As many of you have already heard there was a big surprise running onto the field for the Cougars on day one of camp, Friday.
Russell Tialavea is not leaving on his mission right away after all! After receiving his mission Russell was to report to the MTC in November, the tail end of the season. He and Coach Mendenhall met that very day and Coach essentially said, if you want to play the whole season I can make a call and we can postpone your report date for a month. Russell could not sit out this season without losing a year of eligibility so that would be the logical thing to do. Russell said that would be a great plan for him and here we are, with our star nose tackle back in the game! This is the biggest news of the off season and is the brightest ray of hope for the BYU D Line and Linebackers. Let me tell you why…
1) From what I hear Russell is a lean mean fighting machine. In the last 18 months Russell has become what many people would term “an NFL-Type Lineman.” He is Fit, Fast and Furious! Gone are the days a big body plugging the hole. Russell is big, but he is agile and is running circles around the OLine. For those of you who wanted speed on Defense you just got it from the cornerstone of the 3-4 Defense, the Nose Tackle.
2) The Middle Linebacker’s jobs just became infinitely easier! Bauman, Hooks and Co. should be licking their chops, knowing that they will be free to roam and make plays. With Russell in front, there should be an O Lineman within miles of these guys.
3) Jan now has a partner in crime on his side of the ball. You can only double team so many guys! One of those two has to be left 1 on 1 to rush the QB, and that is a win for the Cougs!