The 2013 season is sneaking closer and closer, and BYU's fall camp is in its second week. Already, it has become apparent that several players are rising above our expectations, and others are fading below.
For many transfers and freshmen, this is their first opportunity to practice with the team in front of the Cougar coaching staff. If they performed well, and exceeded our assumptions, their stock has gone up. If not, and they have failed to impress, their stock went down.
Here is the fall camp stock report at this point of camp.
Position: Running back
Algernon Brown, after redshirting in 2010 and serving a two-year LDS mission, is ready to play his first year of collegiate football. A product of Skyline High School (Utah), Brown was ranked as the state's number-four prospect.
“A good surprise with us is Algernon Brown,” running backs coach Mark Atuaia said (via the Deseret News). “He just got back from his mission. I’m a little surprised with his fitness and his conditioning. He’s helping us take the load off some of the running backs."
The road for Jason Munns has not been an easy one, as he has been stuck in a backup role for his entire career at BYU. After being recruited by seven Pac-12 schools, among others, he chose to be a Cougar, but has never been given quite the opportunity he's hoped for.
Munns was given time under center during Saturday's scrimmage, but threw a pick-six to Hawaii transfer Michael Wadsworth. Hopefully Munns will be given reps during the season, but during fall camp, he hasn't impressed.
Position: Offensive tackle
Despite being two years apart in eligibility, Brayden Kearlsey and De'Ondre Wesley are both new faces to the program. In their first two weeks in Provo, they have not failed to impress.
Coach Bronco Mendenhall has cited Kearlsey and Wesley as "head and shoulders above the rest" of the eight new offensive linemen, and they could both see genuine amounts of playing time come August 31.
With Robert Anae's new high-tempo style, we will see plenty of substitutions, and it is comforting to know that there are talented newcomers.
The only bright spot in this year's offensive line was the emergence of De'Ondre Wesley and Brayden Kearsley, and besides them, the group has been a major disappointment.
In fact, Robert Anae has gone as far as calling the line "an embarrassment to this program."
Unless the line can shape up and improve by the opener against Virginia, it could be another long year with the offense.
Position: Wide receiver
Mitch Mathews has been one of the biggest surprises of fall, and according to Jay Drew of the Salt Lake Tribune, "[he] was probably the MVP of Week 1." A 6'6" receiver, he will add size to BYU's wideout corps.
"He’s shown that he does have the athleticism I thought he had,” said Guy Holliday, BYU's receiving coach (via the Deseret News). “Mitch is going to be a really good football player. He’s outstanding athletically.”