BYU's Texas Twosome

BYU's offense sports two outstanding athletes from the Lone Star State. One is wide receiver Michael Reed of Robert E. Lee High School. The other is running back Ray Hudson of Wharton High. Both young men have worked hard over summer and are ready to contribute this fall.

While Provo has had its share of hot weather this summer, it cannot compare to Texas where it seems everything, including the heat, is bigger. According to Michael Reed, it is 95 degrees when you wake up in the morning in Baytown, Texas, near Houston.

The extreme temperatures did not deter either player from working out hard while spending time at home over the summer. Ray Hudson worked out at his high school in Wharton, Texas with friends who were back from college. His focus was on strength and conditioning.

"I got my bench and my squat up to where I wanted it to be," said Hudson. "I got my bench up to 400 on the max. I didn't max out on squat though."

Reed spent time working on his athleticism. "I worked on my footwork and tried to increase my speed because it never hurts to be faster," he said.

Both Reed and Hudson came back more skilled but weighing approximately the same as they did last season. Both players also came back to a different offense than the one they played in last season. Fortunately, the change appears to be a welcome one.

"I knew the offense even thought I redshirted," said Reed. "I love the offense that we're running. Everything is simple. Everything—he just wants it fast, everybody catching balls, everybody giving it their full effort. He just wants us to be successful this season."

Although the offense is simplified, Coach Anae expects his charges to execute the scheme to perfection. Reed acknowledged that he has some work to do in order to meet that standard.

"There's always room for improvement," he said. "I just want to come out here and get better and better. There's much improvement still ahead."

As a running back, Hudson faces a significant change is his role in the offense from last year to this year. The new offense calls for the backs to do a lot of receiving out of the backfield. Hudson felt that the change in assignments is nothing he cannot handle.

"It didn't get harder, it got a little easier," said Hudson. "When I came here as a freshman, I kind of picked up real quick, and now I kind of picked this up real quick. Even though I wasn't here spring I'm learning real quick. I like the offense."

When asked about the possibility of catching as many passes as Reed, Hudson pointed out that it would only be an opportunity to become a more versatile player.

"[Catching balls] is what a true running back who wants to get to the next level is supposed to do," said Hudson. "You can't just do one thing well; you got to be a double threat."

With fall practice starting and the whole season ahead of them, Reed and Hudson have set goals for what they want to accomplish. Not surprisingly, their goals incorporate some of the goals established by the team.

"My goal for the team is to live up to everything BYU has done in the past," said Reed. "Since we're going throwbacks, we should play like the old 1984 champs. There shouldn't be a reason why we shouldn't go undefeated, even though we got a pretty tough schedule. I think with the hard work that we're putting in and everybody giving 110 effort, like Bronco and all the other coaches want us to do, we'll be successful. Our goal is to make a bowl game and to win that bowl game. Anything else would be a disappointment to us and to our coaches the way that we've been working. On a personal note, I just want to contribute as much to the team as I possibly can in my four remaining years here."

"My goal for the summer and for the football season is to be perfected, to come out here every day and get better and better," said Hudson. "If I'm not a starter or second team, whenever I do get in the game I just want to contribute to getting a team win. I just want to win and get to bowl game and stick with the tradition that we have here."

Although these two Texans are just entering their second year on campus, they have been a part of a major change in the leadership and philosophy of the football program. The new mindset brought by Coach Mendenhall is one that both Reed and Hudson have embraced.

"The way Coach Bronco and Coach Crowton coach is two different styles," said Reed. "Coach Bronco is more of a one to get it done right now, everything fast-tempo. He wants to hear the helmets clacking. He just bought us these new helmets; they're real nice, but I can assure you that he wants a lot of scuff marks on them helmets. He wants them dirty. He wants us to play dirty. He wants us to win. He wants us to give all the BYU fans what they've been wanting, and that's for us to get back to a winning tradition."

"The way coach Mendenhall's work ethic is, his dedication, he wants us to be successful," said Hudson. "We have talent this year and we're supposed to be up there with everybody else. I'm used to a coach like him. That's how I grew up. The way he's got the program turned around—he's the best guy for the job."

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