With just 5 days until BYU kicks off its season versus Portland State, the first depth chart of the 2017 season was publicly released. Jake Hatch of 1280 the Zone first tweeted out the depth chart.
Here are some of the notable findings:
- Matt Hadley replaces Francis Bernard as starting linebacker. After competing for a starting safety spot, the senior has been moved to linebacker to replace Francis Bernard. (Side note: Bernard is still with the team, but Ilaisa Tuiaki’s comments from today sound like he may be transferring from the program; Coach Sitake, however, said no final decision has been made yet.).
Although a bit undersized at 205 pounds, Hadley will give better speed, coverage ability, and knowledge of the defense than other potential options. Hadley is also in the mix to be the primary kick returner.
Junior Zayne Anderson, one of the fastest players on the team, is slated to start at free safety opposite of Micah Hannemann.
- The offense will run a variety of sets. BYU listed 4 different running back positions and 2 tight end positions. Junior Squally Canada is listed at the starting tailback, and will likely get the bulk of the carries to start out the season. In addition to tailback, BYU lists a full back, half back, and BB (big back?) positions.
The two tight end positions also indicate BYU will be lining up in two tight end sets much more than in the past. With unproven talent at wide receiver and good camps from Matt Bushman and Moroni Laulu-Pututau, BYU will be utilizing tight ends more than they have since 2009.
- DT Tevita Mo’Unga not listed. Potential starting DT Tevita Mo’Unga is working through some academic issues.
If Mo’Unga is cleared to play, expect him to be one of the starters at defensive tackle.
- Freshman Chaz Ah You will line up at multiple spots. Blue-chip prospect Chaz Ah You looks like he will make an impact his first year in Provo. Ah You is listed as the starting nickel back, and is also one of the linebackers behind Fred Warner. If Ah You can put on another 15-25 pounds over the next year, look for him to be one your starting outside linebackers next year as BYU replaces Fred Warner.