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BYU Football 2013 Spring Wrap Up

BYU Football 2013 Spring Wrap Up

BYU Football 2013 Spring Wrap Up

Spring Summary

Keeping within the context that this was just spring practices, the two-deep depth chart was still the biggest takeaway. The depth chart can be viewed here.

Offense

First, Taysom Hill was officially named the starting quarterback. It was the worst kept secret of camp, but the new offensive coaching staff refused to acknowledge during the spring that this very promising sophomore was the man to beat.

Second, Skyler Ridley beat out Ross Apo for a starting receiver spot. Ridley was a scout team walk-on for three years before catching a break in last year’s season opener when Cody Hoffman left early with a bruised quad. On the other hand, Apo was a top high school recruit from Texas who was expected to be a man among boys. Apo has been mediocre his first two seasons, but losing his starting spot to Ridley was not on anyone’s radar. Ridley made some nice plays last year, but wasn’t outstanding (20 receptions, 206 yards, 1 TD).

Third, Brett Thompson is the starting tight end. Thompson was a wide receiver, so to have him jump to the top of the depth chart his first year at his new position is surprising, especially with several experienced tight ends on the roster. He has bulked up to 220 pounds, which is still a little small for a traditional tight end, but the new fast paced offense might offset the size issue.

Defense

Remington Peck is listed as a starting defensive end. At 250 pounds, size may be a concern. With that being said, it wasn’t too long ago (2006-09) that a defensive end on the small size–Jan Jorgensen–had one of the best defensive line careers in school history.

Tyler Beck listed above Manoa Pikula at middle linebacker was a surprise. Pikula was second string last year and was expected to move into the starting role when seniors graduated.

Sixth year senior Mike Hague is listed as a starting cornerback (his third position since 2009), but that may not hold through fall camp. Trenton Trammell was injured very early in camp. JC corner Sam Lee will arrive in the fall and compete. Hague will also have to withstand Jacob Hannemann who is not far behind at this point.

BYU football 2013 spring wrap up

BYu Qb Taysom Hill (Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE)

Name a few unknown players who could have breakout seasons

Adam Hine. He committed to BYU as a sophomore in high school, and served his two-year church mission before enrolling at BYU. After redshirting in 2011 and missing all of 2012 with injuries, Hine could finally deliver on the high expectations fans had when he committed. He definitely earned playing time with his strong play in team scrimmages. He did drop a few passes, but was very productive carrying the ball.

Craig Bills. BYU fans already know Bills well, but outside of Provo few people know him. He took over the starting free safety spot late last year when Joe Sampson was kicked off the team. Bills is a hard hitter and has impressed when he has been on the field both as a freshman and a sophomore.

Uani Unga. He transferred to BYU from Oregon State in 2011. With Brandon Ogletree and Uona Kaveinga graduating, Unga will step into a full time role at middle linebacker. He appears to have all the tools to be successful and not leave much of a drop off at this spot.

Grade each position group & special teams 

QB: B   A little inexperienced, especially if Hill goes down again, but the potential is there. Hill was progressing rapidly last season before getting injured.

RB: B+    Jamaal Williams is back after an awesome freshman showing. If Hine or Michael Alisa can compliment Williams well, then this might be the best rushing attack BYU has seen in several years.

TE: Incomplete   With Thompson moving over, there are questions left unanswered. How good is he? That question is hard to answer even for the other guys who have been at the position for three years.

OL: C+   They seem to be playing better with new coaches and a new scheme. Until real games are played, this grade can’t go much higher.

WR: C-   Cody Hoffman was held out of practice as he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery. He was the only receiver with more than 311 receiving yards last year. Considering the fact that the second leading receiver, Apo, has been demoted this unit has a lot to prove. The quarterbacks did find receivers and get yards during scrimmages, but it is hard to assign a lot of significance to that since many key defenders were held out.

DL: C+  The starters appear to be solid, but Bronson Kaufusi missed most of spring playing on the basketball team during their NIT Final Four run. Depth needs to be established still. None of the second team guys have inspired much confidence.

LB: B+ Kyle Van Noy and Spencer Hadley have the outside linebacker spots locked down. How well Unga and Beck play in the middle will determine how good this unit is this year.

DB: B+  Three starters return. The question mark is Hague at cornerback. BYU has always been susceptible at this position. Some improvement from Jordan Johnson could help as well.

Special Teams: Incomplete  Placekicking was a mess for BYU last year. Punter Riley Stephenson will be missed as well. It is very hard to evaluate these positions during spring. JD Falslev will be back to return both punts and kickoffs.

Are there any “surprises” we can expect from this team? 

After the Poinsettia Bowl last year, there is no excuse for any college football fan to be ignorant of the game changing ability of Kyle Van Noy. He decided to return for his senior season. Van Noy could inspire the BYU defense in a way that Manti Te’o did for Notre Dame last year, which then propels the team to a great season.

If BYU is going to be a surprise team this year, it probably will not be because of Van Noy. Taysom Hill would be that difference maker. Hill was tabbed by the Heisman Pundit last week as possibly being the Johnny Football of BYU. Hill has the potential to give BYU a potent offensive attack. He is really fast, he can throw the ball well, he is big, and he is a football player.

On the first snap of his career last year, he called an audible and threw a touchdown–on 4th and 1. He led a 95-yard, fourth quarter, touchdown drive in Boise on the blue turf that left BYU an extra point away from sending the game to overtime. He led BYU to victory over the nation’s 16th ranked team with the nation’s 14th best defense, while amassing 100 yards of total offense above said defense’s season average (at that time).

Fully healed, and fully in control of the offense, how high can Hill take BYU in 2013?

Check out our BYU 2013 Spring Preview here.


Scott from  Blue Cougar Football provided the information for our BYU football spring wrap up.  For more BYU football information, commentary and analysis, you can follow Scott on Twitter @BlueCougarFball.


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