Kaneakua Friel hopes to be BYU's solution at tight end

He's casual at times, but on the field, BYU's Friel is taking charge

Published: Monday, Sept. 3 2012 11:16 p.m. MDT

Last year, Friel — who served a mission to South Africa after his freshman season in 2008 — gradually ascended the depth chart due to injuries to Devin Mahina, Richard Wilson and Austin Holt. Then, by the end of fall camp, he had earned the starting spot at tight end.

"At the end of last year, he played quite a bit, which I think is helping him now," Reynolds said. "He got a feel for it. He had a nice fall camp and has been able to stay healthy. He's really playing well. I hope that keeps going down that same avenue."

Friel knows all about the stellar tight end tradition at BYU, and he wants to be a part of that.

"We have loads of talent at the tight end position. Between all of us, we'll have great games where one will stick out over the others. I know we have a lot of talent between the four of us. We're ready to see some big plays between us," Friel said. "Coach Reynolds has been telling us that we need to be dominant. We need to execute and dominate the other team. The tight end group as a whole have been taking it pretty seriously in practice to execute to the best of our ability. So we're trying to come back and trying be like it was here, with great tight ends like Itula Mili or even Chad Lewis. We're not comparing ourselves to them, but that's something we want to be like. We want to be great."

If Friel can continue to play like he did in the opener, it appears he could be on his way.

Email: jeffc@desnews.com

Get The Deseret News Everywhere