Spring Ball Preview

Although spring camp has not officially started, it was hard to tell that by how many participants were out in full force running through plays, offense and defensive schemes, and drills. There were some of the usual team notables, some recent returned missionaries, and some new faces participating in today's activities.

Out catching passes from sophomore Max Hall was recently returned missionary Austin Collie. Many BYU fans grew a little concerned after viewing a recent television clip of Austin running sprints. The general concerns were that the mission field was not too kind to Collie and that he was slow and out of shape. What the television clip did not show was that he was instructed to only run at about 45 percent during the workouts.

In watching Collie run during today's more intense workouts, he is anything but slow and out of shape. In fact, Collie looked somewhat like his old self out there but just a little taller. Collie is now in the 6-foot-2 range.

Also out there running at the fullback position was a new prospect by the name of Inoke Hafoka who definitely passed the eye test. He will be one to watch during spring ball.

Speaking of passing the eye test, running back Harvey Unga was out running and participating in the drills. Unga is reportedly at around 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, and he carries it rather well. If one were to guess how big he really is, it would not be a surprise that the common consensus would be around 230. Unga simply looks fit and ready to go even though he has not been cleared for spring practice yet.

There have been rumors that Fui Vakapuna has ballooned up to 260 pounds. That does not appear to be the case. Like Unga, Vakapuna has yet to be cleared for spring practice.

There was a new 6-foot-4 walk-on from Idaho who doubled both as a QB and tight end today when needed. His name is Mangum and all reports indicated that he was a very good athlete who is practicing with the quarterbacks.

Max Hall will be the one to beat out for the top QB spot this year. Hall is simply that good and again today showed why he will be the front-runner come spring camp. Hall was out throwing the ball all over the field as if he owned the place.

Walk-on running back Daniel Trevort could be the second coming of Nat Meikle. Not that Trevort and Meikle are similar in their playing styles but rather similar in heart, effort and athleticism. Trevort was all over the field catching passes downfield as a wide receiver and out of the backfield as a running back.

Ian Dulan was out running drills and working with Walter Kahaiali'i in one on one drills. Dulan looked very good with his quick burst off the line and mobility. It is safe to say he appears to have fully recovered from his injury of last year.

Cornerback Brandon Bradley was out running with the defensive team and although he did not participate in skeli drills this was the most active he has been since his knee injury. His status on weather or not he will be participating in spring camp is unsure at this time.

Also of note among the cornerbacks, 6-foot-3, 190-pound Nate Hutchinson has been switched from cornerback to wide receiver. The move might be telling of the depth in BYU's secondary. Today Hutchinson ran receiver patterns against his old position teammates and on one occasion made a great catch.

There were some new faces across the offensive line. Out on the field was Colorado prep star Nick Alletto who was playing the tackle position. Alletto just recently returned home from a mission. Along with Alletto was big 6-foot-5 Jason Speredon, who was running through offensive line drills. Speredon was able to run with his group.

Vic So'oto was out in full force with his python arms and aggressive spirit. So'oto looked good and one could tell he is ready to get going after redshirting last season. Joining So'oto at the tight end position was recently returned missionary Dennis Pitta. After watching Pitta run today, it will be interesting to see if BYU coaches will be able to keep him off the field. Simply put, Pitta looks to have shaken off quite a bit of that missionary rust.


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