PROVO — Senior Austen Jorgensen made an unusual decision following last season. After securing a role on the two-deep roster, he logged plenty of game time at both inside linebacker positions throughout the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Surely entering his final season he’d play an integral role at inside linebacker again, but he had other plans. Jorgensen donned a blue jersey in the spring, trying his hand at playing fullback for his final year.
Things didn’t work out at fullback and Jorgensen is back at inside linebacker this fall, but hasn’t assumed his prior role as a two-deep contributor — not yet at least.
With an impressive crop of new inside linebackers who fared well in spring, Jorgensen is finding himself buried on the depth chart.
“I’m getting a lot of reps with the 3s and the 4s, so it’s different and it’s the hardest thing I’ve gone through here at BYU,” said Jorgensen. “I’m working hard, but there’s a lot of good guys in front of me, so it’s not going to be easy.”
Jorgensen doesn’t harbor any hard feelings toward his position coach for making him earn his spot again.
“I guess I learned a little too late in my career that I’m a defensive guy and need to play at linebacker,” said Jorgensen. “My mentality is better-suited for linebacker and it’s where I can help the team most.”
Jorgensen does have experience on his side. He’s logged a lot of game experience his last two seasons and is someone Inside linebacker Coach Paul Tidwell has a lot of confidence in.
“Austen is someone I know I can trust at both inside linebacker positions,” said Tidwell. “He’s behind some other guys now, but I like his attitude and with his experience I think he can really help us this year.”
-The team finished off Saturday’s practice session with bluezone work for the second day in a row. The drill was run without whistles to end plays, so taking down accurate yardage isn’t an exact science.
-Riley Nelson opened the bluezone drills with another 20-yard touchdown strike to Cody Hoffman. Nelson finished the day 6-7 for 67 yards and three touchdowns. He hit Hoffman from 20 yards out, Mitch Mathews from 12 and Kurt Henderson from 12. Tight end Kaneakua Friel accounted for Nelson’s lone incompletion — dropping an easy pass out to the flat.
-Michael Alisa had his first fumble of fall. The ball was scooped up by cornerback Preston Hadley.
-Cougar commit Jonryheem Peoples was in attendance along with Darrin Laufasa. Lasfasa is from the state of Wash. and has offers from Wyoming, Idaho and Portland State.
-The play of the day was made by Jordan Smith — hauling in a long pass from James Lark during 7-on-7 drills.