The top 3 roster management blunders of the Bronco era
1) 2012 – We don’t need a back up kicker
The starting kicker in 2011, Justin Sorensen, had just had a disastrous second half of the previous season culminating in the announcement that he’d need back surgery to remove bone spurs. What did the coaches do as a contingency plan? Nothing. The only 2 players on BYU’s roster capable of kicking were Sorensen and the punter (Riley Stephenson). No walk ons were invited to be on the roster including Andy Philips who tried out and eventually became an All-American for Utah.
What happened in 2012? Sorensen played injured and went 6/12 on the season with a long of 35. The punter had a long of 33. The lack of a kicking game probably cost the team 2-3 wins. 2 missed field goals against Utah proved to be pivotal.
What happened in 2013? The coaches rostered 6 kicker/punters to swing the pendulum to the other extreme.
2) 2015 – Christian Stewart who just graduated becomes the only viable QB for spring ball
The only scholarship QB in the program was Taysom who was recovering from an injury. BYU had to persuade Stewart to be the QB instead of using spring as a valuable development tool for a young prospect (or two).
How did this happen? Billy Green played in one game against an FCS opponent to burn his redshirt, so he decided to transfer to Weber State in the spring. The coaches were waiting for Tanner Mangum in the fall, so couldn't find a replacement. Fortunately, the coaches found Stewart at church, otherwise it could have been a real disaster.
3) 2013 – BYU signs 7 offensive linemen including 4 from the JC ranks after averaging 2 signings from 2011-12
How did this happen? It’s still unclear how the 2011-12 classes were so short on linemen. 2J became the OL coach and saw how depleted the position group was both short and long-term. Only one of the seven became a success (De’ondre Wesley). BYU was still scrambling 4 years later when Sitake had to find 2 FCS transfers to start on the Oline
Honorable mention – QB recruiting from 2008-09 when BYU was at its peak. BYU signed no HS recruits after whiffing on Taysom, Perhaps Doman was clearing the deck for Jake Heaps and didn’t want to scare him with competition. Riley Nelson transferred in and ended up becoming the starter post Max Hall. 2010-12 QB management was a disaster all the way around.