Incoming Impact: Part One

G-man analyzes each of the incoming freshmen players who signed in 2010 and what type of impact each could have on the coming season. Given the stature and overall ability of the 2010 signing class, as well as the gaping holes that need to be filled, fans should see the true freshmen make more of an impact this season than ever before.

The 2010 class could easily be considered BYU's best recruiting class of the decade, given the stature of the players signed. It is a well-rounded class as well, and many of the true freshmen will be counted on to make an immediate impact.

Some of the players however will be making their impact two years down the road, as Bronson Kaufusi, Tuni Kanuch, Taloa'i Ho-Ching, Jacob Hannemann, Joey Owens and Teu Kautai will all leave for their missions right out of high school. Other than those six, BYU will be receiving 17 new faces come August practice, and that's in addition to three others that entered the program this past January.

Algernon Brown 6-1, 205 RB

Brown, like many early commits, went under the radar for the most part. He did not garner the type of hype he may have received had he waited out his decision to sign with BYU. Regardless, Brown will bring a wealth of talent to what is quickly becoming one of the deepest positions on the team.

Player Profile: Brown presents the type of combo-back that fans have grown used to in the Cougar backfield. The offensive brain trust at BYU likes to play running backs that are 210+ pounds and that are adept at not only running the football, but at pass-blocking, lead-blocking and catching the football.

Brown appears to fit this mold well and should play at about 220 pounds after about a year in the program. He was well-schooled for the BYU running back mold at Skyline High School, where he was featured as not only the primary tailback, but also as a fullback in their option offense.

Outlook: With the running back position being a crowded one, it would be reasonable to assume that Brown is ticketed for a redshirt and scout-team duty. With no clear starter at running back emerging out of spring practices, however, Brown could prove to be someone who breaks the two-deep roster.

Jordan Black 6-7, 265 OL

Black is the new type of offensive lineman that Coach Weber and the staff are going after here of late; he is tall, lanky and athletic, and will most likely be ticketed to play offensive tackle while at BYU. Black excels at pass-blocking, which is obviously a huge plus within the Cougar offensive system.

Player Profile: Like a lot of high school offensive linemen, Black is still a bit raw, but he has a lot of upside. He should prove to be very adept at pass-blocking with his frame, and is very competitive and has almost a mean streak to him that should serve him well in getting off the ball quickly and aggressively as a run-blocker. Black weighed about 235 pounds when he signed with BYU, but has worked very hard to put on good upper-body weight in order to better compete as a true freshman.

Outlook Breaking the two-deep at offensive line in 2010 will be a tough chore for any incoming freshman given the talent and experience of the starters and two-deep players already firmly established. Subsequently, Black will most likely redshirt while seeing scout-team duty, although he could make a run at the two-deep roster.

Graham Rowley 6-4, 270 DL/OL

Rowley was very worthy of his four-star ranking from Scout, as he is a very athletic lineman with tremendous burst off of the ball. It's still unknown whether he'll be playing on the offensive or defensive side of the football, but he should be making an impact immediately at either position with great promise of future production.

Player Profile: The first thing that jumps out when viewing Rowley's film is his open-field pursuit, which is simply amazing for a player of his stature. He's also very quick off of the snap and has very good lateral movement, using his quick feet to his advantage.

Outlook: Should Rowley choose to play defense, fans should readily expect him to make a strong push to break the defensive end rotation and find a place for himself on the two-deep roster - if not start. Rowley seems to be custom-made athletically to play the end position in the type of 3-4 system BYU employs.

Should he choose to play offense, he may have a tougher time breaking the two-deep as a true freshman, although he'd certainly appear capable of doing as much. His prospects as an offensive lineman are at least as high, although it would seem to take a bit more time for him to grab a definitive role on the two-deep roster in 2010 should he play on that side of the football.

Travis Tuiloma 6-3, 290 DL

Tuiloma will arrive at BYU early from far-away Kansas, and will work to make an immediate impact at the nose tackle position. He dominated his competition in high school and was offered relatively early by Cougar coaches, as they identified him as someone who could be contributing early and often even as a true freshman.

Player Profile: Tuiloma fits the mold of what a nose tackle has to be. He made a living in high school at taking on numerous (and almost exclusive) double- and triple-teams, which a nose tackle simply has to demand in order for a 3-4 defense to be effective.

Outlook: History has shown that true freshmen can make an impact at the nose tackle position and even rise to starter status during their first season, more so than at any other position on the football field at BYU. Tuiloma will look to mirror the accomplishments set forth by such players as Romney Fuga and Eathyn Manumaleuna, who both contributed mightily to the position as true freshmen.

Ironically, it will be Fuga and Manumaleuna that Tuiloma will be competing with for playing time this season. Coach Kaufusi has made it widely known in each season that he likes to have three able bodies to rotate at nose tackle, and Tuiloma could easily be that third guy at the very least. Furthermore, Kaufusi has mentioned that he may look to play Manumaleuna at defensive end, which could very well open up even more opportunities for Tuiloma on the inside.

Collin Keoshian 6-2, 235 ILB

Keoshian is about as big of a wildcard as anyone who signed as part of the 2010 class. With him having played eight-man football in a very small Southern California league, it's almost impossible to gauge what type of impact he may have as a true freshman.

Player Profile: What isn't impossible to gauge with Keoshian is his very apparent athletic upside. That athletic upside caused the Cougar coaching staff to take a risk in signing him, though it seems they didn't deem that to be a risk at all. Keoshian did it all for his football team, dominating in such a way that few players do on the high school level.

Outlook: With more question marks surrounding the inside linebacker position than at any other position on the team entering fall camp, Keoshian could certainly rise to have an immediate impact at the position during his initial year. Given his inexperience and unfamiliarity with 11-man football, that may be too tough of a task, but one never knows until the kid takes the practice field for the first time.

One area where he could make an immediate impact is on special teams, where his combination of speed and strength could make for an absolute demon on kick and punt coverage units. This would be the area that he'd be most likely to contribute at, although no one should immediately count him out as someone that could contribute at the inside linebacker spot.

A.J. Moore 5-10, 190 RB

In most years, Moore would be one of the highlight signees. But given the strength of the 2010 class, he finds himself sort of in the background, although his talents suggest a bright future. There is a whole lot of bodies waiting to compete at the running back position this fall, which may make it difficult for him to establish himself as an immediate contributor.

Player Profile: Moore's biggest strength looks to be his ability to catch the football out of the backfield, which is essential if one wants to play in Coach Reynold's backfield. He also shows very good natural instincts in running the football, which makes one think of Curtis Brown when watching his highlights.

Outlook: Scout-team duty could very well be where Moore ends up, which would give him a great opportunity to prep himself - much like Curtis Brown did - for a future starring role. There are just too many bodies at running back to prognosticate a two-deep role for Moore, although his ability to catch the football could provide coaches with a good third-down type of player in 2010.

Ross Apo 6-4, 200 WR

Ross Apo is simply the freakish type of athlete that BYU seldom - if ever - gets at the wideout position. Athletically, he's the very definition of what an ideal wide receiver should look like with his 6-foot-4-inch+ stature and his sub-4.5 speed. And unlike most recruits with self-reported sub-4.5 forty times, Apo's time is legit.

Player Profile: Apo is very gifted, and during his very brief practice stint this past spring it was very apparent that he has the goods to surpass every wideout option on the roster come fall. He's very fast and quick for his height and has worked tirelessly at becoming a good route-runner with the type of hands and body control to make great plays on the ball in the air.

Outlook: Apo is simply the most gifted receiver I've seen enter the program since Austin Collie in 2004, and it could be determined that Apo is even more gifted given his superior height. Collie set the field on fire almost immediately as a true freshman, and it's not unreasonable at all to expect Apo to have a similar impact.

The offense has good options at wide receiver with returning players such as O'Neill Chambers, Luke Ashworth and Spencer Hafoka among others, but as mentioned, Apo has the athletic goods to surpass all of them and become the top option on the outside for the passing game next season. This is assuming that McKay Jacobson sees almost exclusive reps inside at the resurgent HR position.

Look for Apo to make a spot for himself in the regular wideout rotation - which looks to go back to four receivers this year - at the very least, and establish himself as the top wideout option at the most. He arrived at BYU in January and should be ready to compete for a starring role immediately come the August practice session.

Players to be reviewed in part 2: Jake Heaps, Zac Stout, Tayo Fabuluje, Bryan Sampson, Sae Tautu, Manu Mulitalo, Jordan Johnson


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