Men's Football Blog

Kaneakua Friel adds to BYU players receiving NFL opportunities

May 13, 2014 - Posted by Brett Pyne at 3:40 pm | Updated: May 13, 2014 7:07 pm | Permalink

Former BYU tight end Kaneakua Friel accepted a minicamp invitation from the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday, adding to the list of Cougars receiving NFL opportunities. Friel is the sixth member of the 2013 team to receive a chance to compete at the NFL level. 

Friel totaled 491 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 45 games played as a Cougar, averaging 10.2 yards per catch. He had a single-game best of 101 yards and two touchdowns in BYU's home win over Washington State in 2012. Friel was on the John Mackey Award watch list and College Football Performance Awards Tight End Trophy watch list in 2013. The 6-foot-5, 255-pound native of Kaneohe, Hawai'i, also played in the 2013 East-West Shrine game that features many of the nation's top players.

The following links provide more information about BYU players pursuing NFL opportunities.

BYU players reach agreements as free agents

Van Noy drafted with 40th pick overall

Reaction to Van Noy being selected by the Detroit Lions 

Reaction to KVN draft pick

May 12, 2014 - Posted by Aaron Sorenson at 12:11 pm | Updated: May 12, 2014 12:18 pm | Permalink

Football team to include alternate home uniforms in 2014

May 08, 2014 - Posted by at 11:31 am | Updated: May 8, 2014 11:55 am | Permalink

The BYU football team will be sporting three alternate home uniforms during the upcoming season. In addition to its regular dark blue home jersey with white pants, the team will don white, royal and black uniforms in 2014.

Fans are encouraged to join the team in a white-out game when BYU hosts the University of Virginia on Saturday, Sept. 20 in LaVell Edwards Stadium. The team will take the field in all-white attire to face the visiting Cavaliers from the Atlantic Coast Conference. While the all-white look is sometimes used during road games, the white-out game with UVa will be the first time the team will wear white in LaVell Edwards Stadium.

The Cougars will wear royal blue when they host in-state rival Utah State on Friday, Oct. 3. Cougar fans are encouraged to sport their royal attire for the Friday night matchup against the Aggies of the Mountain West Conference. The game will mark the fourth time the Cougars have worn a royal blue alternate jersey. BYU also wore royal for home games against Utah in 2009 and 2013 and in its 2009 Las Vegas Bowl victory over No. 16 Oregon State.

The return of the black alternate jersey takes place against former conference foe UNLV when the Cougars host the Rebels on Saturday, Nov. 15 in Provo. The Cougars welcome UNLV of the MW back to Provo for a black-out game in LaVell Edwards Stadium. BYU previously wore all-back uniforms against No. 10 Oregon State in 2012. 

Check out the photos below to get a feel for the alternate uniforms.

 

 

 

2014 NFL Draft begins today

May 08, 2014 - Posted by Aaron Sorenson at 10:18 am | Updated: May 8, 2014 10:41 am | Permalink

Round 1 of the 2014 NFL Draft begins tonight in New York City at Radio City Music Hall. Live coverage begins at 8 p.m. EDT/6 p.m. MDT on ESPN, WatchESPN and on the NFL Network. The second and third rounds will take place Friday beginning at 7 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. MDT while the final four rounds are held Saturday beginning at noon EDT/10 a.m. MDT.

BYU had five players invited to the NFL Combine, four defensive and one offensive player. Only 13 programs had more than BYU’s five combine invitees and only three—Alabama, Florida State and Florida—had more defensive players invited to participate. Last year two BYU players participated in the combine, including defensive lineman Ziggy Ansah, who was later selected No. 5 overall in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Ansah went on to record the most sacks by an NFL rookie last season. BYU's five combine participants this year is the most since 2002 when six Cougars were invited to the combine.

Upon the conclusion of the draft, undrafted players will be available to sign as free agents with one of the 32 NFL teams.

Here is a guide that features the 11 Cougars who participated in BYU's Pro Day in March. 

2014 Spring Prospectus

Apr 18, 2014 - Posted by Aaron Sorenson at 1:19 pm | Updated: April 21, 2014 5:32 pm | Permalink

BYU football released its spring prospectus which recaps spring and previews the 2014 season. The Cougars wrapped up their spring practices April 4.

"Spring was really good, we learned quite a bit," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "Our completion percentage and third down percentage were very high through the entire spring. The ability to protect the quarterback is improving. Obedient, hard-working and hungry are the three words I would use (to describe the personality of the team)."

Last year, Robert Anae and the BYU staff morphed the offense to a fast-paced system that produced the No. 14 total offense in the nation and the 10th-best rushing offense, including two 1,000-yard rushers in QB Taysom Hill and RB Jamaal Williams. One of the nation's top talents, Hill is poised to have a strong junior season leading the Cougars' up-tempo attack.

The fast-paced system took time to develop but could be firing on all cylinders come August with a year's worth of experience for the returning offensive corps. Hill and Williams are among eight returning starters, including the entire backfield and offensive line. The offense needs to replace starters at receiver and tight end.

The Cougars have to replace their all-time leading receiver Cody Hoffman but boast a talented corps of candidates. In addition to those returning, transfers Nick Kurtz, Jordan Leslie, Devon Blackmon and Keanu Nelson will make for strong competition.

Four BYU players from 2013 participated at the NFL combine this February -— only three college programs had more defensive players invited. Among those players are the BYU current-era single-season leading tackler in Uani 'Unga and one of the most versatile defensive players in Cougar history in Kyle Van Noy

Although the Cougars need to replace those high-caliber players, head coach Bronco Mendenhall has a proven record of keeping up a nationally ranked defense, no matter who suits up on Saturdays. His teams especially excel at keeping opponents out of the end zone, averaging a No. 20 scoring-defense ranking over the past eight seasons. Seniors Craig Bills (safety) and Alani Fua (linebacker) lead a group of six returning starters from last year and a seventh, corner back Jordan Johnson, who missed last season due to injury. With the 12th-ranked yards-per-play defense in 2013, Mendenhall should keep the Cougars in the national conversation as a dominant defense.

Click here to see the full prospectus.

Cougars and Broncos to be featured in Friday night matchup

Apr 10, 2014 - Posted by Brett Pyne at 11:01 am | Updated: April 10, 2014 11:21 am | Permalink

PROVO, Utah (April 10, 2014) — Brigham Young University, ESPN and the Mountain West Conference today announced the 2014 football game between BYU and Boise State will be played on Friday, Oct. 24 to a national television audience on ESPN or ESPN2. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT.

The Cougars will close out the month of October in the nationally featured matchup with the Broncos in Boise, Idaho. The contest at Bronco Stadium was originally scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 25.

BYU achieved a 37-20 victory over Boise State in Provo last year to earn its first win in the series, which the Broncos lead 3-1 dating back to the inaugural matchup in 2003. BYU has dropped two close contests to BSU in its previous visits to Bronco Stadium, falling 7-6 in 2012 and 28-27 in 2004.

To date, four games on BYU's 2014 schedule will be nationally televised on ESPN or ESPN2. Information regarding remaining broadcast plans and game times will be released once determined.

Read more about BYU's 2014 schedule

BYU and UCF to play Thursday night on ESPN

Mar 11, 2014 - Posted by Brett Pyne at 2:00 pm | Updated: March 11, 2014 7:35 pm | Permalink

PROVO, Utah (March 11, 2014) — Brigham Young University, University of Central Florida and ESPN today announced the 2014 football game between the Cougars and Knights will be played on Thursday, Oct. 9 to a national television audience on ESPN. 

BYU will be making its first-ever visit to Bright House Networks Stadium for the Thursday night matchup. The Knights are coming off a 12-1 season and No. 10 final ranking in 2013. The Cougars won the inaugural contest between the two teams in Provo with a 24-17 victory in 2011. 

The Cougars will travel to Orlando to face the Knights after hosting Utah State on Friday, Oct. 3 in Provo. UCF will be coming off another Thursday night contest at Houston on Oct. 2. 

Game time for the Oct. 9 game featuring BYU and UCF will be announced once determined. 

Read more about BYU's 2014 schedule

Touchdown Club of Columbus names Taysom Hill among 2014 Players to Watch

Feb 07, 2014 - Posted by Brett Pyne at 10:50 am | Updated: February 7, 2014 10:53 am | Permalink

BYU quarterback Taysom Hill has been named one of the top college football players to watch in 2014 by the Touchdown Club of Columbus (Ohio). Hill is one of 12 players being recognized on the TDC 2014 Players to Watch list.

A junior in 2014, Hill and other selected recipients will be formally honored at the 59th Touchdown Club of Columbus Awards Banquet at the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion in Columbus on Saturday.

A dual-threat signal caller from Pocatello, Idaho, Hill rushed for 1344 yards and passed for nearly 3000 yards as as sophomore in 2013. Under his leadership, BYU's newly installed offensive attack in 2013 ranked No. 14 in the nation in total offense and No. 10 in rushing offense. Hill's 259 yards rushing in the Cougars' win over Texas and 417 yards passing and 128 yards rushing in BYU's victory over Houston rank among the nation's best overall performances of the season.

The Touchdown Club of Columbus will also honor Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Dave Robinson, 2013 Sammy Baugh Award recipient Derek Carr and Chic Harley Award winner Jordan Lynch, in addition to a number of other local and national award recipients.

Visit www.tdccolumbus.com for additional information.

Tribute to Glen Oliverson

Feb 04, 2014 - Posted by Duff Tittle at 10:06 am | Updated: February 12, 2014 7:01 pm | Permalink

One of the last members of the 1942 BYU Foootball Team — the first team to defeat Utah — passed away last week in Smithfield, Utah. Glen Oliverson, a single wing back at BYU, made the block that led to the winning touchdown in a 12-7 victory on Oct. 10, 1942. Glen played three season of varsity football at BYU in 1942, 1946-47. He served in the Navy during World War II, then returned home to play two more seasons at BYU.

In Januray 2011, I had the pleasure of interviewing nearly 60 former players, coaches and administrators for a historical book on BYU football — among them was Glen Oliverson. At the time, he was nealy 90 years old, but was still very sharp, engaging and had a great sence of humor. It was a real treat for me to learn about that ledgendary game from someone who had played in it nearly seven decades ago.

Below is an excerpt from the book What It Means To Be A Cougar  with Glen sharing his experience at BYU in his own words.

On behalf of BYU Athletics, we express our love and condolences to the Oliverson family.  – Duff Tittle

KSL Feature on Glen Oliverson

Glen Oliverson Obituary

 

Glen Oliverson

Halfback (1942, 1946-47)

I played football, basketball, baseball, and track in high school. I was recruited by the University of Idaho, Idaho State, BYU, and Utah State to play football in college.

It was the recruitment of Eddie Kimball, particularly, who encouraged me and wanted me to come to BYU. He came up to Preston, Idaho, to see me, and Floyd Millet was with him. We played catch out in our front yard. They really showed a lot of interest in me, and I think that was one thing that influenced me to go to BYU.

Also my high school coach Joe Johnson was very instrumental in influencing me to go to BYU. I think another reason was the Church. I was a staunch member of the LDS faith growing up, and BYU was sponsored by the Church. That’s probably what influenced me as much as anything.

I wasn’t necessarily a Cougar fan growing up—it was more Utah State.  As a senior in high school I received a scholarship through the Vocational Education Act program to go to the University of Idaho. They were after me quit a bit to accept that scholarship. But, BYU ended up being the No. 1 choice.

Eddie told me, “We can offer you a scholarship and provide you with summer work, and a place to live.” So when I got out of high school, I went right down to Provo. My dad took me down. Of course, when I would come back to visit I had to hitchhike home.

Deer Creek Dam was being built up Provo Canyon and I worked on the crew at Deer Creek Dam. Wayne Soffe and Garth Chamberlain got jobs at Deer Creek and that’s where I spent my summer, up there with them. Wayne was an assistant coach at BYU but they didn’t have summer work for him, so he had to go find a job somewhere.

I came to BYU in 1941. I joined a social club my freshman year and was also the vice president of the freshman class. Through the football program I met a lot of fellows, and obtained a lot of close friends during that first fall at school. My closest friend was probably Thayne Stone. He was from Spanish Fork, and we became very close friends. Another close friend was Marcell Chatterton. He was a fellow who also accepted a scholarship at BYU. 

The campus at BYU was friendly. I remember we had “hello week” the first week of school. When you were walking on campus and would pass people you would say, “Hello,” to them. 

Probably the most important thing at BYU was the faculty that I took classes from. They were very fine people. I wasn’t a great student but I got passing grades. The teachers encouraged you to work hard and study.

Eddie Kimball was a great guy. He was a very fair coach. He told you what he expected of you and held you to it. I remember him saying a bunch of times to the squad, “We appreciate you for what you do.” Eddie always told you what you did right or wrong. If you played a good game he told you what you did good. If you didn’t he told you what you needed to improve on next time. 

In 1942, the War was going on with Japan. Before the season started, Eddie joined the reserves. In the spring he was called in the Navy and received a good commission. He didn’t coach us that season; Floyd Millet did. In those days, Floyd was the basketball coach. He helped Eddie coach football, and Eddie helped him coach basketball. That’s the way it was. 

My favorite football memory at BYU has got to be the victory at Utah in 1942. The victory over Utah was the most outstanding thing that happened to me that year.

We practiced hard and worked hard. The coaches told us at the beginning of that year if we were dedicated we could become a good football team. The week we were preparing to play Utah, we put forth extra effort to prepare ourselves. Utah had a pretty good football team, but we scored 12 points and they scored 7. We held them off two or three times from scoring. 

I played linebacker on defense and blocking back on offense. We used a single-wing offense. The blocking back was the No. 2 back, up behind the guard. That was the position I played. I didn’t carry the ball. The player who scored the winning touchdown was Herman Longhurst, who was from Pocatello High School. I can’t remember who kicked the PAT. We scored, but there was quite a bit of time left for Utah to score. But we stopped them. I didn’t carry the ball—I was a blocker; but I made some tackles.

When the gun went off to end the game, all hell broke loose—up in the stands and down on the field. It was up at Utah. The student body came down on the field. I’m telling you it was a great celebration.

The patrons went over and pulled down the goal post—north and south. Then they took them to Provo and sawed them into small four-inch squares. The next Monday school was canceled and they had a big assembly. They gave all the football players a piece of the goal post. Some of the student body got some too.

I look back on that game, and think of that time and time again. You see BYU had never beaten Utah before that time. I’m not sure how many years the football program had been going before I arrived, but that was the first time we beat Utah.

I joined the Marine Corp Reserve program during that time, so I only played two years before the War. I stayed in school until I was called up, and eventually went in the Navy. I was trained in handling antiaircraft weapons. Most of my teammate joined the war effort. In fact, there was no football program at BYU after 1942 until the war ended.

After the War, Eddie came back and he installed the T-formation. I played halfback in the T-formation for two years. I carried the ball quite a bit. I was also one of the place kickers for PATs and kickoffs.

I became acquainted with my wife, Francine, after the War. After we got married, we lived in Wymount Village on campus. They brought in some War barracks to BYU and made them into apartments for the married couples. That’s where we lived. 

I remember President Heber J. Grant came to BYU to a religious assembly. I remember the message that he gave really impressed me. He encouraged us to stay true to the faith, study hard, and work hard to complete our education.

BYU made me realize the importance of obtaining an education and preparing yourself with that education for your life’s work. I always wanted to coach, so I took classes in the education and PE program. I guess that’s what I remember most is that BYU helped prepare me to obtain my profession.

I graduated from BYU and then got a job coaching in Preston, Idaho, as an assistant to Joe Johnson. Eddie gave me a print out of all the plays we used at BYU, and I used them for the first two or three years I coached. I had some good years at Preston. 

Being a Cougar means a great deal to me. I obtained a college education and played football that I enjoyed so much. Then after the War I got to play baseball too. I think the most important thing I could say about being a Cougar was that it provided me with an opportunity to do what I thought I could do when I was a kid, and hoped I could do growing up. The scholarship I had at BYU gave me the way to obtain my life profession.

There is definitely a sense of pride saying I played football at BYU. The university has a good reputation. It’s a Church school. When I got there as a freshman it didn’t take me very long to become a Cougar. After the War, Francine and I were there together and BYU provided us with the opportunity to do a lot of things in our lives.

Van Noy and Hoffman to play in Senior Bowl Saturday

Jan 24, 2014 - Posted by Aaron Sorenson at 4:10 pm | Updated: January 24, 2014 5:08 pm | Permalink

The Reese's Senior Bowl, which will be played in Mobile, Ala., Saturday, features two BYU standouts in receiver Cody Hoffman and linebacker Kyle Van Noy

The Senior Bowl annually features the country's best senior collegiate football players and top NFL draft prospects on teams representing the North and South that are coached by the entire coaching staffs of two National Football League teams. This year's coaches hail from the Jacksonville Jaguars (South) and the Atlanta Falcons (North). Hoffman and Van Noy will play for the South this weekend.

Both players are two of the most decorated at their respecitve positions in the school's history. Hoffman set six receiving records while at BYU, including all-purpose yards, receiving yards, receptions, receiving touchdowns, most receiving touchdowns in a game and most games with 100-plus receiving yards. Van Noy, a two-time All-American, tallied 26 sacks, 62 tackles for loss, seven interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and three blocked kicks as a Cougar.

In case you missed it, here are a few articles featuring the two Cougars during their week of practice leading up to the Senior Bowl:

The game will be broadcast on NFL Network at 4 p.m. EST Saturday. Launched on Nov. 4, 2003, NFL Network is celebrating its 10th anniversary this season. Currently in more than 72 million homes, NFL Netowrk has carriage aggreements with each of the country's largest television providers including Comcast, DirecTV, DISH Network, Cablevision, Cox, Charter, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse. For fans on the go, all NFL Network programming is streamed live on NFL Mobile from Verizon. For more information, log on to http://www.nfl.com/nflnetwork.

Live stats are available at usajaguars.com. Fans will need to click on the 'live stats' icon located in the upper right of the home page. There you will see eight small icons in the upper right. Live stats is the further icon on the right.