(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – More than 300 high school coaches from 10 different states took part in the BYU High School Coaches Clinic and watched the Cougar football team finish its third week of spring practice on Friday.
"Practice was great today and the coaching clinic had great attendance and a lot of enthusiasm for our program,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “I like our team. I think we've recruited well, and we have good depth and talent."
With another week before the March 29th spring scrimmage, the team is anxious to continue improving during spring practices.
“They are competitive and work hard every day,” Mendenhall said of his players. “They are very consistent, they want to be good and they are hungry (to get better).”
Highlights of Friday’s practice included a 50-yard catch by receiver Colby Pearson. The sophomore from Blackfoot, Idaho, made the long connection with junior quarterback Taysom Hill, who hails some 30 miles from Pearson in Pocatello, Idaho. Mitchell Juergens, a sophomore wideout from Houston, caught a 30-yard pass from Hill, while junior running back Jamaal Williams from Fontana, Calif., broke off a 20-yard run. On defense, sophomore defensive back Garrett Juergens, a twin brother of Mitchell, continued his strong play with two pass breakups in the end zone and an interception to his credit.
The coaches clinic started at 8 a.m. with a welcome from Mendenhall and eventually concluded later in the evening after position meetings with the BYU coaching staff. During the day, nine high school coaches offered insights about the profession as breakout-session speakers, including Jason Negro (St. John Bosco HS), Kraig Broach (Heritage HS), Justin Garza (Central HS), Beto Mejia (Mendota HS) and Steve Pyne (Central Catholic HS) from California; Tony Baccarini (Fossil Ridge HS) and Nathan Larned (Kinkaid School) from Texas; Josh Niblett (Hoover HS) from Alabama; and Randall Okimoto (Farrington HS) from Hawaii.
High school coaches participating in the daylong clinic with the BYU football staff came from Alabama, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, California, Hawaii and Utah.
“As we go out recruiting we find the best programs that are out there and ask the head coaches to come share a message with our in-state coaches,” Mendenhall explained regarding BYU’s annual clinic. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for (those coaches) to learn more about BYU but also for in-state coaches to learn about other good programs.”
BYU will conduct two practices next week before an open-to-the-public scrimmage at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, March 29 at 11 a.m. MDT. A football clinic for schoolchildren up to the eighth grade will also be conducted starting at 10 a.m.