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LaVell Edwards memories

Jun 26, 2013 - Posted by McKay Perry at 5:30 pm | Permalink
During the BYU Football Media Day LaVell Edwards joined us for some discussion on the quarterback legacy.  We caught a glimpse of his personality and the rapport he had with his players.  So here is a one-liner and a few stories from the day:
On Ty Detmer:
Dave McCann: Coach, what did Ty [Detmer] do for you?
LaVell Edwards (with a chuckle): He kept me employed.
On recruiting Ty Detmer:
"We’d had a pretty good run at quarterbacks when he came along. We tried to recruit a kid named John Elway. We tried to recruit other big names out of high school. We couldn’t even get them to come for a visit. So this kid down in Texas had all kinds of stats. He threw more in a game in high school there than we did for a couple of seasons… He committed for a visit. Between his junior and senior year, he and his father took a trip to look around. The first time I saw him, they opened the door and there’s this little guy there. He had an Adam’s apple bigger than his biceps. He probably weighed 145 pounds or something like that… We sat down and his dad, who was also his high school coach, said, ‘Well, coach, if you want him, he’s yours.’  And I’m thinking, ‘Something’s wrong here. I wonder what film they sent me.’ … I looked at him and I was expecting to see John Elway and I saw Pee Wee Herman. … He came after his senior year, and he wasn’t in camp four or five days when Norm Chow came in and told me, ‘I think we’ve got something very, very special here.’"
On Jim McMahon:
"One of the great stories about Jim was in the Holiday Bowl. Somewhere in the fourth quarter with about seven minutes left, it’s fourth down and we’re behind 20 points and had no chance to win it, so I sent the punting team in. Jim was in the huddle, and he looked up and saw the punting team coming in. He stopped, stepped out of the huddle and motioned for them to get back. The team stopped and turned around and looked at us. We were saying, “Get in there. Get in.” He didn’t want to, so finally we called a time out. Jim came over to the sideline and in his own [special] way he said something like, ‘Golly gee guys’ or something like that. He made the point, ‘You coaches have quit.’ He really got into our faces, and we said relax, go back in. We let him call the play on that fourth down. We went on down the field and scored."
On a big moment in his career:
"I remember my first year, Utah had historically pretty well owned BYU up to that point. We were playing up there in Salt Lake City. I can’t remember what the score was. Dev Duke was our placekicker. He would kick barefoot. It was the last game of the year, and it was really cold out there. He kicked about a 50-yard field goal in the last seconds of the game and we beat them. At that time I had no clue that I could stay employed... We won only six or seven games that year."

Ryker Mathews ready to lead

Jun 26, 2013 - Posted by Sugene Lee at 5:19 pm | Updated: July 6, 2013 4:36 pm | Permalink

BYU’s offensive lineman Ryker Mathews is ready to be a young leader for his teammates. Although he’s coming back from double-hip surgery, he’s almost at full strength and is ready to take on the challenge of leading.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” Mathews said. “You've got to lead by example and hold people accountable, and it’s hard to do that when you’re a young player, but I think I’ll be able to step in and do what I need to do.”

Mathews is ready to show people he is ready to come back from injury. He’s excited for his offensive line with new guys coming in and knows much is expected.

He’s excited about the new offensive staff and believes they’re doing a great job of changing the culture.

“They’re doing a great job of changing us as players to be more emotionally attached to our position,” Mathews said.

Jamaal Williams ready for an even better year

Jun 26, 2013 - Posted by Sugene Lee at 5:16 pm | Permalink

Running back Jamaal Williams is entering his sophomore season after a successful freshman year. He came in for interviews with a pink hat and rated his freshman season a 9.5 out of 10. Though it may be a season tough to beat, Williams still looks to improve his game.

“Better blocking,” he said when asked how he can top his freshman season. “Take more pride into it. This year, I’m more excited to block than to run.”

Williams is excited about the new offensive staff and what they bring to the team.

“Their attitude and the tempo they came up with,” Williams said. “They put us on a high level to reach, and I think we’re up to the challenge to reach it. You have to have the mindset to want to win and to work hard.”

When asking him which games he’s most excited for in a season full of multiple big games, Williams said Boise State, because his brother attends school there, and Wisconsin, because his high school friend has already started “talking smack.”

Kaneakua Friel’s view on tight ends

Jun 26, 2013 - Posted by Sugene Lee at 5:12 pm | Permalink

Senior tight end Kaneakua Friel sees the tight end position evolving and adapting. Friel tries to improve himself day by day and to meet the demands of whatever is being asked.

“Definitely we’re evolving as a group,” he said. “When I came back from my mission, two seasons ago, the level that we, as a tight end group, were playing then has far advanced this past season.”

Friel prepares himself to do whatever it takes to win games. He believes to be a successful tight end, he needs to be able to do everything well, from blocking to receiving.

Though his team is not there yet, his coach continues to push them, especially for him who is an easy-going guy.

“(Coach) pushes me to play hard every play,” Friel said. “I know it’s because he cares about me, and it’s really benefitting our offensive group as well.”

Spencer Hadley expects better things

Jun 26, 2013 - Posted by Sugene Lee at 5:09 pm | Permalink

Senior linebacker Spencer Hadley is coming back from surgery on his left shoulder and said he has no limitations and is at 100 percent. When asked whether he was going to keep his mustache, he replied, “We’re a package deal, the mustache and I.”

BYU’s defense was ranked one of the highest in all categories, and Hadley doesn’t expect anything less this season.

“First thing is to find a nose guard that can play,” Hadley said. “The next thing, honestly, is going to sound like a lame answer, but to do what we do.”

When asked how the defense would do after losing the No. 5 pick in the NFL draft, Ziggy Ansah, Hadley gave praise to fellow teammate, Bronson Kaufusi.

“Have you guys seen Bronson Kaufusi?” Hadley said. “The kid has a motor that doesn’t stop and I think he could be, in the future, every bit as good as Ziggy was. I think he’s going to answer a lot of questions this year.” 

Having a clear agenda and goal, Hadley believes the offensive and defensive teams will be more unified this coming season.

Q&A with Michael Alisa

Jun 26, 2013 - Posted by Jamie Morris at 5:00 pm | Permalink
What does it mean to you to be a senior this year?
“I look in the mirror and I’m just like, ‘You’re a senior on the Brigham Young University football team and the running back captain and this is the hardest schedule we’ve ever had.’ You look at those movies and this is what movies are made of—those huge opportunities to make huge plays in huge games. I’m just grateful to be a part of this ride.”
Are you excited for the upcoming schedule?
“I’m nervous for those big games and excited. I just have a mix of emotions. I want to perform well, and we have agents on the side talking to us. There are a lot of things coming to my mind, but hopefully I’m prepared enough to where I’m ready to go. I’m not ready right now. I need to keep watching film, keep lifting and then I’ll be ready on Aug. 31.”
What stadium are you most looking forward to playing in?
“I didn’t get to go to South Bend (Notre Dame) last year, so I’m pretty excited to go there this year.”
Why did you choose to be a running back?
“I was told by every coach I ever had that I was going to go to college and potentially go pro, but I was a defensive player. At first I was a safety. When I was on JV they told me you’re going to be a sweet safety and I was a decent safety. I got a lot of picks and hard hits. I moved to linebacker, but I loved the rush of carrying the ball and feeling people come after me, so I just kept working on that. When I came back from my mission I told coach Mendenhall that’s what I wanted to do and that I’d work harder for it because it meant so much to me, and he let me do it.”

Q&A with Jordan Johnson

Jun 26, 2013 - Posted by McKay Perry at 4:54 pm | Updated: July 13, 2013 1:03 pm | Permalink
Are you the fastest guy on the team?
I’m one of them.  I can tell you that.
Who’s the funniest guy on the team?
Trent Trammel.  He’s like a jokester.  He’s always getting after guys.  Hands down, the funniest guy.
What are you most excited about in this upcoming season?
I have another year to help my team win and do as well as we can.  We get to go back to Texas.  My mother lives out there in Houston and we play [against] Houston.  We have a lot of new guys.  Starting new relationships, building that camaraderie is going to be fun. 
Are there any opponents on your schedule that you definitely want to avenge from last year?
Boise State and Notre Dame.  I have respect for both of those programs, but when we play them again it’s going to be a different story. 
Are there any particular stadiums that you like playing in besides here at home?
Two years ago was Cowboy Stadium and last season was Notre Dame—just the history behind it and my father lives there too.

BYU Quarterback Factory quotes

Jun 26, 2013 - Posted by at 4:41 pm | Updated: June 26, 2013 4:50 pm | Permalink

Ty Detmer

On why he picked BYU: "The stability of the program. I knew I could go there and Coach would be there the whole time. He's just a great man. He made the football office feel like home. We could go in and hang out and sit around and wait for class or wait for meetings, and we were always welcome in there." 

Robbie Bosco

"I wasn't sure how good we were going to be, because we had a lot of young players. We played University of Baylor at home... from that play on, I thought we were going to be pretty good. It was something that just looked really good, and people were doing everything we were supposed to do, and that's what our offense was supposed to look like. And from that time on, we just took off and played pretty good the rest of the way."

Gary Sheide

“When Coach Edwards and Robbie (Bosco) won the national championship, they had a little get together celebration down in southern California. I remember the old, old quarterbacks were back there and some of the players, and each one of them got up and talked about coach and said ‘You know, coach Edwards was like a father figure to us.’ Each one would get up and talk about something coach did and he said, ‘He was like a father figure to us.’ Then when coach Edwards got up he said, ‘I hope you treated your real fathers better than you treated us.’”

On greatest memory as BYU quarterback: “The memory that steps out in my mind was (when) we were getting ready to play Arizona State. Arizona and Arizona State pretty much dominated the conference back then, and we needed to win to win the Fiesta Bowl. We had a little rally at the school in the evening, and coach Edwards got up and he introduced every player, and he introduced every player’s mom and dad by name and where they were from. He knew everything about that. It was so impressive, and we loved to play for coach Edwards. When we won that first conference championship there was only about eight bowl games and to play in the Fiesta Bowl was a great honor.”

Gifford Nielsen

"Coach Edwards asked me if I wanted to change the course of college football. Everybody at that time was running the veer or running the wishbone, and he wanted to throw. I listened to him, he talked me into it and it just turned out beautiful."
"The philosophy on offense was that no matter what they did on defense, they were wrong. We got that confidence to have the ability to throw the ball, handle things properly, make good reads and do so quickly. Then we got to the point where we started to blossom. We got to the point where we had so much confidence we just didn't think we could lose."

Steve Sarikisian

"I'll never forget my home visit when coach Edwards was sitting in front of me and my parents. He said 'I'm not going to guarantee you anything, but the one thing I will guarantee is an opportunity to compete for the starting job.' I use that same line in every home I go into for recruiting."

LaVell Edwards

On Jim McMahon: “One of the great stories about Jim was in the Holiday Bowl. Somewhere in the fourth quarter with about seven minutes left, it’s fourth down and we’re behind 20 points and had no chance to win it, so I sent the punting team in. Jim was in the huddle and he looked up and saw the punting team coming in.  He stopped, stepped out of the huddle and motioned for them to get back. The team stopped, turned around and looked at us.  We were saying, 'Get in there. Get in.'  He didn’t want to, so finally we called a time out.  Jim came over to the sideline and in his own [special] way he said something like, ‘Golly gee guys’ or something like that. He made the point, ‘You coaches have quit.’  He really got into our faces, and we said relax, go back in.  We let him call the play on that fourth down. We went on down the field and scored.”

Marc Wilson

"On one moment of his career that stands out: "If I had to pick one play, it would be my senior year, when we played Utah… They radioed down to me and said I was six yards away from the NCAA single game passing record. They actually sent me back in the game to get six yards to get this record. We weren't trying to run up the score… It was third down. We called the play, and it turned out to be a touchdown. We broke the record and for 40 years Utah has been mad about it."

Steve Young

On coach Edwards' impact: “Without coach (Edwards) there is no way I would ever play quarterback. There is no way I would have ever played football. His vision for me gave me a chance, and I’ve said this to anyone whether it was Bill Walsh, Mike Shanahan, Mike Holmgren or Sid Gillman, ‘coach Edwards knew me better than I knew myself.’ That’s one of the best compliments I can ever give him.”

On having fun as a team: “One of my favorite memories is playing Wyoming, San Diego State or even Utah, and they couldn’t fathom that they were getting beat by this group of guys. They were like, ‘Who are these guys?’ We were just so cohesive and such good friends, and we played so well together that we couldn’t get beat. We made people really frustrated. ‘How can these guys be beating us and beating us pretty good too?’”
On Robbie Bosco: “My senior year I got knocked out of a game against Utah State, and Robbie Bosco went in there and I realized very quickly that I needed to get back in the game or I’d never get back in the game. I ran back on the field and Robbie was like, ‘Go rest, we’re fine.’ I was like, ‘No way buddy, I’m not giving you any luck. I love you, but you got to take your turn here.’”


BYU quarterback factory concludes Media Day broadcasts on BYUtv

Jun 26, 2013 - Posted by Jamie Morris at 4:18 pm | Permalink
Former BYU head coach LaVell Edwards and quarterbacks Gary Sheide, Gifford Nielsen, Marc Wilson, Robbie Bosco, and Steve Young joined Dave McCann in studio for a BYU quarterback special. Also joining via satellite were Ty Detmer and Steve Sarkisian. Jim McMahon joined in through prerecorded segments.
Six of BYU’s seven hall of fame quarterbacks were included in the broadcast.
Sheide, Nielsen, Wilson, and Bosco each came out with Edwards to start the show and reminisced about their experiences with coach Edwards.
Sheide went to visit BYU with an urging from his mom, who had never heard of BYU, but who loved LaVell Edwards. Bosco saw Edwards as a father figure and cited him for helping to make BYU a comfortable place for him.
Ty Detmer took part in the conversation from Austin, Texas, and said that Edwards provided a sense of stability and created such a tradition of good quarterbacks at BYU which helped influence his decision to attend BYU. Edwards joked that Detmer “kept him employed.”
Each quarterback was able to talk about their memories of each other and how each one influenced the other in coming to BYU or improving their game.
Steve Young joined the panel and said that coach Edwards saw something in himself that he didn’t see.
Steve Sarkisian joined the broadcast from Seattle and talked about how coach Edwards influenced his own coaching career at the University of Washington. Sarkisian also reminisced about his senior season where the team went 14-1.
The quarterbacks and coach Edwards were able to talk about Bosco and the 1984 undefeated season that led to BYU’s first and only national football championship. 
The quarterbacks closed the show with their favorite BYU football memory. Coach Edwards was also able to think about his many fond memories of BYU football and of course could not forget beating Utah during his first year at BYU.
BYUtv will rebroadcast all of the Media Day specials throughout the afternoon and evening. Check the BYU athletics website for blogs, videos and story recaps on the day.

Kyle Van Noy’s actions speak volumes

Jun 26, 2013 - Posted by Sugene Lee at 3:13 pm | Permalink

BYU’s linebacker Kyle Van Noy is going into his last season the same way he has entered every other year. Despite his shoulder injury last year, Van Noy is 100 percent right now and is working on getting in better shape, getting faster and getting stronger.

While some team leaders lead through words, Van Noy is known for showing his leadership through actions.

“I want to be able to change the momentum of games and help out the team as best as possible,” Van Noy said. “And if I do that, everything else will fall into place.”

He doesn’t pride himself in his experience at BYU, but wants to encourage and help his teammates to know that they have the potential to be great.

“I’m not the cheerleader type of guy, but I think my play and how I go into meetings and practice speaks volumes,” Van Noy said. “So I hope that they can follow in that matter.”

His passion is shown through his determination in keeping a strict diet of chicken, salad and rice, with an occasional ice cream, as well as his attitude.

“I’m too blessed to be stressed,” he said. “I’m going to keep saying it because it’s true.”

Van Noy didn’t need to answer which opponent he was looking forward to because everybody knew. However, he didn’t think of Utah as “unfinished business.” The only unfinished business he has is with himself.