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Monday, August 22, 2011

BYU Cougars Football: Fall Camp Superlatives

The Brigham Young Cougars held their final fall scrimmage on Saturday, and will start preparations for game one at Ole Miss today. With the conclusion of fall camp, BLUE COGUAR FOOTBALL unveils its annual fall camp superlatives.

BIGGEST STORY
Last year, the biggest story of camp was the quarterback battle between Jake Heaps and Riley Nelson. With the starting spot secure this year, Heaps was able to make the biggest story for another reason. For quite some time, BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL has been predicting an excellent season for Heaps. He came in to fall camp firing on all cylinders.

After four days of practices, Heaps had a pass efficiency rating of 250. In the first scrimmage he was 7 of 9 for 105 yards and a touchdown. In his one series during the final scrimmage, Heaps was a perfect 5 of 5 for 52 yards.

Heaps may have taken some time off to get married this off season, but he made the most of the rest of his time. He is ready to lead BYU into independence with a bang, and join the ranks as the next great BYU QB.

BIGGEST POSITIVE
Team captain and starting free safety Travis Uale has been out much of camp with cracked/bruised ribs. Mike Hague, a converted running back, has been very impressive filling in for Uale. Coaches are even saying that Hague has earned playing time this year, even if he is second on the depth chart.

In Bronco Mendenhall’s defense, the free safety is the most important position in the secondary. It is always preferred to have an experienced player, like Uale, returning at this position. If Uale is slow to return from his rib condition, Hague has provided a level of comfort that he can step in without a drop in secondary production.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT
On the first play of the first fall scrimmage, fullback Iona Pritchard suffered a season ending injury. Pritchard was going to be “depended on heavily” according to head coach Bronco Mendenhall.

After Fahu Tahi, Fui Vakapuna, and Manase Tonga manned the fullback spot very well for several seasons, BYU felt the difference without a guy of their caliber last year. Pritchard was expected to play a role reminiscent of these three NFL players.

BIGGEST SURPRISE
Wide receiver Cody Hoffman was all over the place at the end of 2010. He was the team’s leading receiver and made several big plays on special teams. During fall camp, however, he has become the invisible man.

Hoffman is still listed on the depth chart as a top receiver. He is not listed on any injury reports. Very rarely did his name pop up on the stats sheets either.

No one should get alarmed, yet. There are several good reasons for this. He could be so well entrenched in his spot that coaches want to look at other players. Also, with the visibility during camp much higher than this week and the next, the coaches could have been trying to keep Hoffman out of the spotlight because they have big things planned come September 3.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

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