Twenty-two BYU seniors say goodbye today at LES
Dress warmly if you are attending the BYU-Idaho State game today at LaVell Edwards Stadium. It is a cold, rainy day in Provo, with a few hints of snow, which has already dusted the mountains about the stadium. Of course, it is a Senior Day at BYU, as some 22 seniors will play their final home games at LaVell's place. For a list of the 22 seniors, check out my advance of the game in today's Tribune, which can be found online here. The list is at the bottom, left-hand side. Perhaps the biggest surprises on the list are defensive end Austin Holt and receiver Marcus Mathews. I double-checked those names with a BYU football spokesperson, because Holt and Mathews were listed as juniors when the season began. Indeed, neither player plans on returning to the team next season, although both players theoretically could by calling last year their redshirt year. Mathews played in just three games before an illness ended his 2012 season. Holt played in just four games last year prior to a season-ending injury. Both players' careers have been hampered by injuries, illnesses and position switches. The 22 seniors will receive blankets, a BYU tradition, after the game. Here are more comments from some of the seniors about what their final game at LES will be like: Safety Daniel Sorensen on what he will miss:"The atmosphere, more than anything else, it will be playing with the guys, the guys you play with, the guys you battle with. That's the emotional tie to this place, to this stadium, is the guys you spend so much time with."Sorensen on his relationship with coach Bronco Mendenhall and his last game: "Bronco is a pretty emotional and sentimental guy, but no, we haven't talked about it. So maybe he will, and if he does, it will be a small gesture, or a whisper in the year. That will be enough for me to know that he cares and he loves me." Linebacker Kyle Van Noy on whether he's thought about his last home game:"No, I don't think it will hit me for awhile. It is actually pretty crazy to have a senior game, and I don't think it will hit me for awhile, but I am looking forward to it on Saturday. I hope it warms up. I know the weather looks a little crummy. Hopefully it will warm up and there will be a lot of people there and a lot of support. I am glad my family will be able to make it to the game and it will be fun." Van Noy on what is special about playing at LES:"Man, there is a lot of history involved with that place, and to be able to play somewhere like that, where legends have played, has been quite an honor, and to be able to make my own mark has been kinda special for me. It is going to be nice to finish my senior season there and leave my legacy."Van Noy on his first experience at LES: "I remember playing against Jake Locker, and playing in that game a couple of plays. But I really remember the San Diego State game, just a series in particular where I had three consecutive plays. I will never forget it. I started off with a sack, and then read a screen, made a play, and then made a tackle in the flat. So that will be forever remembered in my brain. I will hold on to that tight and hopefully keep that edge as I continue on."Van Noy on finishing up with this group of seniors and what that's like: "Yeah, I mean I feel the same way I did last year during this time, just grateful to play with the players that are on our team. Last year, we had a great group of seniors, and I felt like I had played with them forever, and this year is the same. I have played with a couple of those guys for awhile, and it is a cool experience. I am glad I could go out with winners."Recevier Skyler Ridley on his last home game: "Try not to think about it too much. It has been an amazing experience for me here at BYU. To think it is going to be my last time playing here at LaVell Edwards Stadium is kind of surreal. I am just going to go out and enjoy it and enjoy being with my teammates." Ridley on what he will miss:"Just the entire experience being in the locker room, running out on the field with the team, running around the stadium giving everyone high-fives after the game. There is a lot I will miss, but I think just the friendships and the bonds with my teammates. That's what I will miss the most."Defensive coordinator Nick Howell on seeing seniors play their final game:"It is fun playing over there, so I just hope they have a good time. I hope they play hard and they get everything out of it that they want, that when they look back at all their time spent in that stadium, that they have no regrets. That's what I would like to see. It is kind of sad that this is their last home game. We still got a couple more. I just hope they have no regrets and play as hard as they can. That's what I hope."Defensive back Mike Hague on his feelings about it coming to a close:"I have been around a long time, so I think it is time for it to come to an end. That's my feeling. But I am glad I have one more opportunity here at LaVell to play one more game with the seniors, and with this team."Hague on what his emotions will be like:"It is definitely going to be sad. I think I decided a long time ago that with my body, that I wasn't going to continue my football career. So here at LaVell Edwards Stadium it is my last football game, and so I am accepting that emotionally."