Countdown to Kickoff
Only 18 days remain until the Cougars' season-opener against Northern Iowa.
It's always a thrill when Coach Edwards stops by practice. He doesn't come by that often, but when he does, it's a special feeling.
I asked coach what he had been up to lately. He said, "I've been trying to find my swing, but I haven't been able to find it."
Coach Edwards and his wife, Patti, are staying busy and based on his tan, he's been hitting the course a few times this summer.
It's also interesting to watch Coach Mendenhall when Coach Edwards comes out to practice. Coach Edwards is perfectly content to sit in the golf cart and watch. But, it doesn't matter what drill the team is doing, or what Coach Mendenhall might be occupied with at the moment, he will drop what he is doing and walk over to visit with the Coach.
I don't know what they talk about, but I have a strong feeling Coach Edwards appreciates the hard work Coach Mendenhall, the coaching staff, and the team has put in over the past few years.
Painting a Memory
Scott Baird, a civil engineer from Alpine, Utah, along with his family stopped by the football office today with a special gift for head coach Bronco Mendenhall and the football program. Scott has spent the past several months painting a picture of Edwards Stadium. Scott calls the painting, "Homecoming." Scott and his wife have five children, and are expecting their sixth child next week. The painting will be hung proudly in the football office. Prints of "Homecoming" are available in the BYU Bookstore.
Linebacker Matt Bauman is back at practice and looking good. Matt saw limited action over the past week after suffering a bruised foot as a result of a scooter crash. Bauman has been participating in most drills for the past two days, but has been held out of full-contact drills. He reports that he is doing well, and trainers will allow him to increase his activity on a day-by-day basis.
Ian Dulan has quietly gone about his job for the past two seasons. Ian started five games as a true freshman in 2006 before suffering a season-ending leg injury. Last year, Dulan started 12 of the Cougars' 13 games and totaled 24 tackles. Dulan is one of the stars from last season's defensive unit that did not allow a single 100-yard rusher until the final game of the season. With the return of Russell Tialavea, the Cougars will have three returning starters on the defensive line.
After redshirting the 2006 season, Kaneakua Friel entered camp as a young tight end looking to make his mark. Through the first week, he has done just that. Friel is expected to be the third tight end and could also see playing time in a fullback role.
Slowed during the first week of fall camp by a hamstring injury, Fui Vakapuna is making his way back and working to get himself 100 percent healthy. He has been able to increase his activity on a daily basis and is well on his way to having a successful senior season.
Earlier in the week, Coach Mendenhall talked about how our team trainers were able to make progress on Fui's injury. According to team trainer Kevin Morris, once the damaged muscle releases the blood, it comes to the surface of the muscle (just under the skin.) Once the blood is released from the muscle, various treatments are used to disperse the blood and is re-absorbed by the body.
Morris said they use massage, as well as tobacco packs to help the blood dissipate. Morris said trainers at BYU have been using tobacco to help with bruises since the 1940's. (See D&C 89)
I can hear all the Honor Code and Word of Wisdom jokes now.
Freshman Bryan Kariya is one of the young, up-and-coming running backs at BYU. After having a solid spring, Kariya has been solid during Fall Camp. At 6-foot-0, 202 pounds, he's a big, physical back who is not afraid to lower his shoulders and take on a linebacker.
Senior Isaac Taylor is one of the backs being considered to replace hard-hitting Joe Semanoff. Taylor is a solid, physical back who saw action in 13 games last season.
The running backs worked with the linebackers today in one-on-one drills, working to pick up blitzes and sharpen their blocking skills.
After a team lift and dinner, the players and coaches gathered to hear a motivational presentation by Brad Barton, a master magician and professional public speaker from Ogden, Utah. A one-time NCAA All-American in track and field, Barton wowed the team with his mix of inspirational stories and magic.
Afterward, Walt Hanssen of Alpine, Utah and the good people at McConnell's ice cream in Santa Barbara, California teamed up to provide eight flavors of McConnell's super premium ice cream to the team. The players and coaches sampled from flavors ranging from Island Coconut to Vermont Blueberry as well as other McConnell's long-time favorites like French Vanilla and Mint Chocolate Chip. Dubbed the "best ice cream in the world" by TIME magazine, it was a well-appreciated end to another day of camp.