Head coach Bronco Mendenhall post-practice comments - Poinsettia Bowl

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

The following comments are from head coach Bronco Mendenhall's post-practice media press briefing following Monday evening's practice.

Head coach Bronco Mendenhall
On practice plan:
We’ll practice Monday through Friday and then Saturday, Sunday off. Then Monday through Wednesday when we get down there. It’s a similar model to what we’ve used the last five years with a slight tweak in practice here and there but the same number of days.

On Riley Nelson:
He practiced a little bit today but he’s still not 100 percent. Today was the first day, we’ve been running and lifting for the past two weeks, and he did get some work but I would consider it light at best if you were going to describe it.

On running back Michael Alisa:
Mike came out and ran around a little bit today also. He’s been running and doing the condition the last two weeks and he came out in his gear today.

On offensive line:
Probably the biggest question mark listed is Braden Hansen. He’s the one that has the most uncertainty. Blair will step in, in that capacity. So there is not a significant change in our team from the last three weeks in the surrounding areas other than the quarterback.

On recruiting:
It’s really good. A bunch of really positive things happened for us last week and I’m really optimistic where we sit. A few junior college players of emphasis to close out on and then we’re about done. We’re looking, in terms of needs left, our line positions through junior colleges.

On recruiting draw of playing in bowl games:
It’s always addressed because we’ve never not gone. When players consider coming to BYU, they’re going to play an extra game. That’s the beginning. The next part becomes how well we play in those. It matters to me to play well. It matters to me to finish the season on a high note. It matters for our seniors and providing that experience. I just like the feeling a lot better when we end on that note.

Does it matter to players which bowl they play in?
I used to think so. I think now it's more the opponent they play and then once they get there, they’re just happy to be where they are. I haven’t noticed much different reaction to the different bowls we’ve been to. They just like going to play one more time.

On future preferences on bowls after 2013:
I don’t have ideal preferences. Three years ago, and even last year, there were conference bowls that were, when contracts were ending, already contacting us saying they would have a sincere interest because not only can they expect us to be there but because we travel so well. It’ll be interesting to see how that comes. We’ve been reached out to the past couple of years pretty heavily. It’ll be interesting to see if that follows through and where we’ll end up.

On playing in different bowls:
I like it. It’s different experiences. It’s easy for players, coaches and fans to get entitled when you go to the same game a number of times. Sometimes it’s nice to have a change. But I think that’s more important to the outside perspective than the inside perspective.

On if Riley Nelson is the starting quarterback for the bowl game:
It’s hard to say at this point because he’s not healthy and taking all the reps. At this point, we have to plan on James Lark working and going forward and then just wait to see where Riley catches up. We’ve got time, but Riley’s not healthy enough right now to be considered as the starter yet.

On Colorado job interest and other job interests:
A year ago, it was very specific and there was a sincere interest and I did interview. In this particular case, when I was asked there wasn’t anything I knew about it. There became interest after I was asked, after Cincinnati’s coach then decided to do something else. Again, things happen so quickly, there was interest expressed but there was no interview.

On being open to a new coaching job:
Selective would be too mild of a word. I’m really happy here.