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Over 325 fans showed up Tuesday morning to get their first glimpse of the 2004 football team. Tuesday's practice marked the first of several practices that will be open to the public during the fall camp.
Crowton said construction of the new Student Athlete Building prevented practices from being open last season. He added with construction on both the building and practice fields over the past two seasons it was difficult to find a place for the fans to watch practice safely.
"Now that our building is open, and we have room for the fans to watch safely, it was good to have the practice open to give the fans a taste," Crowton said. "It was a good experience for some of our young guys to see how avid BYU fans are."
The crowd watched the practice from bleachers on the southwest corner of the practice field and on the balcony of the Student Athlete Building. This was the first opportunity for Cougar fans to see the new recruits this fall, including junior college transfer Todd Watkins who wowed the crowd with one-handed catches and a deep reception during a non-contact scrimmage.
"Todd Watkins has some real ability," Crowton said. "But our other guys have a lot of ability as well. I'm pleased with how well prepared they are."
Crowton said he was pleased with how the new receivers like Watkins, Antwaun Harris and Austin Collie were acclimating themselves to the system, and with the leadership of veterans like Chris Hale, Jason Kukahiko and Rod Wilkerson.
The 2004 Cougar football team is significantly different from last year's team with 31 new faces who didn't play on the team last year. Crowton said the new faces will bring a lot of depth that was lacking last year.
"We're a little deeper than we were last year, especially at the skill positions," Crowton said. "The lineman know what they're doing a little bit more because last year we had six freshman who were on the two-deep roster. Now all of those guys are sophomores with a year of playing time under their belts.
"I feel like we have a lot more depth and a better understanding of what we're doing. The commitment they showed during the summer was excellent."
The next practice open for the fans will be Thursday, August 12 at 10 a.m. Fans wishing to attend should enter through the southwest gate of the practice field. Below is a schedule of practices open to fans:
- Thursday, Aug. 12
- Friday, Aug. 13
- Monday, Aug. 16
- Tuesday, Aug. 17
- Wednesday, Aug. 18
- Thursday, Aug. 19
- Friday, Aug. 20
- Saturday, Aug. 21
- Monday, Aug. 23
- Tuesday, Aug. 24
- Wednesday, Aug. 25
- Thursday, Aug. 26
- Friday, Aug. 27
- Saturday, Aug. 28 Written by BYU Athletics Media Relations