BYU football: So far, only QB battle is to be Taysom Hill's backup
Provo • On the first day of spring camp a week ago, senior Jason Munns was the quarterback when the second-team offense took the field during the scrimmaging portion of BYU's practice. Last Wednesday, junior college transfer Christian Stewart was at the controls with the twos, and on Monday it was sophomore Ammon Olsen's turn to get some repetitions with the second stringers.
Every day that the media has been allowed to watch practice, however, the same guy was with the first team. That's sophomore Taysom Hill.
It is getting kind of obvious that Hill has a leg up in the battle to be the starting quarterback for BYU, but offensive coordinator Robert Anae said it is still too early to say anybody had edged ahead after four practices.
Hill "is running with the first team. We haven't named a starter yet, but he is running a lot of reps with the first team and doing a really good job. I am really pleased," Anae said.
Asked if anything can be read into the fact that Hill has been with the first team every day, Anae reiterated that coaches have not named a starter.
"Other than he's running with the first team, read [into it] whatever you want," he said.
Monday, Hill worked the first, third and fifth series, while Olsen got the second and fourth series. The other QBs Munns, Stewart and freshman Billy Green just watched.
"It is refreshing, and it is exciting," Munns said last week when camp opened. "No matter what position you play, you hope for an opportunity to play, and I think we are all going to get that chance, and that's all we can ask for is an opportunity, and to make the most of those."
So far, though, those opportunities have been scarce.
Coach BroncoMendenhall did not talk to reporters on Monday. Last Wednesday, he had praise for Stewart, a Snow College transfer.
"He has a lot of experience, and just is kind of emerging as a guy we weren't really counting on, but is at least playing his way into contention, at least after two days. But it is way, way early," Mendenhall said.
Getting a year back
A couple of defensive players, Eathyn Manumaleuna and Mike Hague, were seniors last year but saw their seasons cut short due to injuries. Manumaleuna suffered a season-ending knee injury against Boise State and Hague tore the calf muscle 7 centimeters long in his right leg.
Both are participating in spring camp with hopes that they will be given an extra year of eligibility. The paperwork has been submitted or is close to being submitted to the NCAA and signs are positive that it will happen, which is why both are going full-tilt in spring ball, Hague said.
"From what we are able to see, it looks like we will get them back," he said. "It is almost a guarantee, but we can't be entirely certain until we hear back [from the NCAA]."
BYU and Virginia have added two more games to a previously announced football series. They will now play on Sept. 7, 2019 in Charlottesville, Va., and on Sept. 19, 2020, in Provo. They previously announced a two-game series that will have BYU playing at Virginia on Aug. 31 this year and Virginia returning the game in Provo on Sept. 20, 2014. ... Defensive end Bronson Kaufusi, who also plays for the BYU basketball team, participated in football practice on Monday and plans to go again Wednesday. He said he will rejoin the basketball team when its postseason plans are solidified probably on Sunday night and go from there until the basketball season formally ends. ... Former BYU tight end Andrew George, a graduate assistant, will coach the tight ends and inside receivers this season, he confirmed Monday.