Vakapuna is obviously experienced and is not being pushed this fall, with little to gain from practicing at full-contact before the season begins. So far Vakapuna has shown the same sort of burst through the line that made him a fan-favorite in 2006.
#2-Bryce Mahuika 5-9, 185 HR Jr. Mahuika has had a very encouraging fall practice session so far. Mahuika will assume the starting HR position in the slot while expanding on his role and getting reps at both the Z and X receiving positions. Mahuika is also slated to be the team's primary returner on both kickoffs and punts.
Mahuika has always been one of the best and most versatile athletes on the team, but nagging injuries have kept his production down during his first two seasons. A healthy Mahuika will figure into the overall offensive plan considerably for 2007.
#3-Michael Reed 6-1, 200 WR Jr. Reed has slimmed down this year and is in the best shape he's been in since his true freshman year. Reed got a full year of experience playing in the regular wide receiver rotation a season ago and will assume a similar role this year, as the plan is to shrink last year's four-man rotation on the outside to a three-man rotation.
Reed sat out during most of last week's practices due to a nagging hamstring injury, but was scrimmaging on Saturday and should be good to go for the game against Arizona.
#4-Brandon Howard 5-9, 170 CB So. Howard is competing for the starting field cornerback position spot with Kayle Buchanan. At the very least, Howard figures to be a good option to see reps against smaller, shiftier WRs, as Cougar coaches may be able to do situational substitutions at the cornerback position, unlike most prior years.
Howard has increased his strength and is tackling and taking on blockers much better than he has in the past. Howard's strength has always been his quick feet and above-average make up speed. Howard should play prominently in the Cougars' overall defensive scheme this coming season.
#4-Kurt McEuen 6-2, 205 QB So. McEuen looks to be the #4 or #5 quarterback on the depth chart as the season is set to begin.
#5-Brandon Bradley 6-0, 185 CB Fr. Expectations were high for Bradley as fall practices began, and Bradley has been able to practice fully when they started. Since then, Bradley has shown that there is still some rust that needs to be shaken off his knee as he recovers from his ACL injury.
Recent practices have seen Bradley held out, as he is currently only practicing during light drills. We still like Bradley's prospects, although he has a ways to go to fully recover from his ACL injury and help the team out during games. Bradley's contributions may come later in the year or during 2008, but don't look for Bradley to be a factor as the season starts.
#6-Brendan Gaskins 6-5, 220 QB So. Gaskins was set back a bit with his broken finger, but is well ahead of schedule and looks to be at full strength by the Arizona game. Gaskins has seemingly retained his spot as the #2 quarterback, as he's currently getting all the reps behind Hall during 11-on-11 drills.
#7-James Lark 6-2, 219 QB Fr. Currently behind Gaskins as the #3 quarterback is James Lark. Lark hasn't been able to practice much since arriving at BYU due to injury, and we'll be keeping a close eye on him throughout the year to see how he progresses in the system.
#7-Ryan Kessman 6-0, 210 WR Fr. Kessman is a very unique option at the wide receiver position, as he has shown to have considerable lower-body strength. He has proven to be an effective blocker on the outside and can use his physicality to wrestle balls away from defensive backs.
Kessman has also shown to have great hands. While it will be hard for any incoming receiver to break the front-three-man rotation at the ZR and XR positions, Kessman will be an intriguing option in the years to come.
#9-Brannon Brooks 5-10, 175 CB Fr. Brooks has shown promise in his initial season, demonstrating good, quick feet and natural cover skills. Brooks most likely won't be a factor on the Cougar defense in regular games his first year, but looks to be a very promising prospect in the years to come.
#9-Austin Collie 6-2, 210 WR So. Collie has done nothing to indicate that he won't return to, or even improve on, his pre-mission form. Collie has that same bounce and tenacity during practice that he showed as a true freshman, and is a favorite target of Max Hall, especially on deep routes.
Collie is slim, strong and in top form as the team approaches its first game. He should prove be one of the top options, if not the top option, for Hall this coming season, and should be the primary playmaker down the field.
#10-Matt Allen 6-0, 175 WR Sr. Allen is practicing again after being held out of spring practices with a minor injury. Allen will figure prominently in the planned three-man rotation on the outside with Collie and Reed.
Allen has also worked so far this fall as the chief mentor for incoming freshmen receivers such as Kessman and Jordan Smith. Both freshmen cite Allen as the player they're learning from the most as they look to develop within the program.
#10-Blake Morgan 5-11, 180 DB Fr. Morgan is progressing nicely in the program and has shown some good coverage skills while playing primarily with the third defensive unit.
#11-Jason Munns 6-5, 225 QB Fr. Munns is learning and progressing well since arriving in Provo. He won't likely factor on the two-deep roster during his true freshman year, but has certainly not disappointed since arriving on campus.
Munns has a very lively and strong arm coupled with above-average mobility for a player of his stature. He will likely redshirt this year, but his future at the prestigious BYU quarterback position looks bright.
#11-Manase Tonga 6-0, 234 RB Jr. Tonga has a prominent role in the overall offensive scheme that offensive coordinator Robert Anae has this coming year, and should contribute at both fullback and running back. It's difficult to imagine how BYU will compensate for Tonga during the first game, as he'll be held out due to a one-game suspension.
Tonga is as consistent and productive at his position as most anyone else on the team at their respective positions. Tonga does everything well, including running the ball, picking up blitzes, lead-blocking and catching the football.
#12-Sam Doman 6-4, 228 QB Fr. Doman hasn't moved up the depth chart and may be completing his final practice session at the quarterback position. He is a great all-around athlete who could be moved to either tight end or linebacker by the end of the season.
#13-J.J. DiLuigi 5-9, 190 RB Fr. DiLuigi will be redshirting this coming year due to injury. While practicing, the former California Prep Player of the Year did nothing to not match the expectations media and fans alike had placed on him. DiLuigi has a bright future ahead of him.
Steven Thomas 5-10, 180 DB Fr. Thomas, along with Blake Morgan, is seeing most of his reps with the third- and fourth-teamers on defense. We'll watch Thomas develop throughout the year, as he's likely been pegged for scout team work during his first year.
#14-Corby Hodgkiss 5-11, 200 DB Sr. Hodgkiss is now the starting Kat due to an unlikely string of injuries to those in front of him. He has experience and will fill the position well, as he's shown to be able to get the job done in the past when called upon.
#15-Max Hall 6-1, 200 QB So. No player has been reported on more than Hall so far this fall, so it's hard to add anything to what is already known about Hall in this article. He is progressing and has shown better consistency as fall practices have progressed.
Many speculate about whether Hall will be similar to John Beck when Beck was a sophomore. The big difference between Hall as a sophomore compared with Beck as a sophomore is the team and system Hall will have around him, which should lead him to greater success than Beck saw as a sophomore.
#16-Kellen Fowler 5-11, 190 DB Jr. Fowler, like Hodgkiss, will see his role significantly increased this season due to injury. Fowler has shown through practices and in limited playing time that he's capable in backing up both safety positions. He will continue as the primary backup at both safety positions unless one of the freshmen safeties prove capable during the coming weeks.
#16-Parker Mangum 6-4, 220 QB So. Mangum looks to add depth to the quarterback position.
#17-G Pittman 5-10, 180 CB Fr. When Pittman signed with BYU, he was considered to be the best cornerback BYU had ever signed out of high school, and he's done nothing to dispel that so far. Pittman has shown great feet, good instincts and great closing speed.
Pittman is the freshman DB most-likely to contribute this year, as he looks to be a good option at the field cornerback position. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall has recently indicated that Pittman will be returning kicks this year.
#18- Aaron Attig 6-2, 204 DB So. Attig is holding steady, seeing most of his reps with the 3s on defense, although he's recently seen some reps with the 2s because everyone has been moved up the depth chart due to the injuries to David Tafuna and Dustin Gabriel.
#19-Andre Saulsberry 5-10, 178 CB Sr. Saulsberry has been solid while backing up both the field and boundary cornerback positions. He looks to provide depth primarily at the field corner position, as he is battling for a spot on the two-deep behind Howard and Buchanan.
#20-Gary Nagy 6-1, 180 CB Fr. Nagy is likely headed for a redshirt year due to the depth ahead of him. With his size, Nagy looks to compete for the boundary cornerback position in the years to come.
#20-Reed White 5-11, 190 WR Jr. White, along with Tyler Kozlowski, is one of the first guys off the bench to step in at the wide receiver rotation should one of the top three go down. White is consistent in running patterns and has shown to have good hands since the spring.
#21-Ben Criddle 6-0, 185 CB Sr. Criddle hasn't missed a practice since fall practices started and looks to be in good shape. He is improving on his role as BYU's starting boundary cornerback from a season ago.
#22-Tyler Kozlowski 5-9, 170 Fr. Kozlowski has had an outstanding fall and looks to be the fourth WR, as he's shown to be consistent in most practices. He is the first guy off the bench if either Allen, Reed or Collie can't go for any given practice session. Kozlowski's future is bright, and he aims to be part of the regular rotation soon.
#23-Ryan Folsom 5-10, 190 RB Fr. Folsom is the primary RB with the 3s and 4s on offense and should see a lot of reps on the scout team as the season progresses.
#24-Brian Smith 6-3, 180 K/P Fr. Smith has shown to have a very strong and consistent leg when punting the football during practices. Smith is planning on serving a mission after this season, but could very well work to become the starting kicker or punter when he gets back.
#25-Quinn Gooch 6-0, 196 DB Sr. Gooch is the glue that holds everything together in the Cougar secondary. A returning starter at the free safety position, Gooch is a team leader who does as much coaching on the practice field as any other player in the program.