Spring ball in the Wide Receiver room this year was definitely a unique experience. Although it was my first spring ball with the program, I knew this year was definitely different from years past. With only a few experienced veterans such as Keanu, Kody, and Chase, a lot of newer guys had to step up when their names were called this spring. Players like Parker Kingston, Hobbs Nyberg, Talmage Gunther, Dom Henry, and myself had the opportunity to get a lot more reps as the room itself is trying to develop and find one or two more wide receivers that are ready to make plays this fall. Majority of the group was winning most of their 1’s reps throughout spring, which was cool to see.
The Wide Receiver room this spring definitely was competitive and we had a lot of guys stand out throughout different parts of spring ball like those mentioned above. The mentality of the room from the first string players down to the newcomers was to continue to improve in a way where come this fall we know we are Big 12 ready.
Being a newcomer, I had a lot of opportunities to develop my skills by surrounding myself with great players. Something I learned is that at the college level and especially at BYU almost every single dude in the room was “the guy” in high school, and has special skills and talents that you can learn from. Players like Talmage, Keanu and Chase are natural students of the game. Their football IQ was something that immediately stood out and something I try to improve. Dom Henry and Parker are great route runners and I love learning techniques and releases just by watching their reps. Hobbs Nyberg has a tenacity to get open against coverages and make tough catches. Everyone has special abilities and it’s an environment where everyone tries to help one another so we can become better as a group every day.
Though people may think it would be difficult to build chemistry between QBs that just came to the program, that was not the case for us. Kedon is a natural leader and already had the playbook down before spring ball started. Jake Retzlaff was the same way.
I think coming into spring ball the QBs already had a strong connection with the WR room, especially since we as a whole group to advantage of the player run practices in the winter to develop such chemistry. Both quarterbacks, along with returnees like Nick Billoups and Cade Finnegan, definitely had a great spring.
The last thing that I’d probably mention is the contagious mentality of the whole team. It’s been great having so much energy on the defensive side and Coach Hill. The defense this spring was aggressive, physical, and high energy. It made us as on offense raise the bar as well. Going up against high caliber players in the DB room like Jakob Robinson and Eddie Heckard who are physical and quick made both sides of the ball improve. Overall, it was a great spring, and Cougar nation has a lot to look forward to this fall!