Thoughts on BYU football’s newly released depth chart

PROVO — BYU football coaches released their post-spring practice depth chart yesterday and it included a few surprises — two specifically. Those surprises included listing Skyler Ridley ahead of Ross Apo, who started all of last season, at wide receiver and listing Tyler Beck ahead of Manoa Pikula at Buck linebacker.

Most of the two-deep generally shook out as indicated by coaches during interviews this past month.

The spring two-deep roster is hardly set in stone until the start of the 2013 season and players will continue to battle for spots come fall. I gave my thoughts on the key position battles fans can anticipate in August here. Jeff Call wrote up a piece on the released two-deep roster here.

Here are some more thoughts regarding some notable developments along the two-deep roster:

It was assumed by just about everyone that Ross Apo would retain his starting status, but coaches certainly sent a message by listing him behind Skyler Ridley coming off of the spring practice session. It was a development no one in the press was anticipating, but it’s not a total and complete surprise based on Ridley’s performance last season and into the offseason.

Ridley is a proven game performer and caught the very first touchdown pass of the 2012 season when BYU squared off against Washington State. He’s not a flashy player, but someone who runs solid routes, has adequate size and speed, and, perhaps most importantly, has good hands.

It’s certainly incumbent on Apo to regain a degree of trust with the new offensive staff and he’ll get ample opportunity to do so this coming August. Apo being relegated to second-string status out of spring certainly adds some intrigue heading into fall and it will certainly be notable how he’ll respond.

Manoa Pikula saw just about every rep at Buck linebacker with the first-team defense throughout March. He was playing well and I believe Tyler Beck being named as the starter has much more to do with Beck making great strides rather than Pikula showing deficiencies with his play.

Beck impressed during the Blue and White game and in the Alumni scrimmage — earning praise from coach Bronco Mendenhall, as a result. Beck has battled injury throughout his career at BYU, but has always practiced well when healthy.

Beck vaulting ahead of Pikula should be considered as a good thing with regards to overall depth and existing talent at the inside linebacker position. Both should continue to battle into the fall which should benefit both players and the overall play at the Buck position.

Terrance Alletto wasn’t widely mentioned as a potential starter before the spring practice session, but he should have been. Alletto made the two-deep roster as a true freshman, which is a huge accomplishment and is quickly regaining his form following his LDS mission service.

Alletto provides a very capable and intelligent presence in the middle of the offensive line — the same attributes he showed out of high school. The new up-tempo offense seems to fit Alletto well and he’s clearly the frontrunner to start at center in 2013, as a result.


Taysom Hill named starting quarterback

Top 10 position battles to be continued in August

Cougars to focus on conditioning in summer workouts

AUDIO: Brandon Gurney and the crew from Cougar Sports 960AM talk BYU football (April 10, 2013)


  1. Tom Shauklas

    Any word on the offensive linemen that came in from the JC ranks? Were they at spring practice?

  2. Bob Williams

    Has anyone considered that one of the reasons the BYU defense was so good last year was because the offense was so plodding it gave them time to rest? I’m wondering if we will see a decrease in effectiveness if the new offense moves so quickly and has a lot of quick scores or quick 3 and outs.

  3. RJ

    Sometimes I wonder if Ross Apo wished he had left with Jake Heaps to other pastures. He had so much promise when he arrived at BYU. Maybe he was affected by the instability among the offensive coaching staff.

  4. Wahului

    I believe that Ross Apo is one of those players who needs the right “other” conditions in place in order to maximize his own abilities. Those things have not been present (Riley Nelson era)so far for Ross. He does, however, have a great opportunity for a breakout year in 2013, with BYU having actually 3 different quarterbacks who can all throw the ball long and accurately, to a fleet receiver on a deep route. Haven’t seen much change in his physical makeup in three years @ BYU either, bringing into question his weightroom dedication. Apo needs to get deadly serious about his senior year if he wants to salvage his college career as anything like what it was projected to be coming from high school.

  5. AZHill

    Apo had so much potential, but he doesn’t seem to have the drive to improve. He doesn’t seem to have fixed any of his shortcomings from his sophomore year. Think of this. Every team BYU played KNEW that Cody Hoffman was going to be the #1 target and in spite of this they couldn’t stop him from getting lots of catches. Apo is supposed to be more talented than Hoffman, yet the ball hardly ever goes his direction. I suspect this is because Apo either does not run crisp routes or has not been able to figure out how to shake his man like Cody has.

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