted to be out there. I see Jacobsen as being the same type of guy. He just loves being out there, not exactly for leadership purposes, which come as a result thereof, but simply because he loves football.

It is hard to imagine Jacobsen not contributing as a true freshman. Arriving on campus in January of 2006, he will be able to participate in spring ball before the season starts, which will help tremendously. Again, I hate comparing incoming receivers with Austin Collie as it is not fair to most of them, but when watching McKay Jacobsen there is simply too much in common not to look at them side-by-side.


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