As BYU students prepare for the conclusion of the summer semester, the Cougar football team is just getting started.
The Cougars opened their fall camp on Thursday with a grueling three-hour practice in temperatures close to triple digits. The practice was non-contact, as the participants were equipped with only helmets and jerseys. However, this didn’t mean the coaches were taking it easy on their players, as the team spent much of the practice running sprints, provoked by the incessant barks of their coaches.
No coach was more vocal then head coach Bronco Mendenhall. The Cougar playcaller entering his eighth season expressed his cautious excitement for this year’s squad.
“They worked hard. I think their preparation, physically, is a little bit past maybe what I had expected it to be,” Mendenhall said. “Enthusiasm is good. Execution is a little rusty, but good leadership.”
Senior quarterback Riley Nelson looked sharp in the reps he took during the scrimmage at the conclusion of practice. Named to the Maxwell Award watch list in July, Nelson is looking to lead the Cougars into a sixth top-25 finish in seven years.
“We know if we do things the right way, focusing in on every drill and every practice, not looking ahead to the future but focusing on the present, we’re confident if we do those things, that culmination of work will amount to hopefully a win in week one and then start all over in week two,” Nelson said. “As we approach the season like that, we feel good about our chances. It was a good first day.”
The Cougars are preparing for their season opener at home against Washington State on Thursday, Aug. 30. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.