Switch-Hitters



Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

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The big news today was the end of the "Garrett Reden Experiment," and "day one" as a nose tackle for former OL Rick Wolfley.

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On the day the coaching staff pledged to make a call on Reden's readiness to switch allegiances, Bronco moved Reden back to the O-line, and plucked Wolfley from the ranks of the "Hogs" to play with defensive line at nose.

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Reden meanwhile, was sidelined today with an AC sprain in his left shoulder. It is not a worrisome injury, and should not affect his status for the season opener. You'll recall Reden was seeing a good number of reps with the "ones," along with top backups R.J. Willing and Tom Sorensen.

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As you will hear on the "Cougar Daily Download," Bronco is enthused about Wolfley's potential as a nose tackle. The Afton, Wyoming native is a former champion wrestler and trained with Olympian Rulon Gardner, whom Rick calls a good friend. Wolfley also pops up on the "Download" today. Defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi had Wolfley playing with the "ones," and the starting offensive linemen were also impressed with their former mate's prowess.

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Faces in the crowd today: LaVell Edwards, former WR Bryce Doman, Blaze coach and former Dallas Cowboy Danny White (watching WR son Reed and QB nephew Max Hall), and an unnamed scout for the Tennessee Titans.

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Today's "official" head count for this open practice (no more guessing, folks): 650--down from 928 the other day.

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Missing practice due to injury:

WR Austin Collie (hamstring, but very close to returning)

WR Saia Hafoka (knee)

CB Kayle Buchanan (shoulder)

CB Brandon Bradley (groin)

RB Joe Semanoff (class)

OL Garrett Reden (shoulder)

OL Nick Alleto (shoulder)

DL Judd Anderton (shoulder)

LB Shawn Doman (hip flexor)

LB Kelly Bills (concussion)

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QB Brenden Gaskins was allowed to throw some longer routes today--he is throwing with a splinted finger but was still able to get some zip on the ball today. Plans are to have him ready for game week, assumuing the tenderness in his middle fingertip goes away to the extent he can take live snaps (something he is not doing yet). By game week, plans are to have his finger in a different, more user-friendly splint.

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This morning's practice was conducted in full pads--plans are to go lighter this afternoon (traditionally, the second session on days of two-a-days is "helmets only").

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With Austin Collie remaining out, the punt and kick return group today was comprised of Bryce Mahuika, Reed White, Ryan Kessman, Cortny Barton and Jordan Smith--but Daniel Tervort is also in the mix right now.

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Speaking of Mahuika, while he remains the #1 receiver at "H" (inside), he was running some with the outside receivers ("X"/"Z") again today. You can think of Bryce as the #1 inside receiver and the #4 outside receiver, behind Collie, Allen and Reed, but ahead of guys like Koz and Neeley, etc.

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I talked with Danny White for a bit today, and he said Reed is having a great experience at BYU (having transferred from Arizona State, just like cousin Max Hall). While Reed remains a viable option as a kick returner, like all receivers, he wants to be as involved in the offense as possible. Danny says "he must get that competitive streak from his Mom, 'cause he didn't get it from me." Anyone who saw Danny in the NFL or roaming the boards for the Blaze knows differently...

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Bronco alluded to the battle for deep snapper (between Chris Muehlmann and John Pace), and it's been nice for the coach to have a choice of quality options--as opposed to seeking high and low for someone, anyone, who can get it back to the holder. BYU should be just fine snapping the ball for kicks this season.

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Lavell caught Bronco for about 5 minutes at the end of practice as Bronco made his way to meet with the assembled media. Oddly, Bronco thought talking with Lavell was a higher priority than spending time with us. Weird, I know...

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WR Matt Allen and CB G Pittman both rolled around in pain after colliding on a sideline pass for which both guys dove to the ground. Just an average, everyday "wind knocked out" episode--although it looked potentially more troubling initially.

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There's a single 10:00am practice on tap tomorrow, with the annual "Cougar Kickoff" on the field just west of the Indoor Practice Facility starting at 6:00pm. I'll be on hand to move things along and hand the mike to the writers from the Deseret Morning News, who will be interviewing BYU coaches (including Bronco) on the stage.

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