Four Saturdays from today, BYU will be taking on the Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville, Virginia. At some point the team has to practice right? Well that point is today. As Camp Cougar, officially gets underway this afternoon.
Yesterday, newcomers reported for the first time. All of the newcomers that were supposed to report, appeared yesterday in Provo. That’s always a mild victory for the program this time of the year. One bit of news that stood out was BYU added a new kicker. Vance Bingham, a Freshman walk-on from Alta High School reported to camp yesterday. Just another player to compete with Justin Sorensen who struggled mightily last season. Trevor Sampson a JUCO transfer will also compete for kicking duties this season. It’ll be interesting to see what Kicking Game Coordinator, Andrew George does with Sorensen. Will there be a short leash this year since there is more capable guys? Or is BYU going to give him every opportunity to succeed. Camp will say a lot for Sorensen and the kickers.
Along with the kicking spot, here are four more position battles that I’m very interested to keep an eye on during camp.
#1 Offensive Line
Much has been discussed about the struggles from the Offensive Line in 2012. The coaching staff acknowledged this by going out and signing six newcomers to compete for starting jobs on the revamped o-line under new position coach, Garret Tujague. Three newcomers are expected to be the starters on the new offensive line. Who will they be? My predictions as of today would be Josh Carter at RG, Edward Fusi at Center, and De’Ondre Wesley at RT.
#2 Boundary Cornerback
Can Mike Hague handle the starting role at Boundary Cornerback? Will BYU succeed come August 31st with Hague holding down that spot? He knows Bronco’s playbook inside and out but when he has other short comings that make many worried. In comes Robertson Daniel and Sam Lee from the Junior College ranks to push Hague for that spot. Also, don’t sleep on Cameron Comer, a Junior who sat out last season he had a nice spring camp.
#3 Y Receiver / Tight Ends
Kaneakua Friel has received a ton of national recognition this off-season as one of the top Tight Ends in College Football. That performance in Week 1 against Washington State on national TV was the cause of much that praise. Coming out of spring camp, Friel wasn’t the clear cut starter. Friel and Brett Thompson, a player who switched positions from WR, is battling for the starting job coming of Fall Camp. Also, Marcus Mathews, Devin Mahina, and Richard Wilson will compete for time as well. Since Dennis Pitta left BYU in 2009 there hasn’t been much consistency from the Y Receiver spot. With Robert Anae back as Offensive Coordinator, the Cougars look to see more success from that position.
#4 Wide Receivers not named Cody Hoffman
Coming out of spring football, Skyler Ridley was listed as the starting WR along with Senior All-American candidate, Cody Hoffman. Ridley has done some nice things in his career at BYU, but you would want to see something more from that position heading into the season. Ross Apo is clearly a guy that many will keep an eye on. The former four-star recruit out of Texas has had many ups and downs through his first two years at BYU. This camp will be a great opportunity for him to emerge as a player that is ready to remove the “bust” label and start performing. Also, Michael Davis is an intriguing prospect who could make some waves on the two-deep. Davis, a track star in the state of California could be a player that gives Anae a deep-threat in the passing game, similar to what he had in Todd Watkins back in 2005.
Topics: Andrew George, Brett Thompson, BYU Cougars, Cameron Comer, Cody Hoffman, De'Ondre Wesley, Devin Mahina, Edward Fusi, Fall Camp, Garret Tujague, Josh Carter, Justin Sorensen, Kaneakua Friel, Marcus Mathews, Michael Davis, Mike Hague, Richard Wilson, Robert Anae, Robertson Daniel, Ross Apo, Sam Lee, Skyler Ridley, Todd Watkins, Trevor Sampson, Vance Bingham