Heard the term "young" before when talking about a football team? Look no further then BYU's offensive line to understand how youth will play a factor in the coming years at this critical position.
Earlier we reported that if Ben Archibald was in the fold next season that things looked decent for BYU. Now that seems far from certain since his initial request to the NCAA was denied. BYU is working on an appeal but those are rarely successful.
Now we would project our starting tackles to be Brandon Stephens and Quinn Christensen, with Scott Jackson still at center and Jake Kuresa and Vincent Xanthos/Eddie Keele at guards.
There is a possibility that Scott Jackson could also be awarded another year of eligibility because of injuries that he sustained during his career, but that decision won't come until after next season. So we have categorized him as a senior for now.
With no junior college signees this year for the Cougars, one must believe that either BYU will go after some significant JC players next year or that they are pleased with the progress of their young players. This is evidenced by the fact that they passed on Saddleback's Tyler Crandall, and Scottsdale's Joe Critchfield and Jeremy Rose, all JC players who expressed interest in the Cougars this season.
Not on our chart are some walk-ons who came to the program that might have likely started at Ricks if they still had a football program. They include Cade McMullen (center/guard), Gary McGiven (guard) and Aaron Acker (center). McMullen has been promised a scholarship when one comes available, and Acker was an all-conference performer for the Vikings who will start school at BYU in January. Also in the mix will be sophomore Rob Robinson, who was a surprising walk-on that saw action late in the season for the Cougars.
But as the chart indicates, there is a huge gap in the junior and sophomore class. It remains to be seen what BYU will do, but our best guess is that some of the gap will have to be filled by JC players.
|Seniors||Quinn Christensen||Vince Xanthos|
|Brandon Stephens||Scott Jackson|
|Freshmen||Paul Fisher||Jake Kuresa||David Sollami|
|Scott Fisher||Eddie Keele|
|On Missions||Jr. Kato (returns '04)||Jeff Rhea (returns '05)|
|Travis Bright ('04)|