Provo • One of the first passes that quarterback Taysom Hill threw during BYU’s initial practice of 2013 preseason camp on Saturday was intercepted by senior safety Daniel Sorensen after a receiver cut off his route.
But by the end of the three-hour workout, Hill and his receivers were clicking, as JD Falslev and Skyler Ridley hauled in passes to get the offense into scoring territory.
BYU at Virginia
O Aug. 31, 1:30 p.m.
TV » ESPNU
The sophomore QB said he has braced for that kind of day early in camp, in more ways than one.
Hill, who suffered a season-ending knee injury against Utah State last fall, wore a bulky brace on that surgically repaired left knee and will likely wear it during every practice this season, although he insists he has completely recovered.
"That’s the plan, to always wear it," he said. "I mean, I am doing everything I can to get out of it, but it is not working. But it is not too bad. As far as bending, getting into a flex [position] all the way, it is a little restricting, but as far as all the movements I need to make on the football field, I am able to do that."
Coach Bronco Mendenhall said he didn’t notice how Hill performed Saturday because he was too busy coaching his defensive players.
"I couldn’t really give you an accurate account, other than [to say] his leadership is off the charts," Mendenhall said. "He’s doing a really nice job that way."
Offensive coordinator Robert Anae said it quickly became evident that Hill prepared hard for his role in the offseason.
"Boy, Taysom has done his work," Anae said. "His body, it is a machine. Man, that guy looks like an NFL safety. Conditioning test was no problem. He’s fast, he’s mobile, and has a nice little touch on the ball."
Kavika Fonua, a 6-foot, 200-pound defensive back at Syracuse High in north Davis County, attended Saturday’s practice with his family and then committed to BYU. The senior will sign with the Cougars in February, then depart on an LDS Church mission before enrolling at the school.
He also had an offer from the University of Utah. But the Utes lured a recruit away from the Cougars over the weekend as well, getting a commitment from Timpview’s Pita Taumoepenu, a 6-1, 200-pound linebacker and defensive end.
A royal occasion
BYU announced last week that it will wear royal blue uniforms for the game against Utah on Sept. 21 in Provo.
"I like the tradition of BYU, and the history of BYU. That particular game seems a fitting kind of closure, at least to that game, for a couple of years," Mendenhall said. "So it was just to add emphasis on how strongly I feel about that game, the rivalry, and that I believe that it should be played every year."
BYU announced that Saturday’s 10 a.m. practice/scrimmage at LaVell Edwards Stadium will be open to the public. Admission is free.
The annual Cougar Kickoff is Aug. 21 at Haws Field from 6-8:30 p.m. and will be attended by members of the football, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and cross country teams.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.