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Three BYU Freshmen Earn Praise After Camp Scrimmage

Aug 13, 2023, 1:04 AM | Updated: Aug 14, 2023, 2:16 pm

PROVO, Utah – BYU football completed its first scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday. The 105-play scrimmage was held inside LaVell Edwards Stadium.

It was the first glimpse of LES in a game-like situation for many of the freshmen and some of the new coaches. Defensive coordinator Jay Hill enjoyed being at LES for his first Saturday of the season as a BYU coach.

“I’m standing in the middle of LaVell Edwards Stadium, right on the field in one of the best settings in college football. That was a sweet part of this, was just being able to play football in this stadium,” Hill said to KSL Sports on Saturday.

Jay Hill might be a first-year guy at BYU, but he’s no stranger to overseeing defenses.

Running Back LJ Martin made plays during the scrimmage

For some of the young freshmen on the team, Saturday was the first glimpse inside LES. One, in particular, was running back LJ Martin.

Martin, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound ball carrier from El Paso, Texas, who spurned Stanford and flipped his commitment to BYU, is already turning heads in his first season with the Cougars.

BYU starting quarterback Kedon Slovis made sure to give Martin a shoutout for his play in the scrimmage on Saturday.

“I really want to shoutout LJ, the youngin’, for running really hard and winning a couple of four-minute drills for us,” Slovis said.

The media was not able to watch Saturday’s scrimmage. But throughout fall camp, the press covering BYU has seen Martin compete in practice. One of the immediate traits you notice with Martin is that he has excellent patience and invites contact.

Last Tuesday, Martin had a run where he broke through two tacklers to get upfield before the referees whistled the play dead.

LJ Martin is in a crowded BYU running back unit that is projected to be led by UNLV transfer Aidan Robbins and veteran ball carriers Deion Smith from Colorado, Hinckley Folau Ropati, and Miles Davis. But there could be a role for Martin this season if he continues to perform well in practice and scrimmages from now on in camp.

During his prep career at Canutillo High School in Texas, Martin rushed for 5,949 yards and 60 touchdowns. During his junior season in 2021, Martin rushed for 2,737 yards in 13 games.

Redshirt freshmen WRs caught TD passes

Slovis also gave shoutouts to redshirt freshmen wide receivers Parker Kingston and Dom Henry.

Both had touchdown grabs during the scrimmage. Kingston, a former quarterback at Roy High School and once an Air Force commit, is making a case in fall camp to be one of the top six receivers in the program.

Henry, a preferred walk-on from Florida, had a productive spring practice earlier this year and continues to show a knack for catching everything thrown his way.

BYU will be off on Sunday and return to practice for day 11 of camp on Monday.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com 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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Three BYU Freshmen Earn Praise After Camp Scrimmage