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BYU Football: Taking a Deeper Look at This Year's Loaded Defense

Samuel BensonContributor IIIOctober 20, 2016

BYU Football: Taking a Deeper Look at This Year's Loaded Defense

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    "I think this is the most talented (the defense) will ever be since Coach Mendenhall has been here. I mean, talent level, athletic ability, it is just crazy. We got depth, too, and man, it's just scary."

    These words came from the mouth of Cougars linebacker Uona Kaveinga, per the Salt Lake Tribune (via the Sporting News).

    Kaveinga, who is a USC transfer, saw plenty of impressive defenses during his time with the Trojans. Therefore, if this statement is true, it is a very high compliment indeed.

    What should you expect from each defensive position? Read on to find out.

Defensive Line

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    BYU returns Ian Dulan, Eathyn Manumaleuna and Romney Fuga from last year's line, and welcomes newcomers Justin Blackmore and Theodore King.

    In fact, the defensive line could be even stronger than last year, when it included Hebron Fangupo and Matt Putnam.

    Backed by strong defensive corps, the line should limit opposing running games.


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    This year's group of linebackers could be the greatest ever. Led by captain Brandon Ogletree, Kyle Van Noy, Uona Kaveinga and Spencer Hadley, the linebacker position is another that is loaded, with players Ezekiel Ansah, Alani Fua, Kevin Bills and Austen Jorgensen.

    Van Noy is on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Lombardi Award watch lists, and although he had a breakout season last year, he is set for another in 2012-13. USC transfer Kaveinga and returning starter Ogletree should have big years, too.


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    Bronco Mendenhall has called this year's secondary "the best we've had athletically" since he's been at BYU, according to Jeff Call of the Deseret News.

    And he has good reason to call it that.

    Seniors Joe Sampson, Preston Hadley and Mike Hague will all return, while the Cougars have potential star players in Daniel Sorensen, Craig Bills and even freshman Sawyer Powell.

    We will see if Mendenhall is correct in the opener against Washington State.

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