Let’s start with a couple of football-related links to pass along today, the first day of the seven-round NFL Draft:
* Here’s my quick synopsis of the BYU players who might be drafted this weekend, and what they or their agents had to say about their draft prospects. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who I wrote about a few days ago, is the only sure thing for the Cougars this year.
My hunch is that safety Daniel Sorensen will be drafted in the sixth or seventh round and that it is 50-50 whether receiver Cody Hoffman will be drafted. I’m guessing that linebacker Uani Unga and defensive tackle Eathyn Manumaleuna will be offered free-agent contracts, despite Unga’s agent’s insistence that he will be drafted.
We will see.
* Bruce Feldman of foxsports.com published a recent Q&A he conducted with Bronco Mendenhall this morning in which the BYU football coach talks about the new college football playoff and the Cougars’ situation in the ever-changing college football world.
Perhaps the most interesting element in the piece to those who are already familiar with what the 2014 team will look like is Mendenhall’s view that all of the power conferences — SEC, ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and Big Ten — should be playing the same number of conference games and that all five should have conference championship games.
Is Bronco lobbying to get the Big 12 to join the others in having a championship game, a move that may force the Big 12 to expand? Kinda looks that way.
"So if there are five, let’s make those five as equal as possible if that is how the [playoff] selection is going to happen," Mendenhall told Feldman. "And for those of us that aren’t part of the power five, let’s make the standards really clear about what we have to [do to] play for a national championship, so we can qualify."
If any BYU player has a good idea what it is like to watch the draft and wait for his name to be called, it is Daniel Sorensen. Last year, Sorensen’s brother, Southern Utah University quarterback Brad Sorensen, went through it. He was eventually picked in the seventh round by the San Diego Chargers.
Daniel said Brad hasn’t given him a lot of advice, but has told him that chances are good a team that has never spoken to him or expressed much interest in him will pick him.
Daniel, who is from Colton, Calif., which is near San Bernardino, said he was a mild Chargers fans growing up because that was the nearest NFL team. Now the whole family roots heavily for San Diego with Brad there, and Daniel would love to join him.
Of course, Daniel is married to the former Whitney Halford, sister of BYU basketball player Skyler Halford. Whitney is a member of BYU’s International Dance Ensemble, and will be touring Europe with that group the entire month of July. Daniel said Whitney has a few online courses left to graduate, and he is also getting close to getting his degree.
He took this semester off to train for the draft, and hopes to finish his schoolwork in recreation management at this time next year, assuming he spends this fall with an NFL team.
As for what he will do this weekend, Daniel said "it has been a struggle, trying to figure out the right thing to do." Since it is highly unlikely he will be drafted Thursday or Friday (second and third rounds), he says family members will probably get together on Saturday to watch that portion of the draft (rounds 4-7).
"Mostly, I am feeling excitement," he said. "I am nervous about where I will be going, and who picks me, and whether I will be drafted or not. There’s a mixture of emotions."
Sorensen said he got some good news a few days ago.
"I just got of the phone with a special teams coach today, and he was talking that if it comes down to me or another safety, they would probably go with me because of my special teams work," he said. "I would like to think I am a safety first, but I was a special teams captain, and whatever a team needs, that is what I will do."
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