Roster Notes Update

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BYU Football Media Relations Director Brett Pyne issued the following release this afternoon. In it, Russell Tialavea's presence is confirmed, Brandon Howard's permanent departure is reaffirmed, and the absence of a pair of limited-time players from last season is also noted:


In preparation for BYU football's first practice of fall camp on Saturday, returning Cougar players and new members of the team reported Friday in Provo.

"We are excited to begin fall camp and get ready for the season," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said, whose team is ranked No. 24 in the preseason USA Today Coaches' Poll released Friday. "We have great young men on our team and a good mix of experienced players and talented newcomers. I anticipate this group will work hard and help us build upon the past achievements of our program."

As part of reporting on Friday, several roster items of note were announced. Starting defensive tackle Russell Tialavea officially announced he will return to play this season before departing for a two-year mission in Santiago, Chile, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The 6-foot-3 Oceanside, Calif., native, who had previously announced he could leave before the season, is scheduled to report for his mission on Dec. 30.

"My top priority has been to get ready for my mission, and I'm definitely excited and can't wait to go, but it turned out that I will be able to play this season before leaving and I'm totally committed to doing my part for the team," Tialavea said. "I'm excited for the season."

While Tialavea is returning, wide receiver Tyler Kozlowski has decided to discontinue playing football to concentrate on school and other priorities. He earned lettermen honors as a freshman and sophomore while appearing in 25 games primarily on special teams. He contributed in all 13 games last year while totaling 31 receiving yards on three receptions.

Junior Jadon Wagner, who has moved from linebacker to defensive end since last season, was diagnosed with mononucleosis Wednesday and is expected to be out for three weeks.

Coach Mendenhall also confirmed that cornerback Brandon Howard has decided not to return for personal reasons and defense end recruit Thomas Bryson will be out for fall camp recovering from surgery.

"There are always some changes that occur each year given everyone's individual circumstances," Mendenhall said. "Most importantly, we try to do what is best for each young man and then we go from there and get ready for the season. I feel good about our team and look forward to fall camp."

The team will take the field for the first practice on Saturday with newcomers starting at 3:30 p.m. and veteran players following at 4 p.m. Fall camp will conclude the last week of August when the team begins official practice preparations for its season opener against preseason No. 3-ranked Oklahoma on Sept. 5 at Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.


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