BYU's Utility Receiver

It is extremely difficult, not to mention unusual, for a true freshman to get into the rotation with the first team offense or defense. It is even more remarkable for a freshman to get consistent playing time after learning three different positions. Figure college academics into the equation and the load is overwhelming, unless, of course, you are BYU receiver Luke Ashworth.

"Well, it's been just a long experience," chuckled Ashworth. "I first started playing Z receiver and was getting familiar with that position, and then on the first day I came into fall camp they moved me over to the X receiver position. I had to then reestablish myself at the X receiver position and learn all those plays because the Z is pretty much the exact opposite. When the Z is running a slant the X is running the go route.

"I was just getting used to that and all the different calls and then a few weeks into this new position I got switch to the H position which is the slot receiver position. The coaches thought I would have a better opportunity to come in and contribute if I moved to the H position," he said.

Now playing as a slot receiver or "H" position, Ashworth has seen how each position differentiates regarding technique, strategy, and tactics used by the various defensive personnel BYU receivers face on game day.

"The H position is a bit different. I've been working at getting used to being covered by safeties and linebackers and getting held a lot. Getting used to using my arms to rip and punch and being more physical. It helps me keep my head in the game and stay mentally focused knowing all these different things so you can contribute more.

"I think it's good for me just knowing all the different positions because the coaches said they will still use me at the outside position, too. It's just I have a better opportunity to come in and play at the H position because there's not as much depth as there is at the outside receiver position," Ashworth said.

The fact that Ashworth has risen above the difficulties of learning various receiver positions in such a short time is a testament to the true freshman's hard work and various abilities a player. Coach Mendenhall readily agrees.

"He's going to play and he's a young, talented player," Mendenhall said. "He's a freshman who had a position change and he's handled it very well. I like his work ethic and his athletic ability. With Bryce [Mahuika] being hurt it opened up that opportunity. We needed more depth at the H position and we felt like there are some players coming on at X and Z that might be able to serve as back-up roles so it gave us some balance."

Ashworth sheds some additional light as to why he's been able to do so much in such a short time.

"The key is hard work and being mentally tough. I still have a lot of work to do but my hard work has so far paid off. All the things I did with the team like the ECO challenge that brought us all together helped me to understand more of what it takes to become mentally and physically developed."

"I just worked my butt off all summer. I went in and studied film with John Beck and some of the other receivers. I just stepped in with all the veteran guys and they took me under their wings and helped me out a lot," Ashworth said.

For TCU, BYU coaches have added him into the game plan and, and will use him in a few packages that he's practiced in throughout the past two weeks of preparation.

Will this be the game where the freshman receiver makes his first collegiate reception?

"I hope so," said Ashworth. "I know I'm in a few of the plays for the game plan, so I hope so. Each game I know I'll be able to contribute more and more."

Ashworth has been studying a lot of film on those defensive players he could be facing on Saturday.

"We've been studying the linebackers and safeties to better know how to get off their blocks. They've got a lot of talent but we've been studying that all week and practices have been going really well. The scout team has been playing like TCU so it's been fun trying to get to know how they play.

"I'm so excited and they're a good team. I know we've prepared harder than they have and I think our hard work will pay off," said a confident Ashworth.

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