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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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Plenty of depth at receiver for BYU

As we wrote in today's piece in the Salt Lake Tribune, Cody Hoffman is clearly BYU's top receiver this year, followed closely by Ross Apo -- who has yet to see a lot of work at preseason practices.

Behind those two, JD Falslev appears to have the third receiver spot wrapped up -- although as coach Bronco Mendenhall said Friday, Falslev could be used in the backfield this year a little bit.

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The guy seeing a lot of reps at receiver that BYU fans might not know a lot about is Skyler Ridley, a 6-foot, 182-pound junior from Murrieta, Calif.

On the guys playing behind him and how they are doing:

"I feel like Skyler Ridley has come a long ways, because he is in the No. 2 spot [behind Hoffman] right now," Hoffman said Friday. "Mitch Mathews is still coming off a mission, but he has come a long ways, too. I feel like we are going to be deep no matter where we are at, so it is nice to have good backups like that."

Whatever the case, Hoffman said there's a "different feeling" at camp this year because of the presence of 29 seniors, including quarterback Riley Nelson.

"It is a big difference this year, just because Jake and him were such different quarterbacks. Riley is just a real competitor and it is nice to have him out here. We are really confident having just one quarterback that we need to focus on," Hoffman said. "We have come a long ways. We are still installing new plays, so we are still not playing at our full capability yet, but I feel like we are really jelling, and players are starting to get better and make plays for us."

Hoffman said he especially likes to go get the "jump balls" that Nelson throws, which caused me to ask him which receivers on the squad can dunk a basketball.

"I think Ross [Apo] can dunk. Mitch Mathews can dunk. JD [Falslev], I don't know if he can touch the net. But I think that's about it. We have some athletes at the receiver position this year."


With my video camera out of power, I wasn't able to post video of coach Bronco Mendenhall's post-practice remarks on Friday.

Here are a few of his comments from that session:

On what the scrimmage film showed:

"Just exactly what we hoped to accomplish. The total number of plays ended up being 83 if you count penalties and kicking plays, etc., but the volume of plays we got to evaluate younger players, and exactly where they were, and then rather having on the depth chart a number of guys that were listed side-by-side, we were able to get more clarity that way.

We will probably do one more of those similar-type scrimmages before long, before we move on to Washington State work at the end of next week. But only one ankle injury, with a ton of volume, for players we really needed to learn more about. So I really liked it."

On when he will get a two-deep chart from coaches:

"End of [Friday]. It took a long time to kinda get through film, and then have meetings, etc. So at the end of today we will have a little bit better idea. And again, that will be based on tomorrow. That's not perfect. We will have another scrimmage and then give guys a chance, especially depth-wise, to move one more time. "

On whether Dylan Collie is going to get on the field:

"Possibly. Too early to say there, too."

On when Scout team and redshirt decisions will be made:

"We have got it set for when we start practicing for Washington State, a normal game week, plus three days."

On whether the next scrimmage will incorporate more ones:

"I doubt it. There might be a few ones that are less experienced. But I have a pretty good idea of the rest of them, what they can do. And this format now, even though guys aren't knocking guys on the ground and tackling, I can still see a lot of what they are capable of."

On whether Joe Sampson can get back with the ones:

"I think he has a good chance, yeah. Long time. Man, we have a bunch of practices still to go."

On whether he likes where his depth is at corner:

"I like the depth, and I like who the guys are. And then as the scheme continues to develop, we have more answers to protect guys if they are not as fast, to protect guys if they are fast. So, the most consistent and the most trustworthy, and best football players can play, and the scheme can kinda work to their strengths."

On Spencer Hadley's move outside:

"It is a good start. He and Alani Fua are battling hard for that spot. Spencer was listed as the starter going into the scrimmage. Alani had a better scrimmage than Spencer. It could move back and forth three, four, maybe five times before we play Washington State. But they will both play."

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