BYU Spring Practice: Burning Questions Go Unanswered

BYU concluded spring practice Saturday, April 10, and most of my burning questions are still flaming.

1. Who will be the starting quarterback?
Coach Bronco Mendenhall appears to be taking to heart President Spencer W. Kimball’s counsel. Either that or freshman Jake Heaps has exceeded the coaching staff’s expectations and has a legitimate chance to start. Heaps was very impressive and has gained a strong following among the fans. Nevertheless, no starter has been named. I don’t know how close the coaches are to naming a starter, but I think they know exactly what they are looking for from each quarterback so that a decision can be made.

2. Will spring be effective for the offensive line?
For the linemen who were healthy and participating, this spring might have been the most effective ever. The reduced numbers allowed them to each get more reps. Famika Anae’s ACL was not pleasant news. There was not spring game, so whether or not this spring was effective will have to be answered as each game is played in the fall. Historically, the o-line is not a troubled spot.

3. Can the wide receivers take the next step?
The attention during spring was so much focused on the quarterbacks and other holes that needed to be filled that the wide receivers were not given much attention. The answer to this question might be best answered by the way Jake Heaps was able to put up such impressive numbers. He completed several long balls to wideouts. What we don’t know is who was defending on those plays. The BYU secondary looks to be one of the best in the MWC this year. Corners Brian Logan and Brandon Bradley are coming off big years. If McKay Jacobson, O’Neill Chambers and company were able to do their damage against the first unit, then the receving corps may be on its way up the ladder.

4. Will the defensive front seven be filled?
It looks like the down linemen have settled in and the starters will be team vets who have considerable experience. Kyle Van Noy and Jameson Frazer made names for themselves at linebacker. The only thing missing is middle linebacker. No one seems to know who will take over in the middle.

As for the rest of the team, the outlook for 2010 looks bright. I like what is happening with the running backs. While BYU has been and will continue to be a pass first offense, the quality and athleticism of the running backs is increasing. The tight end race has become a two man race, which means it is pretty much done. The BYU system always makes use of two tight ends. Devin Mahina and Mike Muehlmann will get the chance to prove themselves on the field and the depth chart can be adjusted accordingly. All in all, even with all the key losses from 2009, I am starting to expect a lot of wins this fall.