BYU 2013 Spring Football: Day Two Report
Jake Hatch - March 7th, 2013
Tags: BYU, College, Football, Cougar Sports with Alema Harrington
Hello, Cougar fans! Welcome back to the "Hatch of Knowledge." As always, I aim to give Cougar fans what they want to know/hear about. Let me know if you have questions or suggestions on twitter at my personal twitter feed @JakeHatch77 or my show feed @CougarSports960.
BYU Spring Practice Day Two
Day two of BYU Spring Practices are in the books and once again the energy and tempo was at a fever pitch. The offense has upped the pace of play and it is clearly affecting the defense. Senior defensive back Mike Hague stated that today’s practice was the hardest practice he’s been through at BYU and that the defense in the past wouldn’t get tired when facing the offense but with the new offensive system in place that the entire defense was worn down following practice tonight. You can hear more of Hague’s thoughts if you click the link at the bottom of the article.
The QB rotation got shuffled today as Taysom Hill ran with the ones as normal, but walk-on JC transfer Christian Stewart, out of Snow College, ran with the twos. Ammon Olsen and Jason Munns rotated in with the threes. This may be a surprise to Cougar fans but Stewart looks very poised, has great footwork, and has an extremely quick release when passing the football. In 7-on-7 skeleton drills Stewart was 5/6 on his drive w/ the twos and his only incompletion was a result of the defensive back tripping up Dallin Cutler. Cutler snagged 4 of Stewart’s passes and looks like he’s fully recovered from his hamstring injury that hampered him all of last season. Stewart also flashed the mobility to run the new system that Robert Anae will employ. Time will tell whether he can solidify a spot in the 2 deep but so far Stewart has shown well.
The offensive line had the same starting group along as Monday with Brad Wilcox (LT), Solomone Kafu (LG), Manaaki Vaitai (C), Kyle Johnson (RG), and Michael Yeck (RT) making up the unit. There are a lot of walk-ons in the rotation right now so ascertaining the 2 deep is still somewhat of a mystery but next week should see a more solid pecking order set in place.
Coaches have indicated that they expect to use a lot of running backs in the new system being implemented on offense. Mark Atuaia, the new running backs coach, said his job is to make sure his guys are ready to go, not matter the situation or play call. Jamaal Williams and Mike Alisa is the running back tandem running with the ones, while Adam Hine and Paul Lasike are running with the twos. AJ Moore is getting most of his reps with the threes. A lot of questions have arisen regarding fullbacks like Iona Pritchard and how they will be used in the new offense. Coach Atuaia said that Pritchard is willing to work wherever he is needed and has prepared to do that in the off season. Expect to see Pritchard used all over the field as he is too valuable to languish on the bench. Overall, the running back corps looks to be very strong early on in spring ball.
The news on Trent Trammel’s knee injury is not what BYU fans, players or coaches wanted to hear. Trammel has torn his ACL and will use his redshirt season this year. Trammel had met or exceeded the expectations BYU coaches and his teammates had before the injury so losing him to a season ending injury will be tough to overcome. Bronco Mendenhall indicated that senior defensive back Mike Hague will be manning the boundary corner position for the time being.
A couple of players who stood out in practice that BYU fans may not be familiar with are WR Kurt Henderson and DB Blake Morgan. Henderson didn’t have any flashy catches but was working with the ones today on offense at the “Z” receiver spot usually manned by the still recovering Cody Hoffman. Henderson looked smooth in and out of his routes and may be this year’s version of Skyler Ridley if he keeps up the good work. Blake Morgan is a reserve cornerback who had an impressive pass break-up of Taysom Hill pass intended for Brett Thompson. Morgan is running primarily with the twos on defense but made a good impression today.
Plays of the day- On offense today the play of the day was WR Ross Apo reaching over Jordan Johnson to snag a touchdown pass on a well underthrown pass by Ammon Olsen in the endzone. Apo is showing strong hands and improved route running early on in spring ball. On defense the play of the day belonged to Jordan Johnson who intercepted an Ammon Olsen pass to end Olsen’s drive with the threes in team segment.
Interviews from today’s practice are linked below: