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"Justin Time?"... or a "Payne-ful Decision?"


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On last night's Bronco Mendenhall Show (a great crowd on opening night, by the way...), the coach said today will be the day he decides on his placekicking assignments--with Mitch Payne and Justin Sorensen competing for the primary field goal kicking job. Bronco says the decision will be based on the results of more than 120 kicks in camp and practice.

Sorensen has locked up the responsibility for kickoffs and kicks after safeties, and will attempt the "long, long field goals" (high 50s to low 60s). Bronco noted Payne had approximately a 3% lead in overall kicking accuracy during the kick competition.

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Bronco said players would determine at a 10:30am team meeting whether to continue with performance of the pregame Haka this season.

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As I speculated in a posting earlier this week, Bronco confirms Austin Collie has replaced Stephen Covey as a "change of pace QB" in the BYU game plan. Bronco says Covey needs another year to develop in the system, so he will be a scout team QB this year. Covey impressed coaches by moving the team in scrimmage cameos, and Bronco calls him a "fantastic leader," with a bright future in the program. Bronco adds that players "can't catch" Covey in practice.

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BYU Football Media Relations Director Jeff Reynolds is leaving his post after 10 years with the school. Jeff has accepted a position as director of communications for the Sutherland Institute in Salt Lake City, and it looks like his last game on the job at BYU will be the UCLA contest on September 13th.

Jeff has been instrumental in providing the local and national media with access to the Cougars over the last decade, and has recently been an integral part of BYU's upgraded and expanded multi-platform media efforts. He has also turned into a prodigious blogger and talented photographer!

On a personal level, Jeff has always been a pleasure to work with, and he will be missed. Fortunately, Associate AD for Communications Duff Tittle has a talented staff of people just like Jeff, and they will team up to help ease the burden of Jeff's departure until his replacement is found.

It's not yet goodbye, but it will be soon enough. Thanks, and good luck, Jeff!

Here is the release from the Sutherland folks:

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Sutherland Institute Announces New Director of Communications

BYU Football Media Relations Director to Lead Institute's Public Relations and Communications Efforts

Salt Lake City, UT - August 28, 2008 -Sutherland Institute announces the hiring of Jeffery L. Reynolds as its new director of communications. Reynolds has served the past nine and a half years as an associate director of Brigham Young University's athletic communications department and director of media relations for BYU's football program.

"We are excited to have someone of Jeff's caliber and experience join Sutherland," said Paul T. Mero, president of the Sutherland Institute. "Jeff brings with him a wealth of experience with traditional communications strategies as well as ‘new' media technologies. What's more, Jeff understands the value and importance of Sutherland in helping strengthen the conservative principles that act as the fundamental pillars of a free and prosperous Utah."

Reynolds' tenure at BYU included overseeing the media efforts surrounding the retirement of Hall-of-Fame Coach LaVell Edwards, assisting in the development and re-launching of byucougars.com, and the management of media relations for BYU football. In addition to his responsibilities with the athletics department, Reynolds served for seven years as an adjunct instructor in BYU's Marriott School of Management, teaching management communications.

"I am excited to have the opportunity to join the Sutherland Institute," said Reynolds. "I firmly believe in the values that form the core, governing principles of the Institute. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with such amazing, talented, and dedicated people in an effort to help make Utah an even greater place to live, work, and raise a family."

Prior to his work at BYU, Reynolds was employed as the assistant commissioner for the Mid-Continent Conference in Chicago and the associate director of media services for the Sun Belt Conference in New Orleans. Reynolds is a graduate of Utah State University. He and his wife, Char'Ree, are the parents of six children.

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About Sutherland

The Sutherland Institute is a conservative public policy think tank committed to shaping Utah law and policy based on a core set of governing principles. The Institute strives to make Utah an example of good government for the rest of the nation and a great place to live, work, and raise a family.

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