Yesterday Camp Cougar kicked off and as usual there was some injury news to report. Coach Mendenhall announced that Cornerbacks Mike Hague and Sam Lee won’t be cleared for the season opener for Virginia.
Hague was listed as the starting Boundary Cornerback out of spring ball and Lee was a JC transfer looking to compete with Hague for the boundary spot. Who rises up and emerges as the starter?
A name that no one was thinking of during the off-season was running with the one’s for most of Day 1, Dallin Leavitt.
Leavitt a true freshman out of Central Catholic High School in Portland was signed to play safety for the Cougars. Safety is one of the deeper positions BYU has in 2013, so the coaching staff is giving Leavitt an opportunity to play at corner. Leavitt was also seeing time as a return specialist in day one of camp.
Our own Robby Huckvale projected that Leavitt would see time in every game this season, but he didn’t see a starting role in Leavitt’s first season. So the question is, could Leavitt start at Boundary Cornerback this season?
Initially when you hear a question about a true freshman starting at cornerback, I would initially say, no. Cornerback is one of the tougher positions for newcomers to step right in and flourish. It’s not often it happens. In the last 30 years there hasn’t been a true Freshman start for BYU at Cornerback. Usually the position is occupied by JC transfers or upperclassmen. Leavitt has an opportunity to make history at BYU.
At Central Catholic, Leavitt was a hard-hitting DB that was considered one of the top 100 DB’s in the country.
If Leavitt is far and away the best Cornerback in camp, roll with him. There will be a steep learning curve but go with the young guy. If the JC transfers can’t beat out a new Freshman they shouldn’t anyway. And unless Leavitt is terrible in the first few weeks against quality opponents, don’t consider pulling him for Hague or Lee.
Leavitt does have mission plans after this season. In January he plans on leaving, so of course he would be gone for two years. But in the past, BYU has handled losing a starter to a mission just fine. Austin Collie was a star WR as a Freshman in 2004 then left for a mission. Came back to BYU and is now in the NFL. So the possibility of losing Leavitt for two years shouldn’t play a part in his role for 2013.
A long ways to go until we see BYU square off against Virginia, but as of now we might be witnesses to history in the making on August 31st in Charlottesville.