Observations From Physical BYU Football Fall Camp Practice

Aug 8, 2023, 6:02 PM

PROVO, Utah – Near the end of day seven of BYU football fall camp, things started to get physical and chippy between the offense and defense.

During the media observation portion of practice, sophomore defensive tackle Joshua Singh and returned missionary offensive lineman Jake Griffin were pushing and shoving each other.

A few plays later, offensive lineman Peter Falaniko and linebacker Lucky Finau got in each other’s faces.

Then on the perimeter, cornerback Dylan Flowers and tight end Ray Paulo gave a few extra shoves.

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake is okay with the physicality but doesn’t want the extracurriculars.

“I told the guys that football is violent and it’s physical. But we have to be tougher mentally and not throw punches and not cost the team,” Sitake said on Tuesday. “There are still some new guys that aren’t used to the way we do it. But the veteran guys know.”

The eighth-year coach likes the way his squad is competing through more than a week of practice.

“For the most part, the competition is really nice,” said Sitake. “Yesterday was a lot of live tackling stuff. So I feel good about where we’re at in the competition. … We’ll utilize all the practices we have to get ready for September 2 [against Sam Houston].”

Unloading the notebook from BYU football camp: Day 7

Here are some notes from media observation on Day 7 of practice on Tuesday.

Kedon Slovis made some impressive throws

— Starting QB Kedon Slovis was impressive throwing the ball. He completed a laser during red zone work to wide receiver Talmage Gunther. Gunther had safety Micah Harper all over him and still came up with the grab.

— Slovis showed great accuracy in his passes and the ball placements were in spots where the defenders couldn’t make a play on the ball. His comfort in the offense has been a common theme in practice.

Ryder Burton is making a case to move up the depth chart

— Staying at QB, freshman Ryder Burton is making a case to move up the depth chart. The former Springville Hight standout had a beautiful pass on the run that he tossed downfield in stride to freshman running back LJ Martin.

— Burton also completed a deep pass to Sierra Canyon freshman JoJo Phillips. The pass was a little bit wobbly downfield, but it got there to Phillips, who was being defended by freshman Marcus McKenzie. Moments before the pass landed in Phillips’ hands, McKenzie slipped on the play.

— Phillips had his breakout day as a BYU Cougar in front of the media. Another deep ball was intended for him but redshirt freshman Zion Allen interfered and was flagged on the play.

Isaac Rex makes a highlight touchdown grab

— After practice wrapped up, Kedon Slovis, Jake Retzlaff, and Burton were all getting in a few extra throws with receivers.

— Isaac Rex had a touchdown grab where he high-pointed the ball over defensive back Mory Bamba.

Stock meter continues to trend up for Isaiah Glasker

— Isaiah Glasker earned some snaps with what appeared to be the first-team defense. The former Bingham High receiver continues to make plays in practice. His playmaking ability continues to be on display with the pads on.

— Max Tooley appeared to be with the second-team linebackers during the media observation window.

— JUCO transfer Jayden Dunlap came up with a pass breakup on a third-down situation to get the defense off the field.

Kicker update

— The media got their first glimpse of the kickers since spring practice. Matthias Dunn and Will Ferrin both attempted PAT distance kicks. Each went through the uprights with ease. BYU coach Kalani Sitake said he wasn’t worried about that position battle. The same messaging from special teams coordinator Kelly Poppinga last week.

Tuesday Tidbits

— Talmage Gunther ran an excellent route that caused Weber State transfer Kamden Garrett to commit pass interference.

— Utah State transfer linebacker Sione Moa had a hard tackle on tight end Anthony Olsen near the sideline.

— Lucky Finau made a tackle at the line of scrimmage during the team portion of practice.

— Freshman running back LJ Martin had a run where he broke two tackles before referees blew the play dead. Martin appeared to be with the third or fourth-team offense.

BYU football will hold picture day on Wednesday inside the Indoor Practice Facility. This Saturday, they will hold their first scrimmage of fall camp.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on Twitter/X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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Observations From Physical BYU Football Fall Camp Practice