Bronco Mendenhall sat down with beat writers today for close to a 45-minute session and covered a lot of ground, including breaking the news that he turned down a legitimate Division I job offer. Here are the notes all in one place from that media session.
(Tip of the hat to Greg Wrubell and Jay Drew for tweeting all the info -- you know, the guys that were actually there asking the questions.)
ON THE JOB OFFER AND COACHING CONTRACT:
Mendenhall revealed that he turned down an offer at the end of the 2011 regular season to take another Division I head coaching job. When reporters discussed from what school the offer may have been, Mendenhall added, "No one knows." (UCLA? Arizona State?) He also added, "We had a choice to make ... Sincere and distinct chance to leave and we chose not to." (I'm assuming "we" would be he and his wife.)
To leave for another job, he said there would have to be more than football -- a service academy or a place with very high academics, for instance. But, he added, "I am enjoying [BYU] now more than I have ever enjoyed it."
On his contract, Bronco said he signed a three-year deal instead of a five-year deal because he doesn't want to make agreements he can't fulfill. Some are making this out to mean that he might be done at the end of the three-year deal, but this was nothing different than he said to begin this season. Bronco has consistently said he doesn't plan to be a coaching lifer, and will take contracts in small pieces to make sure he is 100% committed and able to perform for the duration of each contract.
On BYU-Utah rivarly: Bronco said neither school wants to be the school responsible for ending the rivarly, and thinks it will continue.
He said the 2013 schedule will be "the strongest we will have played to date," the 2014 schedule is almost done, and 2015-18 are "half done."
Mendenhall also said he could not comment on a date for 2012's game at Georgia Tech because the contract is not yet signed.
CONFERENCE EXPANSION / REALIGNMENT
On the Big East: "I just didn't think that was our future ... I really like where we are."
On the Big 12: Said it was very appealing. "Until there becomes a really compelling conference offer, I would rather be Independent."
HEAPS AND NELSON
After 2010, Bronco said he was committed to Jake Heaps. "I had already seen what Jake could do, and believed that he was our future." He said he thought Nelson could be a safety. "Proved to be wrong." Said Riley Nelson insisted throughout, "I'm a quarterback."
ROSTER AND INJURIES
Mendenhall reported Jake Heaps is the only known transfer.
When asked about Josh Quezada's year in dealing with his brother's murder, he acknowledged how difficult it had been but there are "no indications he is planning to leave BYU."
JC defensive line recruit Marques Johnson is already on campus, but will likely redshirt 2012.
Bronco was excited about FB Iona Pritchard's prospects in 2012, calling them "giant."
Spencer Hadley is being moved from inside to outside linebacker. Bronco listed the top outside linebackers heading into 2012: Kyle Van Noy, Alani Fua, Ezekiel Ansah, and Hadley.
Wide receiver Jordan Smith is being moved to safety, and Mendenhall says coaches think CB Jordan Johnson "has a chance to be really, really good."
OLs Braden Brown and Houston Reynolds, DB Preston Hadley, and RB David Foote are all likely to miss spring after surgeries to repair torn labrums.
Other injuries to DT Jordan Richardson (herniated disk), OL Braden Hansen (ankle), K Justin Sorensen (back) could also hold those players out of spring practice as well.