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BYU football notebook: Riley Nelson, Brandon Ogletree, David Foote named captains

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 22 2012 5:23 p.m. MDT

Riley Nelson looks to pass during Brigham Young University football practice in Provo, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

PROVO — BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall announced Wednesday that his team has selected captains for this season.

The players voted for quarterback Riley Nelson (offense), linebacker Brandon Ogletree (defense) and running back David Foote (special teams).

All three are seniors. Foote is a former walk-on, while Nelson was on everyone's ballot.

"He was unanimously voted as our team captain," offensive coordinator Brandon Doman said of Nelson. "It was an easy decision for everybody. He's taken upon himself that leadership role."

When it came to the voting, Mendenhall said the players were provided "specific criteria" in what to look for in the voting process.

"They were given the criteria of first of representing the institution, which is owned by the (LDS) Church," Mendenhall explained. "So there had to be a strong faith component. Excellent students was another part of it. How they conduct themselves socially, and what kind of leaders they are on the team, and then what kind of players. That's what was framed to them and they were given a chance to pick from there."

SORENSEN UPDATE: Placekicker Justin Sorensen, who underwent offseason back surgery, attempted some field goals during Wednesday's practice.

Mendenhall continues to say that he expects Sorensen to be BYU's kicker for the season-opener against Washington State on Aug. 30.

TIGHT ENDS: Asked about the tight end position, Mendenhall said the tight end that he's been the most happy with is junior Kaneakua Friel.

"Of the players that have had the best fall camp and become the most complete, and also effort on special teams, if I were to pick one right now, he's the one that I like best in terms of how he's played, how he's conducted himself, and the consistency," Mendenhall said. "He's kind of filled a hole that's been helpful to us while the other two (Austin Holt and Richard Wilson) are still coming back (from knee injuries)."

Redshirt freshman Terenn Houk, meanwhile, has been moved from wide receiver to tight end.

BAD LUCK: Linebacker Kevan Bills underwent surgery for a torn ACL Tuesday. According to Mendenhall, there were unusual circumstances surrounding Bills' injury.

"It's really sad. It happened on an individual drill, on grass, with no contact," he said. "I'm not sure if I ever heard of an ACL happening like that before. So you chalk that one up to bad luck, I think … Sometimes there's just nothing you can do. He kept practicing the next day. It's hard to explain that one. I feel bad for him because he's worked so hard."

MINGLING WITH FANS: BYU players and coaches participated in the annual "fanfest" Wednesday night, giving an opportunity for fans to mix and mingle with players and coaches.

What did Mendenhall like about it?

"I love seeing little kids and what a big deal it is to see the players," he said. "That's what I like most. They look up to those guys like they're supermen. That's fun. I think the players actually realize ... that they're looked up to, whether they think that or not."

CHAMBERS UPDATE: Former BYU wide receiver O'Neill Chambers, who was suspended during the 2010 season, then was not allowed to participate in fall camp with the Cougars, apparently has transferred to the University of Nebraska at Kearney, a Division II team.

Chambers is listed on the team's roster. UNK is in its first year in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

email: jeffc@desnews.com

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