Spring Practice: Day 14

Amid unseasonably cold weather, the BYU football team took the practice field for the final time until August. Saturday's Blue-White Game will mark the official end of spring ball. Reps were limited during today's practice with the team cold but optimistic as they made their last trip off the practice field.

"It's been a good practice," said defensive lineman Ian Dulan. "We got a lot of work in, and we've improved as a team. I know that I've improved a lot, and we'll use this to have a great season this coming year."

Great Divide

While most of the reps during 11-on-11 drills have been split exclusively between Max Hall and Cade Cooper this spring, the two quarterbacks only got one set during today's practice.

The rest of the reps were divided between every quarterback on the roster from Sam Doman to Kurt McEuen. The reps didn't go all that smoothly as a result as fumbled snaps and quick whistles dominated the play.

Hall got the first set of reps in a blue zone exercise and went 2-2 for 19 yards which included a 4 yard scoring pass to receiver Michael Reed. Hall hit running back Harvey Unga for 17 yards on the first play.

Cooper's set saw him throwing his single pass into the end zone where it was picked off by safety David Tafuna.

Snapping Sorensen

Offensive lineman Tom Sorensen participated for the first time during 11-on-11 drills today. It's been a long road coming back since his injury sustained last fall, but Sorensen couldn't have been more happy being out there today.

"Oh man, I had a big smile on my face being out there playing again," said Sorensen. "It was just helmets today without pads, but it was the most work I've had since my injury. It was sort of like riding a bike again. I felt great out there."

Sorensen saw his work at center with the second-team offense where he was again able to call out signals while pushing guys around in a contact-drill.

"I'm back," exclaimed a still-smiling Sorensen. "Here we go! It's honestly the best feeling I've had in a while being out there yelling out blocking assignments and all that. I'm love playing center, and I love playing football. I've been anxious to get going, and I'll be going again full speed from here on out."

Sorensen felt pressure to show his new offensive line coach that he can perform. Ever since Coach Bruce Weber arrived in Provo and joined the Cougar football staff, Sorensen hasn't been able to show him much.

"I just wanted to get out there and show coach what I can do—that I'm not just another big body," said Sorensen. "You never know what a new coach is thinking, and you don't want to be looked at just as another guy on the injury list. I trust that Coach Grimes and other coaches have told him stuff, but I wanted to get out there and show him."

So what did Sorensen show?

"I made some mistakes obviously," said the former Brighton Bengal. "I'm obviously very rusty, but I felt that I was aggressive and made the right calls. Hopefully coach noticed and I'll be a factor this fall. I just love to play so much, and I want to play as much as possible from here on out."

Payne kicking and punting

Throughout spring Mitch Payne has been the primary punter and place-kicker for the team. Entering the 2007 season the younger brother of Matt Payne looks to mirror what his older brother did while at BYU.

"I feel confident in both punting and in kicking the football," said Payne. "I've been more happy with my kicking so far. I need to be more consistent in both areas, but I need most work improving my punting, which I'll be working hard on all year long."

Payne showed a very strong leg in scrimmages when he booted two field goals from beyond 40 yards and one from well over 50 yards. He also consistently puts the ball past the goal line on kickoffs. Payne mentioned that he has the ability to kick a field goal as long as 65 yards.

"I have a lot of confidence in my kicking," said Payne. "It's just working on my punting to get it to the point where I'm as strong and as confident with that."

Fans remember Matt Payne as not just a kicker, but as a player who could hit as hard as anyone on kick coverage. The younger of the Payne brothers isn't someone to shy away from contact either.

"I'll hit someone if I have to," said Payne. "It's part of the game although I don't think I'll have to do it as much as my older brother did because the kick coverages now are so much better than they were when he was here."

On the Sidelines

-Max Hall's entire immediate family was in attendance along with his uncle Danny White

-Recruit Uona Kaveinga was in attendance where he was able to chat a bit with legendary Cougar coach LaVell Edwards who was also in attendance


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