BYU spring football is underway and you’ve probably read a million articles already telling you what storylines you should be paying attention to this spring. Instead of storylines, I’m going to give you five players that you should be keeping tabs on this spring.
These five players have a lot of will and they definitely have some skill. I know that doesn’t make Robert Anae happy, but you need to have a mixture of both to succeed at the D-1 level. These guys could have that.
- Nick Kurtz, Wide Receiver
Kurtz signed with BYU this past December from Grossmont Junior College. The 6’6 Kurtz is coming in with high expectations at the wide receiver spot. Kurtz will be looked upon to fill the void of BYU’s all-time leading receiver, Cody Hoffman.
Being part of spring football is huge for Kurtz because he can build a connection with quarterback Taysom Hill, and learn the BYU offense. The last time BYU had a wide receiver from the JUCO ranks enroll early and be eligible for spring football was Todd Watkins out of the same college as Kurtz. That turned out pretty well I would say.
Kurtz has a great opportunity to be a talented wide receiver at BYU. He won’t be a player that stretches the field, but he catches everything in sight, and he can also give BYU a tall target in red zone packages. Which will hopefully improve BYU’s production inside the 20 this season.
- Trenton Trammell, Cornerback
Last year at this time, Trammel was already done for the entire season after suffering a knee injury in day one of spring football. This year after one day of practice, Trammell opened camp running with the one’s at cornerback. That’s big news for a player who came in with similar hype that Kurtz is receiving as an early-enrollee JC transfer.
If Trammell can stay healthy, BYU’s cornerbacks will be the best we have seen since the 1998 cornerback tandem of Brian Gray and Heshimu Robertson. Trammell and Jordan Johnson are that good.
I’ve always felt that the JUCO route is the key to success for BYU at the cornerback position. Mendenhall was hesitant to turn to JC players when he first took over as head coach, but after numerous high school signees at corner didn’t pan out, Bronco has turned to JUCO’s more. Trammell is the type of athlete BYU needs to continuously get on a yearly basis at corner.
- Zac Stout, Linebacker
This is a great story. Knew there were rumblings that Stout was going to return to the program, but honestly didn’t see it happening. BYU is a tough place when you’re not dealing with off-the-field adversity. It’s a great that Stout was able to get back into the fold and finish out his college career in Cougar blue.
Stout’s career hasn’t played out like we all expected it to be when he announced his commitment with Jake Heaps and Ross Apo in 2010 at a Salt Lake City Iggy’s, but Stout could finish his career on a high-note.
After day one of camp, Stout was running with the second-team linebackers. The middle linebackers for BYU in 2014 have some question marks heading into spring. If Stout has a productive spring, there’s no reason to not believe he wouldn’t be in the two-deep when fall camp rolls around in August.
- Adam Hine, Running back
We all know that Jamaal Williams is the starting running back for BYU this season, but who are the guys behind him? Hine had a great year in 2013 as a return specialist. This year I look for Hine to have a bigger role in the running attack.
Taysom Hill is going to be throwing the football more this season, and running less. Guys like Hine need to pick up the workload and give that elusive 1-2 punch from the running back position. After Jamaal, I like Hine’s potential at the position. Algie Brown and Paul Lasike will round out the position very nicely.
- Tuni Kanuch, offensive line
Kanuch, a former Mr. Utah out of Bingham High returned from a mission last year but was sidelined the entire season with a pectoral tear. Kanuch was expected to play along the defensive line as a Cougar, but with the depth and talent at d-line Kanuch was switched to offensive line. Which is a smart move in my opinion.
BYU’s offensive line has been lacking the past few seasons. That’s no secret. The key to BYU having a 10+ win season again will rest on the offensive line. Kanuch has the talent to be a starter at guard for BYU when the Cougars kick off the 2014 season against UConn on August 29th.
Who are the players you are excited to follow during spring football? Post in the comments or tweet us @LawlessRepublic.