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.