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On to the mailbag.
1. This is an atrocity. BYU shutout of the NFL draft 2 years in a row. Can you say reality check?
2. And the rain continues to pour on the BYU football program.
3. I am trying to stay calm about the NFL draft, but it is very hard. This is a huge wake up call to Bronco Mendenhall, and the BYU program. Sure, having players drafted isn’t the end all, be all, but it should matter to the man guiding the program because you better believe it matters to the players being recruited.
When it comes to the NFL draft, there are a lot of factors that hurt BYU players. I am not going to dwell on them or use them to create excuses, because it is an indisputable fact that, in spite of these factors, BYU hasn’t gone two consecutive seasons without a player selected in the NFL draft since the mid 1960’s. This fact renders every excuse invalid.
It is time to sound the alarm. BYU can and should have at least one player’s name called every year.
I am not implying that the BYU football program has collapsed and the only way to repair it is to start from scratch. Some good things are happening at BYU, but you don’t wait until your house if fully engulfed in flames before you do something to fight the fire. If nothing is done now, this can impact recruiting and how those on the outside perceive the program.
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall has established tradition as one of the three guiding principles of the program. Just last February on National Signing Day, Mendenhall made it a point that he wants BYU to be the most complete football program in the country. Tradition cannot be a guiding principle, and BYU cannot be a complete football program without players being drafted by the NFL.
This second consecutive shutout is something that BYU needs to take notice of and address (as well as some other issues).
Your point about BYU not having a very good track record of putting linebackers into the NFL could shed some light on why BYU was unable to sign Vince Biegel—son of a BYU alum—or Manti Te’o, for that matter. Why would he (they) jeopardize an almost certain NFL career by going to Provo?
Relatively speaking, BYU’s track record has been better during the last decade. However, that doesn’t erase the fact that BYU hasn’t done well for over a generation at getting linebackers into the NFL.
I would like to think that a player as good as Te’o would still attract enough attention at BYU to be drafted in the early rounds. The same could be said for Biegel, assuming he turns out to be as good as his recruiting ranking.
Specific to Vince Biegel, his father Rocky is second on the list for most tackles in a single season (192), and fifth on the list for most tackles in a career (371). Rocky played at the same time as Ty Detmer. Despite putting up great numbers during a time when exposure was, possibly, at its highest for BYU football, Rocky wasn’t drafted. Obviously, Vince weighed many factors before coming to his decision. How much his father’s lack of NFL career played into it is unknown, but it is impossible to believe that it didn’t hurt BYU.
Hopefully, Kyle Van Noy and Zac Stout can get drafted and thrive in the NFL and help change this perception about BYU linebackers, which should make it easier for BYU to land top linebacker prospects in the future.
Utah defensive lineman Star Lotulelei is getting a lot of pub for the 2013 NFL draft. Talk about adding insult to injury. Lotulelei should be a Cougar.
This is another tough blow to the perception of the program. Of course, the fact that he is at a rival like Utah only makes it worse. However, unlike Manti Te’o and Vince Biegel, Lotulelei signed with BYU out of high school. He didn’t make it to BYU because he failed to qualify academically. In junior college, he also got out of shape and gained a lot of weight.
While it hurts to see him doing so well for someone else and be forced to wonder what BYU is missing, I can’t blame Bronco Mendenhall for not aggressively going after him a second time. Grade problem—strike one. Weight/work ethic issue—strike two. It seemed like a matter of time until he would strike out, which would come at an even greater expense to the program.
The defensive line had to deal with a lot of adversity last year with Matt Putnam failing to make grades (twice), and Thomas Bryson was expected to be a contributor before leaving school. Imagine the impacts, both real and perceived, of BYU losing a third D-lineman, especially one of Lotulelei’s caliber.
Well, that is the worst case scenario for the Boise State game. Thursday night following the Utah game. Not to mention, Boise State has an easy home game against Miami (OH) the week before.
One final time, the Mtn. Network sucker punches BYU. This game wouldn’t be on Thursday if it wasn’t for the Mtn. going under.
For better or worse, I am not going to whine, complain, or use this as an excuse for BYU. I don’t think anyone inside the Boise State program is. If BYU and its fans want to move up as a program, we have to roll with whatever punches we receive, and find a way to come out on top.
Yes, the two less days to prepare presents a new, additional challenge, but it applies to Boise State as well. The Broncos also have their own challenges as well. They have to replace a lot of talent, including the most important player on the field.
As for Miami (OH) being a de facto bye for Boise St., that may not be the case. Miami (OH) won 10 games in 2010, and have a very experienced quarterback who already has over 8,500 yards passing in his career. Despite losing eight games last year, Miami (OH) was competitive in all but two of them. I am not saying Miami (OH) will win, but Boise St. will have to put out some effort.
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