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BYU spring wrap

5/5/2010

2009 overall record: 11-2

2009 conference record: 7-1, 2nd MWC

Returning starters

Offense: 6, defense: 6, punter/kicker: 2

Top returners

OL Matt Reynolds, DB Andrew Rich, WR McKay Jacobson, LB Jordan Pendleton

Key losses

TE Dennis Pitta, QB Max Hall, DL Jan Jorgensen, RB Harvey Unga

2009 statistical leaders (* denotes returners)

Rushing: Harvey Unga (1,087 yards)

Passing: Max Hall (3,560 yards)

Receiving: Dennis Pitta (829 yards)

Tackles: Andrew Rich* (85 tackles)

Sacks: Jan Jorgensen (6 sacks)

Interceptions: Andrew Rich*, Scott Johnson (4 interceptions)

Spring answers

1. Quarterbacks showing promise: While the Cougars have not decided on a starting quarterback, coach Bronco Mendenhall said he feels confident that any of the three who participated in spring ball -- Riley Nelson, Jake Heaps and James Lark -- could start.

2. Freshman running back emerges: Freshman running back Joshua Quezada won’t replace Harvey Unga, who voluntarily left the program last month after violating the school’s honor code, but his play this spring gives the Cougars much-needed depth at a position that’s now in flux with Unga out of school.

3. Defensive line rebounding: Yeah, the defensive line took some hits with the loss of Jan Jorgensen, Russell Tialavea and Brett Denney, but the players stepping into those starting roles did well in the spring and there shouldn’t be much of a drop-off. Vic So'oto and Matt Putnam have experience and Romney Fuga is a returning part-time starter.

Fall questions

1. Who will replace Max Hall? While Mendenhall is happy with the play of his quarterbacks this spring, he still couldn’t decide which of the three was going to be his starter in the fall. He noted that Nelson and Heaps are probably ahead, but that could change as Lark progresses during the summer and Jason Munns joins the competition in the fall.

2. Tight at tight end: At the beginning of spring football, the Cougars had four tight ends competing for playing time, but that competition was dropped to just freshmen Mike Muehlmann and Devin Mahina, who are “dead even” according to Mendenhall. Austin Holt will join the race this fall when he returns from his mission.

3. Light at linebacker: BYU is still trying to replace departed seniors Matt Bauman, Terrance Hooks and Shawn Doman at inside linebacker. Junior college transfer Aveni Leung-Wai took the most reps this spring, and sophomore Brandon Ogletree emerged on the first team after sitting out the first couple of weeks with a groin injury. It will be interesting to see what kind of waves highly touted recruit Zac Stout makes when he arrives on campus in the fall. Stout and freshman Collin Keoshian will be in the linebacking mix.