p class="TEXT_w_Indent"> Mahina has caught just 26 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns in his career, but Anae says the senior has the tools necessary to have a breakout season. He says if Mahina gets open, he will get the ball.
Mahina told me he plans on getting open a lot.
"I am going to be a contributor as far as run-blocking, pass-blocking, and then 5 yard routes, 10-yard routes, going over the middle, working against linebackers," he said. "Just check-downs, stuff like that that traditional tight ends will do."
I wasn't able to work in a quote from quarterback Taysom Hill about using tight ends more this year. Here's what Hill said when I asked him about that:
"Yeah, I think [BYU will go to the tight end more]," Hill said. "We've done a few different things. We have put Jordan Leslie at tight end, and Keanu [Nelson] and some of these new transfers. They have been able to come in and find a role for themselves. That has been good.
Then we have been able to incorporate a down tight end with [Bryan] Sampson and when Devin [Mahina] gets healthy he will be out there. I expect to use the tight ends more this year. The nature of being in the spread offense is we are looking for more one-on-one matchups, and a lot of times those come on the outside. So that's what we saw last year."
Here's more from my interview with Mahina:
On whether he's won the starting tight end position:
"I am No. 1 on the depth chart, and am appreciative of that, but anything can happen. I just have to continue to work hard and show that I can be the best."
On whether he feels like he is the guy who can reverse the trend of tight ends not getting open: