Hollywood, Calif. • Defensive lineman Bradlee Anae and his Utah football teammates have lasting memories of Media Day in Provo.
Anae and running back Zack Moss enjoyed representing the Utes this week in the Pac-12 Football Media Day in Hollywood, but the summer event that will resonate with them came in June. That’s because Utah’s strength and conditioning staff has played clips from the BYU Football Media Day during weightlifting sessions this summer.
The Utes were a big subject that day, in advance of the rivals’ Aug, 29 season opener. “As a player, you can tell they were coached up on what to say,” Anae said. “They had that theme of ‘Beat Utah.’ It’s understandable, but to me, they’re going to do their thing, we’ll do ours.”
Hearing those sound bites is “motivating,” said Anae, a son and nephew of former BYU players. “It adds that aspect of the rivalry; that's what it's all about.”
Questions about Utah were inevitable during BYU’s event, because that’s the Cougars’ first game and because of the way last November’s game ended, with Utah rallying for a 35-27 victory. The Pac-12 media were obsessed with Utah’s favorite status in the conference.
Utah’s players are scheduled to report Tuesday for preseason camp, with practices starting Wednesday. Ute coach Kyle Whittingham hopes offensive tackle Bamidele Olaseni, a prized recruit who had offers from every Power Five conference, arrives sometime next week after completing course work at Garden City (Kan.) Community College.
Utah is awaiting the NCAA's evaluation of Olaseni's eligibility clock, stemming from his time with an amateur team in his native London. He's expected to have two seasons to play; one question is whether he has a redshirt year available, as he adjusts to the FBS level.
Two other linemen, Alex Locklear (Marshall) and Noah Osur-Myers (Washington State), are on the roster as graduate transfers, along with tight end Hunter Thedford (Southern Methodist) and kicker Andrew Strauch as a walk-on from UCLA. Mique Juarez, a linebacker from UCLA, also announced his move to Utah, but January is the soonest that could happen.
After being evaluated by the medical staff next week, junior receiver Britain Covey will have a tailored program in camp, Whittingham said, continuing his rehabilitation from a knee injury. Possibilities include Covey’s practicing every other day or participating in part of each session.