Three Observations From Day One Of BYU Football Camp

Aug 2, 2023, 9:11 AM

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake at fall camp day one...

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake at fall camp day one (Courtesy of BYU Photo)

(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – The inaugural BYU football season in the Big 12 is right around the corner now that fall camp is underway.

With nearly 60 new faces in the program, these first few weeks are critical in determining the depth and finding the right combination of players in the two-deep depth chart.

Here are my three observations from an overcast, yet beautiful weather day down in Provo.

Practice format changes

The media are allowed to see the last 20 minutes or so of practice on allowed days throughout camp.

When media members walked onto the field there was some 7-on-7 work underway.

The highlight play was quarterback Kedon Slovis finding Kody Epps on an intermediate sideline throw that went for over 30 yards.

Following 7-on-7, players separated into two groups for 11-on-11 teamwork.

This is normal, but usually, the team gathers in one section of the field.

That wasn’t the case on day one.

Two separate sections of 11-on-11 work broke out.

Tight end coach Steve Clark told KSL Sports this is the first time since he’s been at BYU that the Cougars have practiced two simultaneous 11-on-11 periods.

Double the reps is the idea behind the change, allowing coaches to evaluate players with a larger practice sample.

As the Cougars get closer to game day, the format will change to allow more reps to the guys in the two deep, but for now, it’s a nice addition to the practice schedule.

Clark credited defensive coordinator Jay Hill with the idea. It’s something he did while the head coach at Weber State.

Young linebacker making plays

Max Tooley and Ben Bywater didn’t participate in spring practices. Both were back healthy and participating on day one.

Transfers AJ Vongphachanh and Harrison Taggart hadn’t yet committed to BYU football.

Young guys like Maika Kaufusi and Isaiah Glasker saw increased playing time due to the circumstances.

Even though critical depth and talent were added to the linebacker room in the summer, you can expect to see those players on the field in some capacity.

Kaufusi blew up a QB run play by Cade Fennegan in 11-on-11 work toward the end of practice.

Nothing vicious of course with players only wearing helmets, but his play recognition was noteworthy.

Glasker intercepted Jake Retzlaff on the final play of the 7-0n-7 period.

It was a nice play made by the young linebacker, undercutting the route. In a real football game, it would have easily been a pick-six.

Wide receiver depth on display

Kody Epps was rocking a new tinted visor while making a few nice grabs in front of the media.

One guy that was targeted frequently by various quarterbacks was Kade Moore.

He made several nice catches in the middle of the field amongst several defenders.

It’s unlikely he sees the field much this season with so many players ahead of him on the depth chart, but he’s someone to keep an eye on for years to come.

Moore is sure-handed and a good route runner.

The media will be allowed to watch practice again on Friday, August 4th.

You can hear Matt Baiamonte every Saturday on KSL Newsradio for Cougar Sports Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. or you can find him on Twitter here.

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Three Observations From Day One Of BYU Football Camp