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Jay Drew
Jay covers BYU athletics for The Salt Lake Tribune. You can follow him on Twitter @drewjay.

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BYU practice report: Sampson and Hoffman return

BYU's sixth practice of preseason camp on Wednesday was marked by the returns of receiver Cody Hoffman and safety Joe Sampson. The duo missed four-straight practices for what coach Bronco Mendenhall termed were "team discipline issues."

Because of NCAA rules that say players can't be fully padded until their fifth practice of camp, neither player will participate in Thursday's scrimmage at the stadium.

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Mendenhall said he has been meeting with the players daily since the "suspensions" and cleared them to return to practice last night.

"So it is great to have them back. ... I have personal contracts with a lot of my players, and their job is to keep them, and my job is to keep my word. So, yeah. It was a great relationship builder, and I am encouraged by what they have done to this point."

Sampson chose to talk to reporters after practice on Wednesday, while Hoffman decided not to.

"It feels good to be back out here, man. I am just ready to get ready for this season," Sampson said.

Asked if could talk about why he was held out, Sampson said:

"That's in the past. I am just focused on the future right now, just ready to get ready for the season."

The senior safety said he learned to "just make good decisions" from the ordeal and believes he "didn't miss a step" while working out in the weight room during practices.

And he's not all that saddened by having to miss Thursday's scrimmage.

"The ones probably won't even play that much in the scrimmage anyway, so I am fine," he said.

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Not too much news came out of practice (the Cougars start double-days today, but the afternoon practice is closed to the media). Tomorrow's scrimmage at LES (10:20 a.m.) is open to the general public and the media.

Mendenhall said that kicker Justin Sorensen had an MRI on his aching back on Tuesday, but that there was nothing definitive to report because doctors have to analyze the MRI and then instruct BYU trainers what course of action they should take to get Sorensen back on the field.

I asked Mendenhall if there's a chance that Sorensen could redshirt this year. He said he hasn't really even considered that option and believes Sorensen will be able to kick in the opener. So we will see.

Other odds and ends:

* Defensive lineman Ian Dulan was held out of practice with a sore back.

* Receiver Dallin Cutler is still nursing a sore hamstring and didn't practice, either.

* Linebacker Brandon Ogletree was limited in his practice work today due to some general soreness.

* Today's highlight was turned in by linebacker Spencer Hadley, who picked off a Riley Nelson pass early in the scrimmage.

* Nelson struggled a bit today, going 1-for-5, by my count, with the interception.

* Former BYU safety Travis Uale watched practice. Uale, who graduated with a geography degree, is trying to get into architecture school at the University of Hawaii. In the meantime, he plans on trying out for Sacramento's team in the UFL this weekend.

All for now -- more later.



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