A bad break...but some good news, too

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Backup quarterback Brenden Gaskins suffered a fracture to the middle finger of his throwing hand during Monday's practice. When the players came out to practice on Tuesday, Gaskins was in uniform but was otherwise merely an interested observer. James Lark and Jason Munns got most of the backup snaps behind Max Hall, with Sam Doman and Kurt McEuen getting snaps here and there. It was not a great day for the QBs, with the offense kept out of the end zone in the team portion of practice.


Back to Gaskins... depending on the course of rehabilitation (splint v. surgery), he could be back in time for the Arizona game, or he could be sidelined for the season opener. Once BYU's hand specialist gets a look at x-rays, we'll get a better idea of the prognosis.


Meanwhile, BYU's foot specialist will be conferring with Dustin Gabriel Thursday to assess his football-playing future. Gabriel's foot pain has become tough to bear, and if surgery is necessary, it could mean the end of Dustin's playing days. If there is a nicer guy on the BYU football team, I've yet to meet him. He's a "yes, sir," "no, sir" product of the Lone Star state, and it's been a pleasure to cover him. I'm hoping for the best for a young man who has battled numerous injuries throughout his career to be able to make an impact on gameday. He's Bronco's kind of player, for sure.


Now for the "good news"... late word today that freshman wide receiver Jordan Smith (Spanish Fork High School) has been cleared by the NCAA to join the team. Once a procedural transcript matter was resolved, Smith was ruled good-to-go (Smith was on the practice field in street clothes today). That leaves Terrance Hooks as the only player on the 105-man roster yet to suit up, and he'll be back midway through camp--assuming successful resolution of his legal issues.


I note rumblings from some fans who think Austin Collie is somehow "overrated," and I can only chuckle. He has simply been the best receiver on the field so far, and while he has dropped a ball here and there, and has made an assignment mistake from time to time, he is a fast, physical playmaker who makes at least one jaw-dropping catch per practice (and today, he ran some ankle-breaking routes that had DBs giving him props). If he doesn't pick up where he left off as a freshman, I'll be stunned.


If I showed you video of a certain receiver in camp and told you that he is the son of a BYU receiver who played more than 20 years ago, it wouldn't take you long to guess the identity of his father. The way Tyler Kozlowski gives up his body and finds a way to make the tough catch, it's easy to see the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree. Of course, once you saw Tyler with his helmet off, you'd know he was Koz's kid in an instant.


I'm sad to report that it appears CougarRadio is on "indefinite hiatus." Certain production-related issues have made the program less viable as a "live" broadcast, although there is the possibility that content may be re-formatted into a podcast or some other platform. Either way, I hope you find the "Cougar Daily Download," this new "Cougar Tracks" blog, and the weekly "Bronco Mendenhall Press Conference" and "Bronco Mendenhall Show" to be accessible and informational. And of course, we trust that you will continue to tune in on gameday for more and better Cougar coverage than you could possibly get anywhere else.


Once again, if you have a question for a BYU player or coach on the "Cougar Daily Download," e-mail it to me at: gwrubell@ksl.com, and I'll take it from there.


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