BYU Sophomore Beck chosen No. 1 QB

Published July 27, 2004 1:43 am
Back on top: Beck has the starting job in part because of Berry's recovery from an injury
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John Beck's performance in spring practice, combined with Matt Berry's broken hand, has led to Brigham Young football coach Gary Crowton selecting the sophomore as the starting quarterback going into fall camp.

"John won the job in spring practice," Crowton said Monday. "I preface that by saying Matt's hand injury was a factor.

"John's the starter, and Matt's got to beat him out."

The starter for the first three games as a sophomore last season, Berry suffered the hand injury in the first half against New Mexico. He returned before the hand was healed and was ineffective.

Beck started four games in Berry's absence until a broken hand sidelined him. Junior college transfer Jason Beck and former walk-on Jackson Brown also are on the depth chart. Brown received a scholarship after Todd Mortensen transferred to I-AA San Diego two weeks ago.

"Everybody will compete in all positions," said Crowton.

BYU officially begins preparation for the season Aug. 10. The first day in full pads is Aug. 14.

Earlier this month Berry said he expects to be fully recovered in time for practice. He intends to regain his position as starting quarterback.

John Beck also views himself as the starter.

"I want to be the quarterback of this football team," he said. "Right now I view myself as the one in charge of the team."

He completed 10 of 18 passes for 171 yards, including a 50-yarder to Todd Watkins, in the spring scrimmage.

Sizing up the line

Crowton said offensive lineman Ofa Mohetau could redshirt this season to concentrate on academics. Considered an elite recruit out of Texas, Mohetau saw significant time as a freshman last season.

"I'm not sure of his eligibility issues," Crowton said.

Based on spring practice, Jake Kuresa and Paul Fisher are competing at right tackle. Scott Young is the starting right guard.

A former linebacker, Lance Reynolds is listed as the first-team center. Hanale Vincent, the second-team center last season, is in the rotation at guard.

Brian Sanders has replaced Mohetau at left guard. Eddie Keele, a part-time starter last season, and R.J. Willing are contending for the left tackle spot.


Several walk-ons have been invited on the team at running back. Two scholarship tailbacks - Rey Brathwaite and Marcus Whalen - left school after violating the honor code. Incoming freshman B.J. Mathis also could be moved to the backfield. "We're a lot stronger than people give us credit for," Crowton said. . . . All of BYU's recruits are academically qualified except for defensive back Eddie Scipio, who is expected to enroll in January, and defensive lineman Isley Filiaga. Crowton said Filiaga has worked hard academically and is close to qualifying. . . . Crowton expects defensive lineman C.J. Ah You and defensive back Shannon Benton to attempt to return from honor code suspensions after the season. "As far as I'm concerned they're working to be in good standing with the university," Crowton said. Six players were suspended during the offseason.

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