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Cougar Tracks: BYU using bye week to get healthy

Cougar Tracks: BYU using bye week to get healthy

By Jason Shepherd | Posted - Oct. 30, 2012 at 5:29 p.m.



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According to BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall, the number one priority for the Cougars during their bye week is to get healthy. "We're trying to get our linemen healthy; that's first and foremost. We're training new players, giving them a lot of individual work, and we're focusing hard on academics."

Quarterback Riley Nelson said while his back is fine, he is dealing with some injuries. "I've got some upper spine issues. My knee is kind of just having over-use; kind of nagging soreness that there's not really much you can do for it other than rest."

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Yesterday's big news came from comments made by BYU AD Tom Holmoe to our own Greg Wrubell at the WCC Tip-off in Los Angeles.

Holmoe commented on the struggles of Riley Nelson, the 2013 football schedule and staff coaching "chemistry issues" relative to in-game occurrences. Bronco said he didn't have any statement regarding the comments. "Tom came in this morning, 'cause I never read the stuff, and he just told me what he said. There's nothing that's a surprise to me or probably anyone. I don't think it's newsworthy; it's just another day."

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The 2012 college football season hasn't been the senior year that Riley Nelson expected for himself. I asked Nelson what he wanted his legacy at BYU to be. "To be honest, it doesn't really matter what I want," Riley said. People are going to think what they're going to think and say what they're going to say. There's really very little I can do to change that."

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BYU DE Ziggy Ansah continues to climb NFL draft boards. With only a few games left in his college career, Ansah said he's been contacted by about a dozen agents looking to represent him.

"I just try to put them off," Ansah said. "I'm trying to focus on the season and then we can talk after."

Ziggy was asked if he has been told to watch certain players because they are similar to him. "The guy from Green Bay," Ansah replied. What's his face, 52; I don't remember his name (he's referring to Clay Matthews), and Jason Pierre-Paul."

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With Halloween set for Wednesday, I took the opportunity to ask a few players what they were going to dress up as this year. Preston Hadley said he was going to be a Ninja Turtle and Riley Nelson said it would be a last-minute decision since he's been busy with class.

Jamaal Williams told me he really hasn't been a big Halloween fan. After asking him why, he said, "I was scared since I was six. I was six and I was a Power Ranger and someone scared me kinda bad. I ran all the way home and never liked Halloween again. But, I'm getting better at liking it again." I asked if he was going to dress up tomorrow and he said he was going to be a Power Ranger again. "They ain't gonna mess with me this time; I'm kind of bigger."

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You can hear post-practice interviews from Bronco Mendenhall, Preston Hadley, Ziggy Ansah, Riley Nelson and Jamaal Williams by clicking on the links to the left in "Cougar Cuts."

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(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

Jason Shepherd

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