A Starter is Finished...



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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We start with the news the BYU Football staff was fearing: projected starting Katback Dustin Gabriel is done for the season after electing to undergo surgery on both feet. David Tafuna has been playing with the "ones" in place of Gabriel at Kat this week.

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BYU will appeal to the NCAA to get a season back for Gabriel (a senior who already used a redshirt season), but the school must wait until the end of the season to do so, and the subjectivity of appeal rulings makes Gabriel's possible return an uncertainty.

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The surgery will ease stress reactions that are the result of cysts that have grown over previous stress fractures. It is also possible Gabriel will have surgery on a finger, but that's obviously secondary to the surgery that will end his season.

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Wide receiver Michael Reed did not practice today--he is still protecting a sore hamstring. Second-string nose tackle Mo Foketi missed practice to take care of some class work--it's an important class, so BYU is happy to have him in the classroom instead of on the field today.

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LB Jaden Wagner (foot), WR Ryan Neeley (groin) and LB Dan Van Sweden (sick) were also out today... WRs Griffin Miller (quad) and Saia Hafoka (knee tweak) got banged up today.

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It was kind of interesting to note Bronco's role during this morning's mini-melee (which occurred in the hard-hitting "Cougar Drill"). While coaches Lamb, Anae, Weber and Tidwell were risking their lives trying to break up the fight between about a dozen linebackers/linemen and a dozen offensive linemen/backs, there was Bronco, standing at the ball, determinedly but calmly issuing staccato orders with his whistle. The very model of composure and quiet command, Bronco waited for the thing to play out, then got back to work. You can hear Bronco's comments on today's feistiness in the "Cougar Daily Download."

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Took a while, but we finally got Marc Lyons out to practice today. He's had a relaxing offseason and doesn't look a day over 70.

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Receiver Ryan Kessman bruised up his hand pretty good in practice, but got it bandaged, got his fingers taped together, and got back out on the practice field. Tough kid, who, by the way, has one of the more exciting high school tapes you'll see from a kid his size.

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Punt returners today were Mahuika, Collie, DiLuigi and Barton. The eventual guy will come from this group.

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Austin Collie had a catch-and-run TD pass from Max Hall called back on a "soft sack" (whistle blew as the pass was being thrown). Aside from that, Hall had a pick (to Kehl) and a TD (to Allen) in the team portion of practice.

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Hoopsters Trent Plaisted, Lee Cummard, Sam Burgess and Ben Murdock were on hand to check out practice. The guys leave for France next Wednesday. Players' wives are allowed on the trip (at the players' personal expense), but only Murdock and walk-on Chase Ulicny are taking advantage of the potential romantic bonanza. Bears noting that Ben will take his wife assuming her passport arrives in time--it's still being processed, and he's sweating it out a bit. But, he says, on the bright side, if her passport doesn't arrive, he'll "save lots of money." I'm sure he's only kidding. If anyone runs into Ben's wife, please tell her, I'm sure he's only kidding (Ben, we love ya, buddy).

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