Skyler Ridley is just thankful he was suspended for the first half of the last BYU football game, and not the next one.
Ridley, the senior receiver, captain and former walk-on, will likely replace the injured JD Falslev (broken hand) as the Cougars’ primary punt returner in Saturday’s game at Wisconsin. He could also move over and play some slot receiver (which Falslev also played), although that, too, is still up in the air.
"Whatever I can do to help the team win, I will do," Ridley said. "I played a little slot in high school as well. It is a different game when you play inside. You have a few more people to look at. But as I said, whatever I can do to help our team win come this Saturday."
Ridley had to sit out the first half of BYU’s 37-20 win over Boise State due to the unflagged targeting of a Houston player in the Cougars’ 47-46 win on Oct. 19. He watched the first half from the press box, then joined the team for the second half on the field but did not catch a pass.
Ridley has caught 21 passes for 232 yards and one touchdown this season, the game-winner against Houston.
"It would have been a lot tougher if we weren’t doing as well as he were," he said of sitting out. "Obviously, I would have loved to have been a part of the way we threw the ball around in the first half. It was tough. I was sitting up in the box, which was a totally different perspective for me, but I was excited to see our guys have success."
As you can read in this report in today’s Tribune, Ridley and Cody Hoffman are the primary candidates to return punts in the 3-4 weeks that Falslev is out.
"They haven’t come down and said, ‘you are the guy.’ Me and a few others are catching balls," Ridley said. "I have been back there catching them the whole season. But JD has kind of solidified that spot for the past few years, so just a few guys right now back there catching punts. They haven’t said who is doing it yet."
Ridley said Hoffman, Mike Hague and Dallin Leavitt are also getting some reps returning punts in practice.
Tuesday afternoon, BYU announced that Hoffman and fellow senior Kyle Van Noy have been invited to play in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 25, 2014 in Mobile, Ala.
It was also announced that Pleasant Grove lineman Zach Dawe, who has committed to play football for BYU, is the state winner of the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award. Dawe now becomes eligible to be named one of 12 finalists for the national award. Sarah Feeny of Ogden High is the girls winner for Utah.
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