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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 secondary is ailing, but front seven should be stellar

A lot has been made, and rightfully so, of BYU's lack of depth in the secondary the past few days. Injuries have depleted the defensive backfield at such an astonishing rate that it is almost comical.

If there is any consolation to the disastrous news that seems to come out daily about the secondary, it is that the front seven should be rock-solid for the second-straight year.

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I wrote a little bit about outside linebacker Spencer Hadley in Friday morning's newspaper, and the senior from rural Washington said he's expecting big things from that group, even if he hasn't participated in live drills yet.

"I feel like it is coming together well," Hadley said. "Like I said, I trust the guys coming up and the younger guys that are learning.

The first couple of weeks in camp, even for veterans, there is a learning curve remembering things from last year.

We did a great job this summer of installing a lot of our defensive scheme, and there's a pretty good understanding. I think we are further ahead at this point of camp than we were last year.

"There is still a lot of learning going on. But I believe we will put it together," Hadley continued. "We have a lot of talent out there. A lot of guys are molding into their new position. Even if they played the position in high school, it is different at this level. So a lot of learning, but I feel like it is going to come together really well."

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Tribune columnist Gordon Monson took a stab at naming the most indispensable players in Utah college football this season.

Had you asked me that question about BYU players before fall camp started, field corner Jordan Johnson would have been at the top of the list. Johnson suffered a season-ending knee injury on Monday.

Bronco Mendenhall was thinking the same thing, he acknowledged Wednesday.

"Field corner, if I would have put on the scale, going into two-a-days, where I certainly hoped we wouldn't [have an injury] that would have been No. 1," he said. "Now you are considering a field corner we brought in in Trenton Trammell, another field corner in Sam Lee, and another field corner [injured], a starter, so now that is three. And then Trevor Bateman is currently not practicing, which is the fourth. Hopefully we will get him back. Really, a unique set of circumstances right now. Hopefully we will get Sam back. Hopefully we will get Trevor back."

How concerned is Mendenhall about the lack of depth at both cornerback spots:

"Only as big as we make it right now," he said. "Rob Daniel will move over to field corner. Hopefully we will get Mike Hague back healthy, and he might be able to help us at boundary corner, and then we will find out who our backups might be."

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More from Hadley:

On the Jordan Johnson injury:

"Any time you have a guy who is capable of making plays, and who made plays all last year, go down, it is not good. So yeah, there is a physical impact, because he is gone. But there's an emotional impact as well on the players left. You feel for the guy who is missing, and whatnot. But you still gotta practice, still gotta prepare for the season."

On who will step in for Johnson:

"We have great players. I don't know who is going to take most of the snaps. There are a couple of guys that can step in there and play. And we will just see. The rest of camp will decide who takes over that position. Whomever it is, I trust our guys."

On whether he would be going harder in camp if he were younger and unproven:

"Um, I would push it a little more. But still, you have to listen to your body. You aren't going to prove anything by going out and ripping a muscle in half. Because then you are out even longer.

Either way, you got to take care of yourself and make sure you are healthy."



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