The BYU football team continues its spring practices and head coach Kalani Sitake, senior wide receiver Mitch Juergens and junior running back Trey Dye spoke to the media.
Sitake said one thing he found impressive was the “buy-in level” from the players, calling it “awesome.” He said that the players have done everything they’ve been asked on the field, in the classroom and in the weight room.
The Cougars’ spring game is March 26, but Sitake said it won’t be what he was hoping for.
“It’s not going to be a game like I wanted,” Sitake said. “Because we only have nine o-linemen that can really go. It’ll be more like a scrimmage and we’ll try to see how many plays we can get out there. I can’t tell you exactly what it’s going to be like and I’m not going to set a limit to say ‘we’re going to do this many plays,’ I’m just going to keep it open and see if we have enough to evaluate all our players on this team.”
Sitake said he wants to “entertain the fans” with the spring game, but added that the Cougars won’t “give away the playbook.”
Dye spoke about the position change from wide receiver to running back. Dye said things were “going well,” and said the entire team is growing closer.
“There’s been a lot of changes in the program, but with the team, it’s just made everybody grow closer,” Dye said. “The brotherhood really has grown, it’s not just something we put on the back of a t-shirt. With the head coach leaving with all the coaches that recruited you and brought you in, you just look to your brother next to you.”
Dye was singled out by assistant head coach Ed Lamb last week as a guy who had been practicing really well. Dye, who was a running back in high school, was thrilled to receive the compliment, but said he was focused on improving his game and gaining weight.
Dye also said he enjoys the new offensive scheme.
“It’s a lot more player-specific,” Dye said. “It’s more straight forward. There’s no hiding around and wondering what’s going to go on once the ball is snapped.”
– Sitake called Akile Davis a “great talent” and added that he believes cornerback is a “natural position” for Davis.
– Juergens said he loves working with wide receivers coach Ben Cahoon. “It’s awesome to see a guy with so much fire and passion for the game,” Juergens said. He added that Cahoon is very hands on, and will still run routes with his receivers.
– Juergens, who was a slot receiver last season, said the new offense deemphasizes the slot receiver position, but that the Cougars will still have three, four and five wide receiver packages.
– When asked what it’s like to have both Tanner Mangum and Taysom Hill, Juergens said it was the kind of situation that receivers “dream of.”
– Expect Taysom Hill to be involved in the spring game warmups. He’ll likely throw some passes in drills, but he won’t participate in the game/scrimmage.
– Sitake said that sophomore Troy Hinds still isn’t “full-go,” but said he’s making an impact at defensive end, linebacker and tight end.
– Sitake said that a lot of the new defense has been installed, but that the majority of the foundation, both offensively and defensively, has been established.
– Dye said he found out he was switching to running back in a group text with Reno Mahe, but he called the position “home.”
– On the offense, Dye said it has “slowed down a little bit so guys aren’t thinking a million miles an hour.”