As the 2012 BYU football season approaches, it’s time to welcome some new faces onto the team, into our memories and in the endzone.
Several new players look to compete for reps on the field during the games, and even for a couple of starting spots. Some of these new faces, however, step onto the field with recognizable names.
Freshman wide receiver Dylan Collie spent quite a few plays on the field with the first-team offense on Thursday during the Cougars’ scrimmage, and caught some passes from quarterback Riley Nelson. Collie is the younger brother of former BYU great and current Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Austin Collie.
“Dylan battled and had a one-on-one on a post and caught the comeback that set up a touchdown later on that drive,” Nelson said. “We expected nothing less from him.”
Collie and fellow freshman Cody Raymond played many snaps with the first team offense, due to the absence of starters Cody Hoffman and Ross Apo from the full contact portion of the scrimmage. Collie also had some reps returning punts along with starter J.D. Falslev to set up a possible return duty for the freshman.
In addition to Collie, running back Jamaal Williams played with the first team offense, and carried the ball several times, showing off his much-advertised speed and agility. Williams brought more than just acceleration to the game, celebrating with intensity after a longer run around the right end and an 8-yard touchdown run near the end of the scrimmage.
“Jamaal kind of became a fan favorite today,” Nelson said. “He’s very explosive and he’s got lots of speed. If he can keep playing like he was today, he may be able to see the field this year, which is amazing, because the dude’s even young for a freshman. So I’m really excited for him.”
The young back from Fontana, Calif. made more than an impression on just the quarterback, as head coach Bronco Mendenhall was equally pleased with what he saw from Williams
“Our experience with talented young freshman is the sooner we can play them and get them integrated, the better,” Mendenhall said. “I like what I saw from him today. His mobility, he runs, catches the ball well, but he can also break a tackle and run around you.”
A few other freshman players that had some minutes in Thursday’s scrimmage were offensive lineman Terrance Alletto, wide receiver Kurt Henderson, quarterback Taysom Hill and linebacker Bronson Kaufusi. Hill played well in the scrimmage, leading his offense down the field for a touchdown, along with the other two quarterbacks, Nelson and James Lark.
Along with the new freshman, there are a few transfer players on the roster. Ammon Olsen, a sophomore transfer from Southern Utah, had some time in the scrimmage. Drew Reilly, a sophomore defensive back, is also on the roster after transferring from former Mountain West Conference foe Colorado State.
The Cougars are preparing for their Aug. 30 game against Washington State that opens their season, and the entire college football season as a whole. If some of the new players keep their work up, there could be a couple of freshman who help the team succeed in 2012.