BYU football: Questions abound as Cougars open spring camp Tuesday – Salt Lake Tribune
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The rookie head coach faces plenty of questions, however, as the Cougars move on from having Bronco Mendenhall at the helm the past 11 seasons.
Here are five of the more pressing matters:
No. 1 • With Taysom Hill announcing recently that he plans to return for his final season of eligibility, who will be the starting quarterback?
That’s an easy one, for now. In camp, it will be rising sophomore Tanner Mangum because Hill still has not been fully cleared by doctors to participate. Mangum made a news splash Friday by announcing he is engaged to BYU volleyball star Alexa Gray, and will get the majority of the reps — Beau Hoge and Koy Detmer Jr. will get a few — as Hill watches from the sidelines.
Come August, assuming Hill is cleared, expect the quarterback situation to be a daily topic.
“It will be an open competition,” offensive coordinator Ty Detmer said. “Nobody has been promised anything.”
No. 2. • Who else will participate in spring camp, and who won’t?
Lamb said Thursday that promising sophomore linebacker Sione Takitaki, who was suspended last October for the remainder of the season for an undisclosed violation of team rules, has “been participating with us on a daily basis and has done a really good job.”
Running back Jamaal Williams, who withdrew from school days before fall camp started last August, has also been participating in conditioning workouts since the semester began and “looks fantastic to me,” Lamb said.
The former SUU coach said coaches have been told to not discuss disciplinary measures, so he declined to list any players who might not participate. Lamb also did not know which players are recovering from surgeries or injuries and won’t be available, but there will be several, as usual.
No. 3. • Who is on the move?
Herriman product Francis Bernard emerged as a reliable running back in 2015, rushing for 334 yards and seven touchdowns and catching 17 passes for 156 yards and two scores, but has been working out with defensive players, Lamb said, and is expected to be moved to linebacker.
Sophomore Micah Simon, from Texas, was a quarterback in high school but made the switch to defensive back at BYU. He will be moved back to the offense, likely at receiver, this spring.
Lamb said after a few practices the coaches will make some evaluations and perhaps make more changes in an effort to give players the “best opportunity to be as high on the depth chart as they can be. We are anticipating that there are going to be some players moved from one side of the ball to the other in the effort to make the team as solid as it can be.”
No. 4. What are the areas of concern?