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2012 Preview: Quarterbacks

Part 8 - Quarterbacks

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The 2011 season turned out to be quite a roller coaster, as Jake Heaps entered the season as an entrenched starter, but struggled more and more as the year wore on. Enter Riley Nelson, and the Cougars managed a ten-win but turbulent season behind the once again split leadership. Now Heaps has transferred, and Nelson finally gets his chance as a senior to have the team all to himself, as the Cougars embark on their second year as an independent. The coming season features a more challenging schedule, particularly on the road, so the Cougs have their work cut out for them.

When considering players who would have started all season but were injured along the way and players who started at least six games, BYU has 13 full-year starters coming back in 2012. There are 6 returning starters on offense, while 7 starters return on defense, along with 8 other players who also started at least one game at some point during the 2011 season. There are also 2 return missionaries back who were multi-year starters prior to leaving.

Quarterbacks:

I wrote in this space a year ago that it goes without saying that the most controversial part of BYUs 2010 season was the deployment of a two quarterback system. Who would have believed, given Heaps' designation as the starter and his strong finish to that season, capped with a fine bowl game, that he would be unseated as the starter and in another program before the end of the 2011 campaign? And yet there it is. The result is a returning redshirt senior who will get one more crack at glory, this time with his one and only chance to pilot the Cougars from the beginning, and alone. Given the events at quarterback over the last two seasons, perhaps BYU fans will be in for a welcome reprieve from QB drama, for at least one year.

Personnel:

One starter returns at quarterback, since Heaps left for Kansas. Naturally the most recognizable player on the team, that player is Riley Nelson. Last year Nelson started 7 games and played in 12. He completed 116 of 202 passes for 1,717 yards, and 19 touchdowns, with 7 interceptions. Nelson also rushed for 392 yards and 1 touchdown; when sack yardage is removed, Nelson gained 503 yards on the ground, more than any player last year except J.J. DiLuigi.

The only other quarterback who returns with game experience is James Lark. The redshirt senior Lark played in 2 games last year, completing 2 of 6 passes for 21 yards, with 2 rushes for 12 yards.

The other quarterback who has been with the team but without playing time is redshirt junior Jason Munns, who was a backup quarterback last year. Munns has yet to take a live game snap.

Newcomers at quarterback include true freshman scholarship returned missionary Taysom Hill and true sophomore returned missionary Ammon Olsen, who played at SUU prior to his mission.

Projected Starters:

For the first time in over two seasons, the answer to this question is quite straightforward. The starter is going to be Riley Nelson. It's also not a difficult call for the backup quarterback spot. James Lark will be filling that role. There is some irony in the fact that two players who faced off for a state championship are 1-2 on the depth chart, and the player who was not offered a scholarship out of high school is number 1. One wonders if Lark feels like Nelson has his number, since he lost in their championship faceoff. In any event, it's good for BYU to have two players there. Things become a little more interesting at the third spot. Will the third quarterback be the hyped freshman Taysom Hill, or the steady Jason Munns, who has been with the program for so long? Or, will Ammon Olsen make a dark horse run for it? For once it will be nice for Cougar fans to only worry about the third stringer in fall camp. The other two will provide depth.

Outlook:

The depth might be necessary. It is a tough read on the outlook for quarterback this year. There are two major and obvious concerns. The first concern is whether Nelson can stay healthy. To this point in his BYU career, he has not been able to stay on the field, in spite of his apparent toughness. The second concern is whether the Cougars will be led by Hawaii Riley Nelson, or Tulsa Riley Nelson. There can be no questioning the guy's heart and leadership. He righted a very turbulent ship and pulled a nice season out of what could have been a catastrophe, and likely would have been but for his insertion into the starting lineup. Yet, the consistency was not there. BYU won the Armed Forces Bowl, but Nelson's performance was poor, particularly in the passing game. They shouldn't have needed a last second miracle to win the game, a fact Nelson himself acknowledged afterwards. If Nelson can play consistently like he did against Hawaii and avoid getting hurt, the outlook is good. If not and Tulsa-like performances start to pop up, no one can tell what the result will be. Should injury strike yet again, then Cougar fans will finally get to see what James Lark can do. Unfortunately for Lark, if that happens he won't have any time to grow into his new job. It will be do or die.

Offensive Summary:

There are a lot of experienced players back for BYU's offense, and a number of budding stars particularly at the skill positions. Having said that, the offense doesnt look as tough on paper as the extremely veteran defense. The wide receivers are probably the strongest position going into fall camp. The running backs are young and need to prove themselves, and the tight ends still need to show the talent stockpile can be great. The offensive line has got a lot of talent and a couple of mainstays, but with the spring health issues they will need to get a jump on the learning curve to incorporate two new starters before the season starts. And quarterback appears to be a big wildcard. A player with moxie in spades finally gets the team to himself, but whether he can play consistently and stay healthy are big questions. In the end, the Cougars have all the pieces to have a lights out offense, but they need to see improvement from specific position groups and keep their leader on the field and playing well to translate that into dominance.

Team Summary:

Last year was about as difficult as a 10 win season can be, and uncertainties with conference and championship realignment coupled with an ugly loss to Utah led to a lot of fans having a bitter taste despite the double digit wins. The good news is that a new season is approaching, and there can be no doubt that BYU has purged the most troubling aspect of the last two years in the quarterback controversy. Come the end of August, the Cougars get a fresh start. The away schedule is difficult, so they need to be mentally strong in particular this year, with a pair of brutal back to back road trips versus Utah and then Boise State five days later, while in November traveling to Notre Dame and Georgia Tech in successive weeks. On the other hand, BYU fans ought to see a lot of home wins this year.

Barring some unforeseen circumstance, the defense should be excellent this season and keep BYU in most if not all games. The Cougar defense is stocked with experienced and talented players. Most notable special teams faces are back, and will hopefully play more consistently with another year under their belts. The offense has great potential if certain position groups can play better with a year of experience and hopefully many fewer injuries. One thing is certain, Nelson leading the team will not hurt for entertainment value when he's on the field. Should he stay healthy and play well, who can doubt but that Cougar fans will rally around a one-time underdog and backup? In under three months time it will all start to unfold against the red Cougars from Washington State.

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You can read Part 7, Running Backs, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8748272

Part 6, Wide Receivers/Tight Ends, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8742119

Part 5, Offensive Line, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8737148

Part 4, Special Teams, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8730648

Part 3, Defensive Line, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8724450

Part 2, Linebackers, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8719026

And Part 1, Defensive Backs, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8714262

2012 Preview: Running Backs

Part 7 - Running Backs

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The 2011 season turned out to be quite a roller coaster, as Jake Heaps entered the season as an entrenched starter, but struggled more and more as the year wore on. Enter Riley Nelson, and the Cougars managed a ten-win but turbulent season behind the once again split leadership. Now Heaps has transferred, and Nelson finally gets his chance as a senior to have the team all to himself, as the Cougars embark on their second year as an independent. The coming season features a more challenging schedule, particularly on the road, so the Cougs have their work cut out for them.

When considering players who would have started all season but were injured along the way and players who started at least six games, BYU has 13 full-year starters coming back in 2012. There are 6 returning starters on offense, while 7 starters return on defense, along with 8 other players who also started at least one game at some point during the 2011 season. There are also 2 return missionaries back who were multi-year starters prior to leaving.

Running Backs:

Two departing seniors who combined for just under 900 yards rushing and 9 touchdowns have graduated and moved on. Those two familiar players are J.J. DiLuigi and Bryan Kariya. Both players made major contributions to the team without ever being a feature back. As juniors and seniors each played in a running back committee system. With the loss of experienced leaders at the position, the Cougars will need to rely on up and coming talent, some with playing time and some without, to fill a two deep at the running back position in 2012.

Personnel:

BYU has no starting players back at running back when a starter is defined as having started 6 games in a single prior season.

Other running backs who return with experience include Michael Alisa, Joshua Quezada, Iona Pritchard, David Foote, and Zed Mendenhall. Alisa is a junior and practically a starter, having played in 12 games last year while starting 4, recording 85 carries for 455 yards and 3 touchdowns, to go with 5 catches for 55 yards and 1 touchdown. Alisa is the leading returning rusher yardage wise except for Riley Nelson. Quezada enters his junior season having played in every game last year, notching 86 carries for 298 yards and 1 touchdown with 4 catches for 21 yards. Now a redshirt sophomore, Pritchard redshirted due to injury last season after playing extensively at linebacker and fullback prior to his mission. A redshirt senior, Foote played in every game last year, with 13 carries for 146 yards and 7 tackles and 1 fumble recovery on special teams. The senior Mendenhall played in every game last year primarily as a blocker, with 2 catches for 7 yards.

Running backs who have been on the team but without playing time are redshirt freshmen Adam Hine, Nate Carter, and Colby Hansen, who each redshirted in 2011.

Newcomers at running back include incoming scholarship freshmen Jamaal Williams and fullback Jherremya Leuta-Douyere; freshmen walk ons Levi Te'o and Brett Heldt; and sophomore rugby transfer Paul Lasike.

Projected Starters:

The 2012 spring prospectus lists a two deep at running back and fullback. The listed starter at running back is unsurprisingly Michael Alisa. Alisa came on strong last year to jump start what had been a tepid running attack. Many have compared his running style to that of Harvey Unga, except that Unga weighed about 30 more pounds. Alisa is primed to have a big year as Unga-lite. Listed as his backup is Joshua Quezada. The Juice had a disappointing campaign last year while playing injured after a very solid freshman season. If healthy, look for Quezada to bounce back. Both players should get a lot of touches. Zed Mendenhall, meanwhile, is listed as the starter at fullback, with Iona Pritchard listed as his backup. While it might look that way on paper, Mendenhall will likely serve as the blocking fullback, as Cougar coaches have publicly mentioned a Manase Tonga-like roll for Pritchard, who is coming off a year ending leg injury. Alisa, Quezada, and Pritchard should get the majority of touches, while Adam Hine, Paul Lasike, and perhaps Jamaal Williams or others battle for additional opportunities.

Outlook:

There's a lot to prove for the running back corps. Alisa had some flashes of brilliance last year, but still rushed for less than 500 total yards. Clearly there is some talent, but it is young and hasn't spent a lot of time on the field. Fortuitously for BYU, tailback is perhaps the position where experience is least important. Alisa and Quezada have both shown in the past two years that they are capable; now they have to show they can shoulder an increased roll in the offense. The players providing depth have a ton of talent, in particular Adam Hine, who was widely recruited because of his outstanding athleticism. Meanwhile, reports on Paul Lasike have been very positive as he seeks to transition from rugby to football. They may not be battle tested, but there are a lot of gifted players waiting in the wings. The aggregate should lead BYU fans to be cautiously optimistic about the running backs moving into 2012. It will be one of the younger units on the team, but with plenty of potential.

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You can read Part 6, Wide Receivers/Tight Ends, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8742119

Part 5, Offensive Line, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8737148

Part 4, Special Teams, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8730648

Part 3, Defensive Line, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8724450

Part 2, Linebackers, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8719026

And Part 1, Defensive Backs, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8714262

2012 Preview: Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Part 6 - Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

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The 2011 season turned out to be quite a roller coaster, as Jake Heaps entered the season as an entrenched starter, but struggled more and more as the year wore on. Enter Riley Nelson, and the Cougars managed a ten-win but turbulent season behind the once again split leadership. Now Heaps has transferred, and Nelson finally gets his chance as a senior to have the team all to himself, as the Cougars embark on their second year as an independent. The coming season features a more challenging schedule, particularly on the road, so the Cougs have their work cut out for them.

When considering players who would have started all season but were injured along the way and players who started at least six games, BYU has 13 full-year starters coming back in 2012. There are 6 returning starters on offense, while 7 starters return on defense, along with 8 other players who also started at least one game at some point during the 2011 season. There are also 2 return missionaries back who were multi-year starters prior to leaving.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends:

The most notable loss from the 2011 wide receiver rotation is McKay Jacobson, who never quite returned to his freshman form post mission. The young cadre of tight ends essentially all return outside of Matthew Edwards, who went out in memorable fashion by scoring his only career touchdown. The tight ends improved markedly over a very rocky 2010 campaign last year. In spite of the loss of Jacobson, the Cougars also return a bunch of young starters at receiver that have started to make their mark on the program, players who also showed significant improvement over a poor display the first half of the year prior.

Personnel:

One full year starter returns at wide receiver in 2012, and that player is Cody Hoffman. Now a redshirt junior, Hoffman just missed out on a thousand yard receiving season in 2011, finishing with 61 catches for 943 yards and 10 touchdowns, a marked improvement over a good freshman campaign.

A starter also returns at tight end in the form of Austin Holt, who played in 11 games last year while starting 10 of them. Holt, a junior, had 11 catches for 180 yards before going down with a knee injury.

Other wide receivers that return with playing experience are Ross Apo, J.D. Falslev, Dallin Cutler, Rhen Brown, Dalin Tollestrup, and Brett Thompson. Redshirt sophomore Apo is certainly the most conspicuous of this group, and most Cougar fans would likely call him a starter last year. Possibly due solely to opening offensive alignment, Apo only started 4 games last year, but he was second on the team with 34 catches for 453 yards and 9 touchdowns, while playing in every game last year. Similarly, the junior Falslev played in every game last year while starting 3, with 31 catches for 330 yards and 2 touchdowns. Redshirt junior Cutler played in 8 games last year, with 3 catches for 23 yards. Brown, a senior, played in 3 games last year but did not record a statistic. Tollestrup is a senior who played in 4 games last year but did not record a statistic. Thompson is a true sophomore who saw action in 2009 prior to his mission.

Tight ends who return with playing experience, but that were not full year starters, are Marcus Mathews, Kaneakua Friel, Devin Mahina, and Richard Wilson. The junior Mathews played in every game last year while starting 3, notching 27 catches with 299 yards and 1 touchdown. Friel, a redshirt junior, played in 12 games, with 7 catches for 55 yards and 1 touchdown. Redshirt sophomore Mahina redshirted last year due to a neck injury after playing in 2010. Wilson, a redshirt junior, played in 7 games before suffering a season ending knee injury, and had 11 catches for 130 yards and 1 touchdown.

Wide receivers who have been on the team but without playing time are redshirt freshmen Terenn Houk, Cody Raymond, and Kurt Henderson, each who redshirted last year; redshirt sophomore Rex Morgan, a scout team player last year and 2008 redshirt; junior Jordan Smith, another scout team player; redshirt junior Skyler Ridley, a 2011 scout team player; and redshirt freshman Mitch Mathews, who redshirted in 2009 prior to a mission.

The sole tight end that has been in the program but without playing time is Trevor Brown, a redshirt freshman who redshirted in 2011.

Newcomers at wideout include walk on freshmen Andrew Cusick, John Lamont, and Kurt Henderson, and the one with a familiar last name, scholarship true freshman Dylan Collie.

Newcomers at tight end include freshmen walk ons Michael Edmunds, McCoy Hill, and Darin Tuttle.

Projected Starters:

BYU's 2012 prospectus still does not distinguish between positions for the receivers, continuing to reflect the trend of having them lineup in all different spots. Two players are listed as starters, and they are Cody Hoffman and Ross Apo. Backups to Hoffman and Apo are currently listed as Dallin Cutler and J.D. Falslev, respectively. It's possible and perhaps likely that Cougar fans will see Hoffman and Apo playing the X and Z positions primarily, while Falslev plays primarily at the H position, which has been making a comeback. It will be interesting to see how many players will be used this year in the receiver rotation. It seems the Cougars would be wise to keep Hoffman on the field at all times, and maybe Apo too. After Falslev and Cutler, expect Mathews, Thompson, and Collie to make the biggest pushes for playing time, but the Cougars certainly have a lot of bodies at wide receiver. In a strange twist, Mitch Mathews is both taller and heavier than his older brother Marcus, who is designated a tight end, so he might end up switching positions down the road.

The call at tight end is not as difficult to make as it was a year ago in terms of a starter, but BYU still has a major problem in terms of getting enough reps around. A disclaimer is in order because any commentary on the tight ends is assuming they return to full playing capacity after a host of serious injuries last year, particularly for Mahina, Holt, and Wilson. Austin Holt seems to have entrenched himself as the starter given the actual starting data from 2011. From the 2012 prospectus, Marcus Mathews is listed as the starter in "or" status with Kane Friel. Yet, Mahina and Wilson can certainly not be overlooked, particularly as Wilson was coming on strong prior to his injury. It is a nice problem to have, but BYU is certainly stocked with talent at tight end to the extent that keeping all the players satisfied with playing time appears impossible, barring another bizarre injury ridden year.

Outlook:

Things are a lot brighter this year for the wide receivers than they were a year ago. Hoffman continued his progression as a budding star while becoming the go-to player for Riley Nelson, and Apo appears to be on the same track. Throw into the mix a solid, gritty player like Falslev, and the wide receiver group looks great. Cutler has had some wow moments in practice, and should be getting more time on the field this year with the departure of Jacobson to show what he can do. On top of that, BYU's impressive recruiting efforts at this position are apparent by the group of younger players waiting in the wings. The wide receiver unit ought to be a strong position for the Cougars this year.

With any luck, the tight ends will continue to progress and start to put up numbers to show it. Accounting for 664 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns last year in aggregate was a lot better than the year prior, but still not close to BYU standards for tight ends. A lot of that might have to do with players getting hurt and being replaced frequently, and some of it may also be related to Heaps' propensity to look for wideouts and not tight ends or running backs so much in his throws. The frustrating part is that each individual tight end has shown flashes of great ability in the receiving game, particularly Mathews and Wilson. It's worth noting that Holt's dominance as a blocker has been a huge asset and should continue to be. All considered, BYU fans have reason to be cautiously optimistic about the tight ends, but they definitely need to be more involved this season and show their improvement statistically.

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You can read Part 5, Offensive Line, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8737148

Part 4, Special Teams, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8730648

Part 3, Defensive Line, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8724450

Part 2, Linebackers, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8719026

And Part 1, Defensive Backs, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8714262

2012 Preview: Offensive Line

Part 5 - Offensive Line

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The 2011 season turned out to be quite a roller coaster, as Jake Heaps entered the season as an entrenched starter, but struggled more and more as the year wore on. Enter Riley Nelson, and the Cougars managed a ten-win but turbulent season behind the once again split leadership. Now Heaps has transferred, and Nelson finally gets his chance as a senior to have the team all to himself, as the Cougars embark on their second year as an independent. The coming season features a more challenging schedule, particularly on the road, so the Cougs have their work cut out for them.

When considering players who would have started all season but were injured along the way and players who started at least six games, BYU has 13 full-year starters coming back in 2012. There are 6 returning starters on offense, while 7 starters return on defense, along with 8 other players who also started at least one game at some point during the 2011 season. There are also 2 return missionaries back who were multi-year starters prior to leaving.

Offensive Line:

Finishing his career with a memorable block in the Armed Forces Bowl, tackle Matt Reynolds will not be on the field for the Cougars for the first time in four years. Gone also is starting center Terence Brown. Both players were four year starters who played significant roles during their time at BYU, and both ended up signing with NFL teams as free agents after a disappointing draft day. The common sentiment among Cougar fans seem to be that the offensive line, very experienced last year, underperformed. The numbers do not bear that characterization out completely, as the Cougars had 2,084 yards rushing with 16 touchdowns, about the same yardage as the very rush heavy season prior to 2011. More notably, the oline reduced the number of sacks given up by 9 total sacks, allowing 17 sacks on the year. Some of that was no doubt due to the elusiveness of Riley Nelson after he took over as the starter, but the improvement is stark nonetheless, good for 24th best in sacks given up nationally.

Personnel:

Three full year starters return from the 2011 oline. Three year starter Braden Hansen is back in 2012 for his senior season and fourth as a key component for BYU. Braden Brown, a redshirt senior, returns after starting every game a year ago, completing any transition period from tight end to offensive line. Redshirt junior Houston Reynolds, who started 10 games in 2011 while missing a few due to injury, is also back.

Other offensive lineman that return with playing experience include Walter Kahaiali'i, Brock Stringham, Blair Tushaus, Famika Anae, Michael Yeck, Ryan Freeman, Solomone Kafu, Manaaki Vaitai, and Fono Vakalahi. Kahaiali'i is a true senior and veteran player, who played in all 13 games last year. Stringham will be a redshirt sophomore after playing in 8 games last year. Tushaus is also a redshirt sophomore who played in 5 games in 2011. Anae, a true sophomore, appeared in 4 games in 2011. Yeck also appeared in four games and is entering his redshirt sophomore season. Redshirt junior Freeman did not play last year due to injury coming off a redshirt season, but had significant minutes as a freshman and sophomore prior to his redshirt. Kafu will be a redshirt sophomore, having played in 2 games a year ago. Redshirt Junior Vaitai played in 1 game last year. True sophomore Vakalahi is back from a mission after playing as a freshman in 2009.

Offensive lineman who have been on the team but without playing time are redshirt freshmen Ryker Mathews, who redshirted last year; freshmen Terrance Alletto and Terrance Motley, each who redshirted in 2009 prior to serving a mission; and redshirt sophomore Quinn Lawlor, who was on the scout team last year after redshirting. Also due back for 2012 are Tui Crichton and Ryan Mulitalo, although neither appear on the roster yet.

Newcomers at offensive line include scholarship true freshman Corbin Kaufusi and true freshmen walk ons Kyle Johnson and Mason Payne.

Projected Starters:

Three spots appear to be set, with Braden Hansen at left guard and Braden Brown at right tackle, each set to reprise their roles at that spot from a year ago. Houston Reynolds is also likely to start somewhere. He is listed on the spring prospectus as being the starter at center. The other two roles up for grabs, then, would be left tackle and right guard. Listed in spring at left tackle is highly touted Ryker Mathews, who likely would have been the sixth offensive lineman last year but for injury. Brock Stringham is listed as the starter at right guard. The backup at left tackle is Walter Kahaiali'i; at left guard Famika Anae; at center Blair Tushaus; at right guard Manaaki Vaitai; and at right tackle Michael Yeck.

Outlook:

Once again, BYU returns an offensive line with a significant amount of experience, although less than a year ago. The Bradens, Hansen and Brown, each are multiple year starters and proven commodities, while Reynolds joined the starting rotation a year ago. Mathews and Stringham are a bit more enigmatic, but to be placed in starting spots ahead of players who have a lot of time in the program and significant time on the field probably signals that they are capable. The bigger issue is how well the offensive line can put things together, considering how decimated the unit was during spring ball. There were very few players who didn't miss time due to injury or illness, and many who missed spring ball altogether. The importance of an offensive line working together cannot be overstated, so the challenge in fall camp is a significant one. The pieces are in place, and the Cougars have a lot of talented offensive lineman. The question is whether they can put it together prior to the fourth or fifth game of the season.

You can read Part 4, Special Teams, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8730648

Part 3, Defensive Line, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8724450

Part 2, Linebackers, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8719026

And Part 1, Defensive Backs, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8714262

2012 Preview: Special Teams

Part 4 - Special Teams

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The 2011 season turned out to be quite a roller coaster, as Jake Heaps entered the season as an entrenched starter, but struggled more and more as the year wore on. Enter Riley Nelson, and the Cougars managed a ten-win but turbulent season behind the once again split leadership. Now Heaps has transferred, and Nelson finally gets his chance as a senior to have the team all to himself, as the Cougars embark on their second year as an independent. The coming season features a more challenging schedule, particularly on the road, so the Cougs have their work cut out for them.

When considering players who would have started all season but were injured along the way and players who started at least six games, BYU has 13 full-year starters coming back in 2012. There are 6 returning starters on offense, while 7 starters return on defense, along with 8 other players who also started at least one game at some point during the 2011 season. There are also 2 return missionaries back who were multi-year starters prior to leaving.

Special Teams:

Special teams was a real mixed bag for BYU in 2011. Not only were some particular units a bit inconsistent, but specific players registered some great performances and some not so great. Probably the most notable occurrence was Cody Hoffman's kickoff return for a touchdown against Central Florida. BYU had not had a touchdown in that situation since 1998; the drought is finally over. J.D. Falslev also returned a punt for a touchdown against TCU. Riley Stephenson had a phenomenal bowl performance, but the punting unit probably cost the Cougars the game against TCU. And Justin Sorenson had a very up and down season, mostly down toward the end due to injury. With all the key players back from a year ago and another year of experience, with any luck the 2012 special teams will see some improvement or more consistency from a year ago.

Personnel:

BYU has the luxury of an experienced punter in senior Riley Stephenson. Last year, Stephenson averaged 42.2 yards per punt, with 15 punts over 50 yards and 20 punts placed within the opponent's twenty yard line. At placekicker, BYU has a now experienced starter returning in junior Justin Sorenson. Sorenson played in every game in 2011 as the starting placekicker and handling kickoff duties. Sorenson registered a perfect 48 for 48 on PATs, to go with 15 field goals in 25 attempts, and 17 touchbacks. Back for his senior season is deepsnapper Reed Hornung, and added 2 tackles in punt coverage.

The most experienced kick return player from last year is redshirt junior Cody Hoffman, who had an outstanding year in 2011. He returned 36 kickoffs for 879 yards and 1 touchdown, good for a 24.4 yard average. Other return players include redshirt sophomore Jordan Johnson, who returned 5 kicks for 99 yards, good for a 19.8 average, but struggled with fumble problems. Junior J.D. Falslev returned 3 kicks for 61 yards with a 20.3 yard average. Falslev is also the only returning player with punt return experience, having fielded 22 punts last year for 220 yard, with an 10 yard average and 1 touchdown on the year.

The sole player who returns with some playing experience is O'Neill Chambers, who played significant return minutes as a starter prior to his year off.

There are also no specific special teams players in the program but without playing time this year, as internet legend Drew Phillips never played a down for BYU following a redshirt year in 2010.

There are no new scholarship kickers or punters entering the program this year or returning from mission service. As always, all defensive backs, wide receivers, and running backs both incoming and currently in the program could potentially be tapped for special teams duty.

Projected Starters:

As far as the kick game and punt game are concerned, all players are back from a year ago. The 2012 prospectus lists Justin Sorenson as the kicker. Presumably he will handle both deep kicking and placekicking. Riley Stephenson will reprise his role as the punter. No backups are listed at either position, and no other kickers are on the roster. The lack of depth likely means that one would take over as the starter for the other in case of injury.

The return game will likely feature Cody Hoffman and J.D. Falslev, with Mike Hague serving as the other kick return player. As previously noted, typically any skill player who wants a shot gets a look in the return game.

The Cougars have, however, lost Matt Marshall as the holder. The prospectus lists his successor as backup quarterback James Lark.

Outlook:

The good news is that, contrary to last season, the Cougars are not hurting for experience when it comes to special teams. The bad news is that gaining that experience took a toll in the form of significant growing pains. Poor punt work essentially cost the Cougars a game against TCU, while placekicking became worse than an adventure toward the end of the season. A rate of 60% on field goals is simply not good enough. However, Stephenson ended the year in impressive fashion, and Sorenson's problems were injury related in an immediate post mission season. Fortuitously, the greatest return threats since James Dye return in the form of Hoffman and Falslev. Unfortunately, another worry is depth. The kickers need to stay healthy. But all things considered, the special teams ought to be good in 2012, but to be good they need to have a more consistent, injury free season from a year ago.

You can read Part 3, Defensive Line, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8724450

Part 2, Linebackers, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8719026

And Part 1, Defensive Backs, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8714262

2012 Preview: Defensive Line

Part 3 - Defensive Line

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The 2011 season turned out to be quite a roller coaster, as Jake Heaps entered the season as an entrenched starter, but struggled more and more as the year wore on. Enter Riley Nelson, and the Cougars managed a ten-win but turbulent season behind the once again split leadership. Now Heaps has transferred, and Nelson finally gets his chance as a senior to have the team all to himself, as the Cougars embark on their second year as an independent. The coming season features a more challenging schedule, particularly on the road, so the Cougs have their work cut out for them.

When considering players who would have started all season but were injured along the way and players who started at least 6 games, BYU has 13 full-year starters coming back in 2012. There are 6 returning starters on offense, while 7 starters return on defense, along with 8 other players who also started at least one game at some point during the 2011 season. There are also 2 return missionaries back who were multi-year starters prior to leaving.

Defensive Line:

The Cougar defensive line takes one major hit in losing graduation senior Hebron "Loni" Fangupo. Fangupo only played a single year for the Cougars after transferring from USC, but had a major impact on the effectiveness of the unit a year ago. Fortunately BYU returns a remarkably experienced and talented two deep, chock full of multi year starting seniors. So many seniors, in fact, that the prospects for 2013 are a little frightening. But for the coming season, it's hard to imagine a more battle tested unit than that which will take the field for the Cougars this fall.

Personnel:

BYU has 4 starters returning on the dline, when two returned missionaries are accounted for, each of who started for 3 years prior to their missions. The first player returned from a mission and coming off a redshirt is Ian Dulan. The other is redshirt senior Russell Tialavea, who also played for three years as a starter prior to his mission. Both should be very familiar names to Cougar fans. Redshirt senior Romney Fuga returns having played and started 12 games last year, notching 25 tackles with 2 tackles for a loss. Also back is true senior Eathyn Manumaleuna, who started every game a year ago with 33 tackles.

Other defensive linemen that return with playing experience include Jordan Richardson, Mike Muehlmann, Justin Blackmore, and Simote Vea. Redshirt senior Richardson played in 8 games, totaling 4 tackles with .5 tackles for loss. Muehlmann, a redshirt junior, played in 8 games in 2011, with 3 tackles including 2 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. Redshirt sophomore Blackmore played in 2 games and had 1 tackle. Vea, a redshirt senior, played in every game last year, recording 5 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 1 sack. Ezekiel Ansah may also play some defensive end this year.

The sole dlineman who has been on the team but without playing time is Moses Kaumatule, a redshirt freshman who redshirted last year.

Newcomers to the defensive line include freshman walk on Michael Doman, rugby transfer junior Ray Forrester, JC transfer junior Marques Johnson, returned missionary true freshmen Tuni Kanuch and Bronson Kaufusi, and incoming true freshmen scholarship players Tofi Taumata, Theodore King, and Austin Hoyt, who may play offensive line.

Projected Starters:

Unlike most units, it probably doesn't matter much who is designated a starter on the defensive line this year. In the spring prospectus, the starters are listed as Eathyn Manumaleuna at left end, Romney Fuga at nose tackle, and Ian Dulan at right end. Those three are currently backed up by Jordan Richardson, Russell Tialavea, and Ziggy Ansah, respectively. Each of those six players is a senior with game experience, and four of them have been starters for more than two seasons. The dline this season won't be hurting for practical knowledge. It's likely that there will be a lot of rotation to keep players fresh without much if any drop off from one unit to the next. Mike Muehlmann has also made the most of his limited minutes and should be a nice player down the road.

Outlook:

The dline will almost certainly be the strongest unit for BYU in 2012 anywhere on the team. It's rare that you get two deep senior starters with so much playing time, and they ought to hit the ground running. Of course, in BYUs 3-4 scheme, the defensive lineman are not designed to get the majority of tackles. As long as they are taking up blockers and freeing up the linebackers to make plays, then they are doing their job. Cougar fans should expect success in that regard. Anything less than a strong season would have to be a disappointment considering the strength of the position.

Defensive Summary:

2011 was, for the most part, an effective season for the BYU defense. A ton of players are back, and there are only a few holes to plug. Accordingly, the Cougar defense ought to be good, and fans are justified in having high expectations. At the same time, the BYU defense will be tested early and often. The schedule has a number of difficult road games, and BYU will likely have to rely on a stout defense to rise to the challenge in those games. On paper, the pieces are in place. Assuming those units can gel quickly, the 2012 Cougar defense is likely to be fierce, and in terms of players in the right spot, it should be the kind of defense capable of taking on the difficult travel schedule.

You can read Part 2, Linebackers, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8719026

And Part 1, Defensive Backs, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8714262

2012 Preview: Linebackers

Part 2 Linebackers

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The 2011 season turned out to be quite a roller coaster, as Jake Heaps entered the season as an entrenched starter, but struggled more and more as the year wore on. Enter Riley Nelson, and the Cougars managed a ten-win but turbulent season behind the once-again-split leadership. Now Heaps has transferred, and Nelson finally gets his chance as a senior to have the team all to himself, as the Cougars embark on their second year as an independent. The coming season features a more challenging schedule, particularly on the road, so the Cougs have their work cut out for them.

When considering players who would have started all season but were injured along the way and players who started at least six games, BYU has 13 full-year starters coming back in 2012. There are 6 returning starters on offense, while 7 starters return on defense, along with 8 other players who also started at least one game at some point during the 2011 season. There are also 2 return missionaries back who were multi-year starters prior to leaving.

Linebackers:

The 2011 season was a strong one for the linebackers, with a number of capable seniors, now graduated, leading the way. Jordan Pendleton returned to form prior to suffering yet another season ending injury, while Jadon Wagner and Jameson Frazier provided great depth and consistent play at the will linebacker spot. In spite of these losses, the 2012 linebacker corps features a large number of returning players with lots of time under their belts. And of course, the linebackers have arguably BYU's best player at any position in junior superstar Kyle Van Noy.

Personnel:

Three full year starters return for BYU at linebacker, in the form of Uona Kaveinga, Brandon Ogletree, and Kyle Van Noy. Redshirt senior Kaveinga totaled 57 tackles, with 4.5 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 pass breakup. A true senior, Ogletree started 12 games last year, and led the team with 76 tackles, including 4 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 forced fumbles. True junior Van Noy recorded 68 tackles, including 15 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 3 interceptions, 3 pass breakups, 1 fumble recovery, 3 forced fumbles, and 1 touchdown. Obviously, Van Noy is a defensive machine.

Other linebackers that return with playing experience include Spencer Hadley, Austen Jorgensen, Zac Stout, Alani Fua, Tyler Beck, Ezekiel Ansah, Seth Probert, and Connell Hess. Hadley, a true junior, played in every game and registered 45 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and 1 interception. The senior Jorgensen played in 9 games last year before a season ending injury, and had 7 tackles on the year. Stout is now a redshirt sophomore, who redshirted due to injury last year after significant minutes in 2010. Fua is a redshirt sophomore who played in 8 games last year, with 6 tackles and 2 sacks. Beck, a redshirt junior, played in 9 games, notching 9 tackles. Ansah is a true senior who played in 12 games in 2012, with 7 tackles. Probert, a true sophomore, played in 1 game last year with 1 tackle. Hess, a senior, played in a single game last year but did not record a statistic.

Linebackers who have been on the team but without playing time are redshirt freshmen Tanner Cox, Kevan Bills, Teu Kautai, Lene Lesatele and Manoa Pikula, who each redshirted a year ago; redshirt sophomore Matt Shirley; redshirt junior transfer from Oregon State Uani Unga, who redshirted in 2011;

Newcomers at linebacker are freshmen walk-ons Creed Richardson and Sean Dyhre, sophomore walk-on Riley Bushman, and scholarship incoming freshman Butch Pauu.

Projected Starters:

Despite losing three major players at linebacker, BYU is in great shape moving forward, as the linebacker unit should be one of the strongest on the team. Kyle Van Noy had a monster sophomore season and is poised only to improve as a junior. It goes without saying that he will be the starter at will linebacker. Similarly, Kaveinga is set to appear again as the Cougar mike linebacker, and Ogletree reprises his role as the buck linebacker. That leaves only one position to be filled, the sam linebacker. The 2012 spring prospectus lists Spencer Hadley in that spot, and his statistical performance clearly warrants it.

Backups listed in the prospectus are Alani Fua at sam, Zac Stout at mike, Tyler Beck at Buck, and Ziggy Ansah at will. Those players will be the main contributors, but Austen Jorgensen should see significant time, too.

Outlook:

Like the defensive backs, there's not much to hate about the linebackers going into the 2012 season. Three very strong starters back, and the Cougars add a new starter who put up big numbers as a backup a year ago, with four talented up and comers serving in backup roles. With a year in the books as starters, the linebackers ought to be among the strengths of the team. Cougar fans can expect a strong performance from the linebacker position this year, featuring one of the greatest linebackers in the country.

---

You can read Part 1, Defensive Backs, here: http://www.cougarboard.com/board/message.html?id=8714262

2012 Preview: Defensive Backs

Part 1 Defensive Backs

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The 2011 season turned out to be quite a roller coaster, as Jake Heaps entered the season as an entrenched starter, but struggled more and more as the year wore on. Enter Riley Nelson, and the Cougars managed a ten-win but turbulent season behind the once again split leadership. Now Heaps has transferred, and Nelson finally gets his chance as a senior to have the team all to himself, as the Cougars embark on their second year as an independent. The coming season features a more challenging schedule, particularly on the road, so the Cougs have their work cut out for them.

When considering players who would have started all season but were injured along the way and players who started at least six games, BYU has 13 full-year starters coming back in 2012. There are 6 returning starters on offense, while 7 starters return on defense, along with 8 other players who also started at least one game at some point during the 2011 season. There are also 2 return missionaries back who were multi-year starters prior to leaving.

Defensive Backs:

In 2011, BYU enjoyed great depth in the secondary, a rarity for the Cougars. Fortunately for 2012, many of the players from a year ago return, with a number of them registering multiple years on the team. A couple of spots are open for competition, and given BYU's new found depth in the defensive backfield, the fight for playing time looks to be as fierce as ever. The depth may also lead to Coach Mendenhall electing to go to a nickel defense more often than he has in recent seasons. From the 2011 team, BYU loses free safety Travis Uale and boundary corner Corby Eason.

Personnel:

The most experienced returning secondary players are full year starters Daniel Sorenson and Preston Hadley. Sorenson, a junior, started every game last year, with 61 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, 6 pass breakups and 1 fumble recovery. Hadley, a senior, also started every game last year, with 51 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 quarterback hurry, and an eye-popping 14 pass breakups.

Other players that have seen playing time include Jordan Johnson, Joe Sampson, Jray Galea'i, Robbie Buckner, O'Neill Chambers, Skye Povey, Chase Pendley, Cameron Comer, Craig Bills, and DeQuan Everett. Redshirt sophomore Johnson played in all thirteen games last year as a primary backup and on special teams, totaling 16 tackles, 2 interceptions and 1 pass breakup. Senior Joe Sampson played in 12 games in 2012, and recorded 23 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery, 3 pass breakups and 2 quarterback hurries. Galea'i, a redshirt junior, played in 4 games in 2012 and had 1 tackle. Redshirt senior Robbie Buckner played in 6 games a year ago, with 1 pass break up. The senior Chambers sat out last year, and has switched positions from wide receiver. The junior Povey played in 11 games last year, mostly on special teams, and had 1 tackle. Pendley, a redshirt junior, appeared in 3 games last season on special teams, registering 1 tackle. Redshirt sophomore Comer played in 3 games last year but did not record a statistic. Bills, a true sophomore, returns from his mission after playing significant minutes in 2009. Everett, a redshirt senior, played in 5 games a year ago with 2 tackles.

There is only one defensive back who has been on the team but without playing time heading into this season, and that is redshirt freshman Trevor Bateman, who redshirted prior to his mission.

Newcomers at defensive back include return missionary true freshman Jacob Hannemann and incoming scholarship players Matt Hadley, Sawyer Powell, and Rhett Sandlin, all freshmen.

Projected Starters:

There's essentially no question as to starters at strong safety and boundary corner. Daniel Sorenson will reprise his role as the starter at strong safety, and Preston Hadley will take over duties at boundary corner after an outstanding season last year. Field corner and free safety are a bit more up for grabs. The 2012 spring prospectus lists Jordan Johnson as the starter at field corner, and Joe Sampson as the starter at free safety. Those players would appear to have the inside track to start, and Johnson's increasing duties as his freshman season wore on seem to indicate he will likely be the starter. Sampson, however, is being pushed hard by Mike Hague, who may split time at safety and will almost certainly be the nickelback. Hague is listed as the backup at both free safety and boundary corner, so he will see the field plenty even if not designated a starter. Johnson is being pushed by senior Robbie Buckner, while Jray Galea'i returns to back up Sorenson, and Craig Bills provides quality depth at free safety. The sheer number of players with time on the field at defensive back illustrates the experience and depth available for 2012.

Outlook:

The outlook in the defensive secondary is very bright indeed. The two returning starters are proven players, and Cougar fans can anticipate strong campaigns from each of them. Johnson showed flashes of greatness as a true freshman, and Sampson shined when he was on the field last year. Additionally, BYU has a bunch of good players behind the starters, many of whom have played significant minutes in prior years. Altogether, the mix ought to mean that the Cougars will have an effective defensive backfield in 2012, particularly when considering the strength of the front seven.

Saying goodbye to the 2004 recruiting class

With all returned missionaries having now graduated, the 2004 recruiting class has passed through BYU. I have retained the playing data for RMs from my list who were not walk ons or JC transfers, and a brief synopsis for all others. It is amazing how many players were lost from 2004.

2004 Class:

Nick Alletto (OL) - Redshirted in '04, Served in Bahia Blanca, Argentina Mission '05-'06, Played in '07, Played in '08, Played in '09, Played in '10
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Matt Bauman (LB) - Played in '04, Served in Harrisburg, PA Mission '05-'06, Played in '07, Played in '08, Played in '09
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Jason Beck (QB) Critical backup QB for two years.
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Karland Bennett (DB) Honor Code casualty. Never played.
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Jacob Bower (QB) - Served in Milwaukee, WI '04-'05, Redshirted in '06, transferred to Bakersfield college, then to Tulsa
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Terence Brown (OL) - Greyshirted? in '04, Played in '05, Served in Maceio, Brazil Mission '06-'07, Redshirted in '08, Played in '09, Played in '10, Played in '11
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Travis Brown (WR) Dixie JC player. I have no memory of him...anyone?
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Austin Collie (WR) - Played in '04, Served in Buenos Aires, Argentina North Mission '05-'06, Played in '07, Played in '08, left prior to senior year for NFL
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Ray Feinga (OL) Major contributor for four years, including three starting.
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Isley Filiaga (DT) - Redshirted in '04, San Francisco, CA Mission, transferred to Utah after his mission
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Vince Feula (DT) - Two year starter out of JC.
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Joe Griffin (WR) Redshirted and played one year, then transferred.
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Max Hall (QB) - Signed with ASU, Redshirted there in '04, Served in Des Moines Iowa Mission '05, Deemed ineligible to play, scout team QB in '06, Played in '07, Played in '08, Played in '09
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Antwaun Harris (WR) Played one season at BYU, transferred to Oregon.
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Nick Longshore (OL) Redshirted, career ended short due to injury.
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Gary Lovely (LB) - Contributed during '04/'05 season.
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Gregory Lovely (CB) Redshirted but never played prior to transferring.
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Justin Luettgerodt (LB) Iconic linebacker from Bronco's early years. Major contributor for two years.
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BJ Mathis (WR) Honor Code casualty. Never played.
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Michael Morris (WR) Played as a cornerback for two years, with a minor role.
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Drew Mugleston (S) Rostered, but never played. Injury?
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Grant Nelson (LB) - Redshirted in '04, Served in Hamburg, Germany Mission '05-'06, Played in '07, Played in '08, Played in '09
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Dennis Pitta (TE) - Played in '04, Served in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Mission '05-'06, Played in '07, Played in '08, Played in '09
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Matt Putnam (DE) - Greyshirted? in '04?, Served in McAllen, TX Mission '05-'06, Redshirted in '07, Played in '08, Played in '09, Played in '10, Played in '11
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Ibrahim Rashada (DB/RB) - Honor Code casualty. Never played.
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Michael Reed (WR) Played four years as a major part of BYU's offense.
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Eddie Scipio (CB) Internet legend no-show.
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Billy Skinner (S) Honor Code casualty. Never played.
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Billy Turner (LB) Honor Code casualty. Never played.
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Jaden Wagner (LB) - Greyshirted in '04, Served in Denver, CO Mission '05-'06, Redshirted in '07, Played in '08, Played in '09, Played in '10, Played in '11
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Todd Watkins (WR) Major contributor starting two years out of junior college.
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Riley Weber (WR) Played for two seasons, most action on special teams, but one memorable trick play touchdown.
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BYU Missions Update

I have just completed my yearly update. Let me know if anything is inaccurate. Bear in mind it does not include JC players.

BYU Cougar Commits that are serving/have served missions:

2006 Class:
Brandon Bradley (CB) - Signed with Louisville out of high school, Served in Sao Paolo, Brazil Mission '04-'05, Redshirted in '06, Played in '07, Played in '08, Played in '09, Played in '10
Rhen Brown (WR/DB) - Greyshirted? in '06, Served in Salta, Argentina Mission '07-'08, Played in '09, Played in '10, Played in '11
Robbie Buckner (CB) - Redshirted in '06, Served in Mozambique Maputo Mission '07-'08, Played in '09, Played in '10, Played in '11
Sam Doman (QB) - Served in Dominican Republic '04-'05, Redshirted '06, Transferred to Oregon
Ian Dulan (DE) - Played in '06, Played in '07, Played in '08, Served in Peoria Illinois Mission '09-'10, Reshirted '11
Ryan Freeman (OL) - Played in '06, Served in Chile Santiago North Mission '07-'08, Played in '09, Played in '10, Played in '11
Romney Fuga (DL) - Played in '06, Served in Madagascar Antananarivo Mission '07-'08, Played in '09, Played in '10 but received medical redshirt once injured, Played in '11
Mike Hague (RB/DB) - Played in '06, Served in Knoxville, Tennessee Mission '07-'08, Played in '09, Played in '10, Played in '11
Braden Hansen (OL) - Redshirted in '06, Served in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Mission '07-'08, Played in '09, Played in '10, Played in '11
McKay Jacobson (WR) - Played in '06, Served in Sapporo Japan Mission '07-'08, Played in '09, Played in '10, Played in '11
Walter Kahaiali'i (OL) - Redshirted in '06, Played in '07, Served in Australia Melbourne Mission '08-'09, Played in '10, Played in '11
James Lark (QB) - Redshirted in '06, Played in '07, Served in St Petersburg, Russia Mission '08-'09, Played in '10, Played in '11
Mike Muehlmann (TE) - Greyshirted? in '06, Served in San Antonio, Texas Mission '07-'08, Redshirted in '09, Played in '10, Played in '11
Brandon Ogletree (LB) - Greyshirted? in '06, Served in Concepcion, Chile South Mission '07-'08, Played in '09, Played in '10, Played in '11
Jordan Richardson (DL) - Redshirted in '06, Served in Belo Horizonte Brazil Mission '07-'08, Played in '09, Played in '10, Played in '11
Riley Stephenson (P/K) - Gretyshirted? in '06, Served in Aukland, New Zealand Mission '07-'08, Played in '09, Played in '10, Played in '11

2007 Class:
Famika Anae (OL) - Greyshirted? in '07, Served in McAllen Texas Mission '08-'09, Redshirted in '10, Played in '11
Tyler Beck (LB) - Played in '07, Served in Houston Texas Mission '08-'09, redshirted in '10, Played in '11
Braden Brown (TE/OL) - Served in San Juan, Puerto Rico Mission '07, Redshirted in '08, Played in '09, Played in '10, Played in '11
Kaneakua Friel (TE) - Redshirted in '07, Played in '08, Served in Durban South Africa Mission '09-'10, Played in '11
Austen Jorgensen (LB) - Played '07, Served in Tampa Florida Mission '08-'09, Played in '10, Played in '11
Devin Mahina (TE) - Greyshirted? in '07, Served in Antananarivo Madagascar Mission '08-'09, Played in '10, Played in '11
Eathyn Manumaleuna (DT) - Played in '07, Served in Oklahoma City Oklahoma Mission '08-'09, Played in '10, Played in '11
Marcus Mathews (WR) - Greyshirted? in '07, Served in Stockholm Sweden Mission '08-'09, Played in '10, Played in '11
Jason Munns (QB) - Redshirted '07, Served in Oaxaca, Mexico Mission '08-'09, Played in '10, Played in '11
Houston Reynolds (OL) - Served in Hamburg Germany Mission '07-'08, Redshirted in '09 due to injury, Played in '10, Played in '11
Jordan Smith (WR) - Redshirted '07, Served in Boston Massachusetts Mission '08-'09, Played in '10, Played in '11
Manaaki Vaitai (OL) - Played in '07, Served in Las Vegas Nevada Mission '08-'09, Redshirted in '10, Played in '11

2008 Class:
Michael Alisa (LB) - Played in '08, Served in San Juan Puerto Rico West Mission '09-'10, Played in '11
Kevan Bills (LB) - Served in Mendoza, Argentina Mission '09-'10, Redshirted in '11
Cameron Comer (CB) - Redshirted in '08, Served in Richmond Virginia Mission '09-'10, Played in '11
Spencer Hadley (LB) - Played in '08, Served in Roseville California Mission '09-'10, Played in '11
Austin Holt (TE) - Served in St Louis Missouri Mission '08-'09, Played in '10, Played in '11
Solomone Kafu (DL/OL) - Redshirted in '08, Served in New York New York Mission '09-'10, Played in '11
Cody Monsen (LB) - Served in California Santa Rosa Mission '09-'10, Redshirted? in '11
Jake Murphy (WR) - Served in Sydney Australia Mission '08-'09, Transferred to Utah
Iona Pritchard (LB/FB) - Played in '08, Served in Majuro, Marshall Islands Mission '09-'10, Redshirted due to injury in '11
Daniel Sorenson (LB) - Played in '08, Served in San Jose, Costa Rica Mission '09-'10, Played in '11
Justin Sorenson (K) - Played in '08, Served in Macon, Georgia Mission, Played in '11
Brock Stringham (OL) - Redshirted in '08, Served in Tocloban, Phillipines Mission '09-'10, Played in '11
Malosi Te'o (RB) - Signed LOI with UNLV, Served in New York, New York South Mission '07-'08, Redshirted in '09, Transferred to Hawai'i, then back to BYU to play rugby
Michael Yeck (OL) - Served in Birmingham Alabama Mission '08-'09, Redshirted in '10, Played in '11

2009 Class:
Terry Alletto (OL) - Redshirted in '09, Due back in '12
Trevor Bateman (CB) - Redshirted in '09, Due back in '12, Texas Fort Worth Mission
Craig Bills (DB)- Played in '09, Due back in Feb. '12, Ventura California Mission
Tui Crichton (OL) - Redshirted in '09, Due back in '12
Anthony Heimuli (RB/FB) - Played in '09, Due back in ?
Adam Hine (RB) - Served in Panama City, Panama Mission '09-'10, Redshirted in '11
Mitch Mathews (WR) - Redshirted in '09, Due back in '12, Serving in Florida Orlando Mission
Ryan Mulitalo (OL) - Redshirted in '09, Due back in '12
Riley Nelson (QB) - Played in '06 for Utah State, Served in Barcelona, Spain Mission '07-'08, Played in '09, Played in '10 but received medical redshirt, Played in '11
Remington Peck (DE) - Redshirted in '09, due back in '12, New York Rochester Mission
Brett Thompson (WR) - Played in '09, Due back Jan. '12, Louisville, Kentucky Mission
Fono Vakalahi (OL) - Played in '09, Due back in '12
Brad Wilcox (OL) - Served in California San Bernardino Mission '09-11, Due back in '12

2010 Class:
Jordan Black (OL) - Redshirted in '10, Due back in '13
Algernon Brown (RB) - Redshirted in '10, Due back in '13
Jacob Hannemann (S) - Due back in July '12, Little Rock, Arkansas Mission
Toloa'i Ho Ching (LB) - Greyshirted in '10, Due back in '13
Tuni Kanuch (DT) - Due back in '12
Bronson Kaufusi (DE) - Due back in '12, Auckland, New Zealand Mission
Teu Kautai (LB) - Served in San Jose '10, California Mission, transferred to Blinn JC, returned and played in '11
AJ Moore (RB) - Played in '10, Due back in '13
Manu Mulitalo (OL) - Played in '11, Oklahoma Tulsa Mission, Due back in June '14
Joey Owens (LB) - Due back in '12
Graham Rowley (DE) - Played in '10, Played in '11, Due back in '14
Bryan Sampson (TE) - Redshirted in '10, due back in '13
Sae Tautu (LB) - Redshirted in '10, due back in '13
Travis Tuiloma (DT) - Redshirted in '10, Played in '11, Due back in '14

2011 Class:
Corey Edwards (K) - Due back in '13
Austin Heder (FB/LB) - Played in '11, Due back in '14, Canada Montreal Mission
Coleby Jorgensen (TE) - Redshirted in '11, Due back in '14, Calgary Canada Mission
Corbin Kaufusi (DE) - Due back in '13
Alex Kuresa (QB) - Redshirted in '11, Due back in '14
Lene Lesatele (LB) - Redshirted in '11, Due back in '14
Aulelio Olomua (LB) - Due back in '13
Baker Pritchard (DE) - Redshirted in '11, Due back in '14 Serving in Hawaii Honolulu Mission
Adam Pulsipher (LB) - Due back in '13
Brian Rawlinson (OL) - Due back in '13
Stehley Reden (TE) - Redshirted in '11, Due back in '14
Matt Sumsion (TE) - Due back in '13
Kesni Tausinga (DL) - Due back in '13

2012 Class:
Phillip Amone (LB) - Due back in '14
Micah Hanneman (DB) - Due back in '14
Troy Hinds (LB/DE) - Due back in '14
Tanner Mangum (QB) - Due back in '14
Steven Richards (DL) - Due back in '14
Josh Weeks (WR) - Due back in '14

**This list does not include JC transfers that have served missions unless they leave after committing. Walk-on players are generally not included. It will be updated when mission plans are announced for any of the members of these classes. Please let me know if there are any mistakes or omissions, or if you have learned of a player leaving on a mission.**
 
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