Fall Practice Report: Day 2

G-man notes the goings-on of the second practice session, which was conducted again with no pads as the players work their way into game-time shape both mentally and physically. The focus was again on the newbies, and they'll look to separate themselves early in hopes of playing immediately as true freshmen.

Newcomers Take the Field

There are a lot of them this year and there will be a good many who will contend for full-time roles on the team.

-As with most fall practice sessions, my eyes were immediately peeled toward the incoming defensive backs working out with defensive coordinator Jaime Hill, as they're usually asked to contribute earlier than players at most other positions more often than not. This year it's quite different, with a lot of depth and talent returning to defensive back position.

-Both Jordan Johnson and Kori Gaines look to have the quick feet necessary to play the spot while DeQuan Everett has the type of size you'd love to see in the type of bump-and-run coverage that BYU generally does not employ. It will be interesting to see what they do with Everett as fall practice progresses.

-Jason Munns looks like he has a lot of rust from his mission, which is to be expected. He was a phenomenal talent the year before he left and hopefully he can shake off the rust sooner rather than later. I'm reserving all judgment regarding his prospects until the spring practice session.

-Austin Holt underwent a lot of one-on-one instruction from Coach Robert Anae, as he's the only tight end out there today. We'll check on why Bryan Sampson was not suited up.

-Drew Phillips wasn't dressed again, as he's apparently still waiting to be cleared.

Veterans Join

-Offensive linemen have been definitely more vocal, as you hear them hooping and hollering all over the field. They're definitely doing their best to assume the role of leaders on this year's offense.

-BYU great Curtis Brown was in attendance.

-Richard Wilson showed well during passing drills, as he looks to have more quickness and speed than the other tight ends competing for the starting spot. What he doesn't have is the large frame.

-O'Neill Chambers may be throwing his hat into the quarterback race, as he threw almost all the passes to the receivers during an early drill. He looked to have a pretty decent and accurate arm.

-Ross Apo really stood out again among the wide receivers, as he looks to be worthy of the hype he had coming out of high school. He has an NFL-type size/speed combination, to be certain.

-The defense did the infamous pursuit drill early, which has to be the cruelest drill ever designed by a football coach. It's a drill that usually kills the true freshmen, but today they all (save some d-linemen) kept up with the veterans for the most part.

11-on-11s (situational)

-Heaps got the first set of reps with the first offense in a 3rd-and-5 situational drill. He went 3-of-4 for 33 yards with the first-team offense against the first-team defense, with passes completed to Luke Ashworth, Devin Mahina and McKay Jacobson.

-Heaps then got one rep on a 3rd-and-2 situational drill, throwing his lone pass incomplete.

-Riley Nelson then got his turn with the second-team offense against the second-team defense in a 3rd-and-7 drill. Nelson finished that portion missing on both of his passes, with one of the passes knocked down by linebacker Austen Jorgensen. He ran the ball once for 8 yards and was sacked by Thomas Bryson.

-Nelson then hit on one of his two passes when going with the first-team offense against the third-team defense. His completion went to J.J. Di Luigi for a 60-yard touchdown.

-Nelson then finished going 2-of-4 in a 3rd-and-2 drill for 11 yards with completions to Jacobson and Cody Hoffman.

-The team then went to the other side of the field where they practiced what this reporter likes to believe as being their "super secret" formations, well out of view from the media.

-Manu Mulitalo suited up today and participated after sitting out Saturday's portion waiting on high school transcripts.

Monkey Rolls

-Just when you thought the pursuit drill was the cruelest drill ever devised by a football coach, Mendenhall introduced the so-called "monkey drill" today.

-The drill called for three players to lay down, with one player jumping over the other player alternatively as they rolled his way.

-The players did that six or seven times each with Mendenhall in their face riding them hard, but weren't finished as they then went through three tackling dummies and then had to jump over a 4-foot high rope.

Final 11-on-11 drills

-Heaps got the first set of reps with the 1s and against the 1s and went 3-4 for 17 yards with passes completed to Mike Muehlmann, JJ DiLuigi and Oneil Chambers. Chambers bobblesond and dropped a long pass on the third down that killed the drive.

-Nelson got the next set leading the second-team offense against the 2s on defense. He ran the football for 6 yards, but was sacked by Kyle Van Noy and Thomas Bryson. AJ Moore ran for a loss of a yard as true freshman Graham Rowley and Uona Kaveinga stopped the play in its tracks.

-Nelson then got another chance with the 1s on offense against the 3s on defense. He finished completing 7 of 9 passes for 66 yards. McKay Jacobson was the featured receiver during the set catching 3 passes for 47 yards including a critical 23 yard reception on third and 21.

Robbie Buckner broke up a pass during the set with Vic So'oto and Jameson Frazier each recording a sack.

-Jason Munns then saw his first work in team drills and completed his lone pass to JD Falsev for a 16 yard gain. Sacks were recorded by Connell Hess and Van Noy on the set


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