BYU football: Linebackers moving around to get best four on the field
Provo • BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall wants to get his four best linebackers on the field at the same time, he said Wednesday.
If that means moving senior outside linebacker Spencer Hadley inside to the "buck" linebacker position, which Hadley played some a few seasons ago, then so be it.
"We started on Monday cross-training Spencer basically because [junior] Alani Fua has done such a nice job at [strongside linebacker]," Mendenhall said.
Kyle Van Noy will stay put at the weakside linebacker spot, and Oregon State transfer Uani Unga is entrenched in the middle.
Mendenhall said if Fua, a bit undersized at about 225 pounds, struggles then they can always go back to having Tyler Beck or Manoa Pikula play the buck spot. In which case, Hadley would go back to playing on the outside.
Nose tackle news
Because they are a bit thin at the nose tackle position, coaches continue to play senior Eathyn Manumaleuna there, rather than defensive end, where Bronson Kaufusi and Remington Peck are getting the first-team reps.
Mendenhall said if the season started today, Marques Johnson would back up Manumaleuna at nose and that freshman JonRhyheem Peoples would see some time "in a limited role."
Mendenhall said former tight end Austin Holt is in the mix to be considered the fourth defensive end, but others are also fighting for that spot as well.
Corners coming to the fore
Mendenhall said that junior college transfer Robertson Daniel, who had an interception in the scrimmage, will be the opening-day starter at field corner and will be backed up by two players who entered camp as receivers, Eric Thornton or freshman Michael Davis.
Mike Hague saw some time at boundary corner on Wednesday, where the oft-injured senior has joined the battle to be the starter with freshman Dallin Leavitt and senior Skye PoVey.
Series with San Jose State set
BYU continues to add more future games against Mountain West Conference opponents. Wednesday, the Cougars announced they have agreed to a home-and-home series with MWC newcomer San Jose State that will be played on Nov. 7, 2015 in San Jose and Oc. 28, 2017 in Provo.
"We have a large number of Cougar football fans in that part of California," said BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe. "I like the matchup. It's a good regional series for our football program."
SJSU leads the series 10-6, including last year's 20-14 win over the Cougars at Spartan Stadium.
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