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PROVO — BYU head coach Kalani Sitake pretends to not like the numerous photo opportunities of a Division I football coach.
But when he needed to take a new headshot at the school’s annual photo day, he spoke up when a reporter noticed he was the only one without a name tag.
“Maybe I can get one that says ‘Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson,’” he joked.
Like it or not, the Cougars know that as each week of fall camp passes, they get closer to the 2017 regular season that begins Aug. 26 against Portland State.
“I like it because it means we’re getting closer to the season,” said Sitake, who posed for photos along with his assistant coaches, players and staff members Wednesday in the school’s indoor practice facility. “The players deserve to have a nice picture, and they’ll use these when they win awards and go home. It’s an important day.”
The Cougars wrapped a full week of camp, meaning now they can begin putting on full pads instead of shells or helmets-only. It feels like football again, but Sitake said his team hasn’t had to readjust to the physical nature of the contact sport after months of conditioning and weight training.
“The guys are very physical and aggressive — especially at the line of scrimmage. Having to tell your guys to slow it down and not hit so much is a good thing for the coach to do,” Sitake said. “I was really pleased with the aggressiveness that they practiced with in full pads, and we’ll see how they do as we do some live things this week.”
Some players were having fun — like freshman running back Ula Tolutau — while others addressed the media, and some couldn’t wait to get away.
But the annual right of passage means one thing: the season is right around the corner.
Click the video above to see highlights from BYU photo day.