PROVO, Utah -- Saturday marked the first official day of practice for the Cougars, launching the 2000 football season. The day began with the annual media/photo day at Cougar Stadium and was followed by an afternoon practice session on the practice fields.
"This was a typical first-day of practice," BYU head coach LaVell Edwards said. "I was real impressed with the enthusiasm and attitude. It makes a real difference when these kids come in here in shape and fired up. I think everyone worked hard today."
In perhaps the most competitive drill of the day, coaches got their first look at a young cornerback duo in Isiah Joiner and Rod Wilkerson as they were tested against BYU's highly touted receivers in one-on-one cover drills. Although the drill is designed for the offense, BYU defensive backs coach Brian Mitchell said he was impressed with the young corners. Mitchell also said he expects Danny Phillips and Derrus Wilson to join practice early next week. Both players are waiting for official paper work.
"Isiah and Rod are going to be pretty good," Mitchell said. "Both of them have legitimate speed and I guess the best thing is, they're going to be here for awhile. It's possible in a few years we could have two corners with more than one or two years experience. For their first practice, I think they did a great job. Obviously they are still learning, but they have some ability and that makes teaching that much easier."
During one-on-ones , offensive coordinator Lance Reynolds got a good look at the veteran receivers, quarterbacks and running backs.
"We had a real nice first day," Reynolds said. "It was a lot of fun. These guys are fired up. Obviously we have a long way to go, but I like where we are. Our quarterbacks came in here and look so much better than they did at the beginning of spring drills. They threw the ball well and had a lot of confidence in what they were doing.
"I was also impressed with the running backs. We have some new guys in here and I think they did a nice job. They are all in really good shape and are working hard to pick up the offense."
Future reports will contain information on the offensive line, as well as the defense.