BYU football notebook: Cougars confident in running backs
PROVO — While Harvey Unga is battling for a roster spot with the Chicago Bears, his former BYU teammates will continue the process of trying to fill the void when the Cougars open fall camp Saturday.
"Anytime you lose someone like Harvey, it's hard to replace him. There's a reason why guys like him only come around so often," offensive tackle Matt Reynolds said of BYU's all-time leading rusher. "But the running back crew that we have, I think we have guys who can perform at a high level consistently."
Juniors Bryan Kariya and J.J. DiLuigi, sophomore Mike Hague, and true freshman Joshua Quezada are among those who will vie for playing time.
Other true freshmen tailbacks who could contribute include Drew Phillips and A.J. Moore.
"We may have a running back by committee, rotating them in there all the time," Reynolds said. "We could have a running back by situation. Depending on the situation it is, we have a different guy in. Or it could be that we have a superstar with other guys giving him a breather. That's up the running backs to decide through how they perform in fall camp."
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MICROPHONE: Two key members of last year's BYU defense, safety Scott Johnson and defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen, have graduated. Their new jobs involve covering the 2010 squad on the radio.
Johnson is the new sideline reporter for KSL radio's game coverage, while Jorgensen co-hosts a morning sports-talk radio show on 1280 The Zone with former Utah offensive lineman Kyle Gunther.
For senior BYU safety Andrew Rich, it's strange to have friends, and former teammates, in that role.
"Go figure," Rich said with a smile. "I'm excited for Scotty because he knows football as good as anybody. It's a decision he's made to be around the game and the guys. I'm excited to see him running around the sideline with a headset on. I might be talking to him, asking him for pointers.
"As for Jan, he's always been a good friend of mine. The dynamics of our friendship changes because you don't know what's going to be on the air. Jan has to do what he has to do. It's different."
TALLAHASSEE TRIP: BYU players are looking forward to traveling to Tallahassee, Fla., to face Florida State on Sept. 18.
"That's what I've wanted to do my whole life — play in Tallahassee and hear the Seminole chant," Rich said. "I couldn't ask for anything more. It's like last year, playing Oklahoma at Cowboys Stadium. It's something you want to experience as a college football player."
The Florida visit will be special for the two Cougars who hail from the Sunshine State — cornerback Brandon Bradley (Tallahassee) and wide receiver O'Neill Chambers (Harmony).
"The Florida boys are excited to go back home," Rich said. "We're all excited to go down there. It's going to be a battle."
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