Post-practice interviews: Kalani Sitake, Tanner Mangum and Austin Hoyt
After an early practice session in the Indoor Practice Facility we got to hear from Kalani Sitake on the team’s preparations as they head towards the close of fall camp and start prep for Portland State. He also touched on the versatility of Austin Kafentzis, someone who has taken reps at quarterback, wide receiver and most recently running back. It sounds like one was or another Austin will be seeing the field. Kalani rounded out his session with comments on the depth chart, the progress of the right ends and updates on the specialists.
Tanner Mangum also addressed the media and said that the defensive backs are giving the younger receivers some good reps as they prepared for some tough defenses early on in the schedule. He also praised Matt Bushman, saying that he moves really well for a big man and does a good job finding the soft spots the defense (something that Dennis Pitta perfected in his time at BYU).
Austin Hoyt was interviewed after practice for the first time and he favored us with his dutch oven cooking experience. This is what happens when you interview offensive lineman, more often than not you’re going to have a conversation about food.
Starters along the offensive line confirmed
According to a tweet from Salt Lake Tribune beat writer Jay Drew, coach Mike Empey confimed the following players will be the starters on the offensive line (baring any major changes in the next 12 days). Thomas Shoaf will be protecting Tanner’s blind side at left tackle, with Keyan Norman next to him at the left guard position. Surprise, surprise Tejan Koroma is locked in at center with Tuni Kanuch and Austin Hoyt lining up to his right. They can still make some improvements but this will be one of the better units in recent memory.
BYU's starting offensive line, confirmed by OL coach Mike Empey: LT T. Shoaf, LG K. Norman, C T. Koroma, RG T. Kanuch, RT A. Hoyt.— Jay Drew (@drewjay) August 14, 2017
WR coach Ben Cahoon dishes on his young position group
Coming into camp the wide receiver group was probably the youngest and most-unproven unit on the team, leaving many to question if Tanner Mangum would have an explosive targets on the edge. So far we’ve seen quite a few videos of Talon Shumway hauling in long passes, and Micah Simon making some nice catches but there is still some doubt as to how they will perform once they face a real opponent. After practice WR coach Ben Cahoon addressed the media for the first time this camp and talked about how getting off the line of scrimmage was their number one priority in camp. In years previous they have struggled against teams that would play man press coverage and this season will be no different with LSU, Utah and Wisconsin on the schedule. He feels like the group is progressing nicely and developing a nice rapport with the quarterbacks. Cahoon recognized Neil Pau’u as someone who has really stepped up and said that he will be challenging Talon Shumway for playing time.
Francis Bernard still on the sidelines
Returning starter Francis Bernard sat out of the scrimmage on Thursday of last week and during this practice he was present but wasn’t wearing pads. Adam Pulsipher has been getting the majority of the reps with the first team defense in Bernard’s absence. The coaching staff has yet to comment on his status.
Practice footage from the IPF, featuring Vanilla Ice?
One of the joys of watching these clips from fall camp is that we usually get a quick sampling of the music that is played during practice. Thanks to the BYU Football video team we got to hear the sweet sounds of Ice Ice Baby being pumped through the sound system. Music choices aside, there weren’t any major highlights in this batch. A couple of long completions and a few defensive stops. If anything just watch this video to see Tanner Mangum throw some really tight spirals. They’re truly heaven sent.
In addition to the traditional practice clips we got the “Welcome to the Family” trailer, featuring Provo’s very own Imagine Dragons. I usually try to stay away from breaking down every little nugget that appears in each of these videos but one thing that I was interested to see was the use of Beau Tanner towards the end of the video. At the :28 second mark you see Tanner Mangum take a snap from shotgun and chest-pass the ball to Beau Tanner who is coming across the field on a fly sweep. (This very play is worth an article all on its own, originating from offensive guru Bob Stitt at the Colorado School of the Mines and then perfected by Dana Holgerson and his West Virginia team that shredded Clemson in the 2012 Orange Bowl using said play). At any rate, it’s exciting to see the coaching staff utilizing Beau and his electric speed. We’ve heard the coaches rave about his play-making ability and it looks like they’re doing what they can to take advantage.
BONUS: Mic’ed up with Bronson Kaufusi
It was a tough rookie season for former defensive end Bronson Kaufusi as he missed the entire year with an injury. Now he’s healthy and ready to contribute to the Ravens defense. During his first game action since being drafted, the broadcast team mic’ed up Bronson and we got to hear his interactions with his teammates and opponents here. As one would probably assume, Bronson sounds downright giddy to be playing football again.