BYU Football: Spring Practice Position Battle Tracker
BYU's spring practices are currently in full swing with the first public scrimmage taking place last week. There are several positional battles underway, and plenty will get interesting by fall.
From offensive and defensive battles to special teams competitions, Bronco Mendenhall will have several tough depth chart decisions to make. Here are four of them.
Mitch Mathews and Ross Apo headline the returning wide receiver group, and rightfully so. Both have the size and skill to be standout athletes for BYU this upcoming season.
But they will be challenged by JUCO transfer Nick Kurtz, who has been welcomed to Provo with plenty of hype. Terenn Houk, Michael Davis and Kurt Henderson will also be in the running.
Manoa Pikula and Jherremya Leuta-Douyere return as the leaders for starting positions at the Mike and Buck linebacker spots, but they aren't shoo-ins quite yet. Zac Stout is back at BYU after a controversial exit in 2012 and could provide tough competition for the projected starters.
Along with Stout, returned missionary Austin Heder could fight for a place high in the depth chart. Unless Pikula and Leuta-Douyere have outstanding offseasons, they could be in jeopardy of losing their starting roles.
Robertson Daniel is making the transition from cornerback to free safety this offseason, but he won't be handed the starting position quite yet. He will battle with up-and-coming players Dallin Leavitt and Michael Wadsworth for the role, which could be difficult.
Leavitt doesn't have the experience of Daniel but is loaded with talent. Wadsworth, a former defensive back at Hawaii, could be a standout player, if given the chance.
BYU is facing the task of replacing Justin Sorensen, its starting place kicker for the past few seasons. But finding a replacement may not be the problem. Both Trevor Samson and Vance Bingham have the skills to be the starter, and it will come down to who the coaches think is better.
"Statistically, Moose Bingham had a slight edge, but today it swung more to Trevor Samson in terms of accuracy,” Mendenhall said after Saturday's scrimmage, via the Deseret News. “So…[they're] about dead even with Samson having a stronger day today.”
Both kickers challenged Sorensen for the starting job last season, and making the selection this year will be difficult.