PROVO — It can be assumed that Cody Hoffman, Ross Apo, and JD Falslev will be the top three receivers in the rotation this season, but who will be the fourth? The search for the final piece on the two-deep roster is the headline for the receivers this fall with a lot of options to choose from.
“I’m looking at every single one of them right now,” said wide receiver Coach Ben Cahoon. “It’s something I haven’t made a decision about and fortunately there are a lot of guys working hard for the spot and that’s what you want as a coach.”
Dallin Cutler was receiving most of the first-team reps, but has since been limited with injury. Add to that minor injuries to Apo and Hoffman serving out a suspension and there are a variety of players seeing valuable reps with the first-team offense.
“A lot of them are responding well, but all of them have a lot to work on until we feel we’ll be able to use them consistently,” said Cahoon. “Fortunately it’s still early and we’ll have a lot of opportunity to further evaluate each one.”
A unique aspect of the mass of bidding receivers is their variety as a group. Cahoon has tall types such as Mitch Mathews (6-6) and Terenn Houk (6-4) and quick, shifty types such as Cody Raymond (5-9) and Dylan Collie (5-10) to choose from.
“We’re trying to maximize what each of them can bring to the table,” said Cahoon. “The big, tall guys sometimes struggle getting in and out of breaks, but also have some obvious size advantages, so you try and maximize what each of them can do best. I feel we have the whole spectrum of wide receiver types here and that makes it a challenging evaluating who is best, but it’s fun — it’s fun and will be a good thing for us having such a great variety.”
Cahoon has been pleased with each of his returning players and the progress they’ve made since spring. As for new guys, such as true freshman Dylan Collie and Alex Kuresa, he likes their potential.
“Dylan has a swagger about him and thinks he should be starting right now,” said Cahoon. “He wants the ball all the time and he has complete confident in his ability to make plays. He’s very well-schooled being a Collie and it’s like that family has cloned him, which is obviously a good thing.”
“Alex Kuresa is a great athlete, but just needs to work on some of the basic skills of being a good receiver,” added Cahoon. “He has the desire to work and understands it’s going to take some time, but we’ve been happy with his progress so far.”
-Alani Fua saw action with the 1s at Sam linebacker with Spencer Hadley seeing time with the 2s. Kyle Van Noy took a full set of reps with the 1s at Will.
-Craig Bills saw action at free safety with Joe Sampson being held out with Mike Hague seeing reps with the 2s.
-Riley Nelson went 7-7 for 104 yards unofficially with a 50-yard touchdown pass thrown to David Foote. Foote went unaccounted for in the flat and was able to take the ball downfield for the score.
-Offensive lineman Braden Brown accounted for a reception, taking down a ball that was batted up in the air by Eathyn Manumaleuna for a minimal gain.
-Riley Stephenson connected on two of his three field goal attempts from 34 and 39 yards.