Camp Cougar



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You know, I really look forward to camp...

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...because every year, there are revelations. We already know what Max Hall, and Harvey Unga, and Dennis Pitta and Austin Collie can do. We already know the offensive line should one of BYU's best. We already know Jan Jorgensen is tough to stop, and that David Nixon can fill Bryan Kehl's shoes.

But there are so many things we don't know, and the next three weeks will answer the following questions, and more:

-how much will Manase Tonga's "three-tool" skills be missed?

-how significant will J.J. DiLuigi's role be?

-can Fui play as good as everyone says he looks?

-with Matt Allen gone, who will step up and secure the #3 wide receiver role (after Collie and Reed)?

-if Max Hall goes down, are any of the backups ready to steady the ship, and keep it sailing?

-are Travis Bright and Garrett Reden fully recovered from leg breaks? And who on the O-Line is ready to go from backup to starter right now, if needed?

-who will be left out of the two-deep in one of the deepest defensive line units in recent memory?

-with two good linebackers lost in Hooks and Nelson, which if any newcomers will be asked to play right away?

-can unheralded Scott Johnson pull a "Criddle" and be a #1 corner?

-can projected starters Kellen Fowler and David Tafuna hold off the competition at safety?

-is Justin Sorensen's foot fully healed, and will he make special teams and kicking drills actually fun to watch?

-will Jaime Hill be more visible (and audible) as DC?

-and while I hate to mention this, which projected starter(s) will be bitten by the injury bug and force a shuffle in the depth chart?

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BYU's first practice session is set for tomorrow afternoon (freshmen/newcomers start at 3:30, vets at 4:00), with their second session scheduled for Monday afternoon. After that, BYU will get into its morning practice routine, then go am/pm once two-a-days get underway.

Saturday and next Monday, look for my camp reports and interviews late in the afternoon/early in the evening, then once BYU starts practicing in the mornings, my reports will be just after noon. On days of two-a-days, my plan (as it has been in the past) is to attend and report on the "heavy" morning practice, and take a pass on the lighter, usually-shells-only afternoon session. That plan is subject to change.

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I spent some time with a referee from one of the BCS conferences, and we went over many of the rule changes that will take effect this season. New clock, kicking and instant replay rules will have the most significant impact, and I'll probably have time to address them further as we get closer to the season.

In the meantime, what follows is how the officiating crews will be composed for games within the Mountain West Conference this season (when games are played in MWC stadiums, or when the contract calls for the MWC to provide the crew). In those instances, teams will get either:

-a crew composed of MWC/WAC officials (usually 4/3 or 3/4 split)

OR

-a crew composed of Big 12/MWC/WAC officials (there will be two of these crews)

OR

-a crew composed of Big 12/MWC officials (there will be one of these crews)

Next year, the plan is to more fully incorporate the Big 12/MWC/WAC crews across the three conferences involved.

By the way, the Pac-10 wants no part of any officiating consortium. Can't say I'm terribly surprised.

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