"We have three returning starters on the offensive line and two returning starters next year," said Harvey Langi, who will be a junior this year. "We're still trying to find a few more guys to fill in, but our line should have more experience this year than last year. I think there will be more opportunities."
Last year Utah commit L.T. Filiaga received double duty time as a middle linebacker and fullback, but who is going to step this year now that he's moved onto the next level? Manoa Pikula received some fullback duties last year, but that may not be the case this year.
"[Pikula's] been looking at defense right now," Langi said. "I don't think he'll be doing much fullback stuff next year. He was a good player. At fullback we have some new guys coming in, so we really don't have any fullbacks coming in from last year."
One possibility could be the agile Baker Pritchard, who comes in at about 6 feet 3 inches and 250 pounds. Pritchard is also a junior-to-be and is the younger brother of BYU fullback/linebacker Iona Pritchard, who is currently serving a mission to the Marshall Islands. However, Langi said that fullback won't be in Baker's future.
"No, Baker has been switched to defensive end," Langi said. "He's going to be really good. They're looking at a few kids on the team. They're looking at Manoa and Bridger [Peck] and Baker. I haven't really talked to them much about it though, but I think they're looking at all those guys."
Baker's father George Pritchard is a part of the Bingham High School coaching staff and has mentioned that his son is also receiving early interest from instate schools.
"Baker is doing good," said George. "He'll be playing linebacker for us and we'll use him on the d-line in given situations. I know BYU wants to offer him and so does Utah. They like his size and quickness. Utah missed out on Iona, so I guess they don't want to miss out on Baker."
As for another Miner, Bridger Peck is the younger brother of Remington Peck, a member of BYU's last recruiting class. Bridger is a defensive back and will also be a junior next season.
"He's a really good player and a good teammate," Langi said of Bridger. "He has a really good work ethic and knows how to work hard, so we'll have a really good team this year. I think BYU is also looking at him but I haven't really talked to him about it."
It's reasonable to assume that as a junior Harvey Langi will be one of – if not the – main offensive weapon for the Miner offense. The 6-foot-1-inch, 215-pound running back ran all over opposing defenses last season and looks to do the same this year.
"Well, we have a lot of weapons on offense and we have two pretty good quarterbacks and some receivers that I think will be pretty good," Langi said. "I've been working hard and think I'll have some good opportunities. We're playing Trinity High School for our third game of the season this year, so I'll have a chance to show what I can do against a team like that. We have to represent Utah and show them we can play football here as well."
In the meantime, Langi has been preparing himself for the rigors of the upcoming season as well as the camps he'll be attending over the summer.
"I've been doing this program called SPARQ that gets you ready for combines and camp competition and stuff," Langi said. "So right now I'm just training. On my pro shuttle I ran a 4.36. I clock under a 4.5 in the forty. I didn't get timed in that with the SPARQ that was done on the track. I ran it four times and they clocked me in under a 4.5 every time in that. My vertical jump is a 35.5. My bench is around 267-270 and my squat is around is around 425-435. My clean is around 235 so I'm doing alright."
Langi was one of the top running backs in the state of Utah as a sophomore, and it's certain he will be listed again as one of the Beehive State's top rushers next year as well. In fact, Langi could be one of the highest recruited athletes to come out of Bingham High School when it's all said and done.
"I'm just trying to prepare myself for camps around the nation to see how I compare with other players in other parts of the nation," Langi said. "I'm just training for that. I'm going to go to BYU's summer camp and I'm going to go to their Junior Day as well. I went to the U of U Junior Day and liked it a lot. They told us about the school and we got a chance to watch them scrimmage on their field. I got a chance to see how they play down there and liked it. I expect BYU will have some similar things, but they're two different schools. I'm excited to go down to BYU and check things out down there. I think it will be fun. I'll also want to try and get to a camp back east. I think I'll try and hit one in Hawaii and will try and go to the AIGA camp in California. They run a combine I think on the Stanford field."
Speaking of drills, the Cougar coaching staff was recently on hand to watch the Miner football team run through some drills and to scout out some of those Langi mentioned.
"BYU had three coaches at our school [Monday]," Langi said. "They are really interested in all the kids there at Bingham and I know they're really interested in me. I don't know if they've offered me or not. I'm still young and don't know if any of the schools that have said they would offer me will, so right now I'm just kind of waiting to see what happens when the time comes. BYU verbally offered me but we'll see what happens. I like BYU a lot because of my religious beliefs and their football program. They're close to home and I like their coaches and it's a really good school. There are a lot of Bingham kids over there and they say it's a good school, so I always go down there for their camps because they have a good camp."
Langi meanwhile has gotten to know some of BYU's coaches well.
"The coaches that I'm really close to are Coach Reynolds and Coach Doman," Langi said. "They're pretty laid back, but sometimes Coach Doman will crack a few jokes. Those are the two coaches recruiting me the hardest. BYU is the school that has come in lately. Oregon has come in and I think Navy [has as well]. Also, Idaho State has come down I think and [so have] Utah State and the U of U. There's been a lot."
As for what will factor into his decision regarding what school to attend, Langi listed some things that are important to him.
"I want to see how high in the depth chart I'll be and if they'll hold my scholarship if I break any bones," Langi said. "I look at the program and the people there. Of course, [I also look at] the school and the environment. I can adapt to a new environment, so that doesn't really matter too much. I just want to get to the next level."