PROVO — Football is fully underway again at BYU with the team completing its first session of spring. The focus was definitely on the offense and the entirely revamped coaching staff along with an emphasis on conditioning.
Injuries are a part of any football practice session and BYU sustained a very notable one just midway through its first practice. Junior college transfer Trent Trammel had to be helped off the field with an apparent injury to his left knee. He’ll undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.
-On offense the new staff incorporated cards to signal in plays and wore head-sets. The purpose is to help get the offense moving at the quicker pace that new offensive coordinator Robert Anae has preached since being hired from Arizona.
The cards are not a relic from coach Rich Rodriguez at Arizona, but a means to get used to sideline communication according to Anae. He mentioned that the offense may rely on hand-signals, much like they did at Arizona, by the time the season starts. “I every uptempo offense you need a language and that’s why we use those…the idea is to communicate fast.” he said.
-The offense underwent extensive — “defensive-like” conditioning starting with the same so-called pursuit drill common with the defensive side. The practice ended with each player holding a 45-pound weight over his head and doing lunges up and down the practice field.
-Taysom Hill did not appear to be limited and did more work than most coaches anticipated going in. Anae mentioned that he was impressed with Hill and thought he made some good reads.
-Offensive highlights included a 50-yard touchdown pass from Hill to Ross Apo during 7-on-7 drills and Cameron Comer picking off an Ammon Olsen pass.
-Coach Bronco Mendenhall made mention that the team has the bodies to go three-deep on the offensive line, but that the group includes many walkons who likely won’t be part of the team come fall.
-New offensive line coach Garrett Tujague mentioned that he reminds his group of players of the group of six incoming offensive linemen in the fall every single day during meetings. In just a short time at BYU he’s become impressed with the overall attitude and work ethic of the offensive linemen, as a whole.
-The OLs who ran with the first team today going across the line from left tackle to right tackle were Brad Wilcox, Solomone Kafu, Manaaki Vaitai, Kyle Johnson and Michael Yeck.
-The first group of defensive linemen included Remington Peck and Eathyn Manumaleuna at the two end positions and Marques Johnson at nose tackle. The second group included Theodore King and Austin Holt at end and Tuni Kanuch at nose.
-Mike Hague was out there practicing fully as the team’s strong safety and is expected to be cleared for another year of eligibility shortly. Austen Jorgensen was also out practicing at middle linebacker and hopes to be cleared for another year.
-New receivers coach Guy Holliday mentioned that he’s extremely impressed with how hard BYU players work on and off the practice field. He said that he’s rarely been around a harder-working group in his 20+ years of coaching. Holliday mentioned that he doesn’t believe in “primadonnas.”
-Anae was very proud of how hard his players went the first day even though there was a lot of “running into each other.” Anae mentioned that there’s some familiarity coming back to coach at BYU, but that it mostly feels entirely new.
-Anae mentioned that every single offensive position is open with the new staff.