PROVO — It's rare for a collegiate athlete to play more than one sport — particularly when one of those sports is football. BYU defensive end Bronson Kaufusi, a true freshman, is aiming to do just that, however, although it's yet to be determined if he will.
Kaufusi returned from his LDS mission service to Auckland, New Zealand, just a couple of weeks before the start of fall practices, but has contributed heavily this season. He's part of the Cougars' regular defensive line rotation and has contributed two sacks on the year.
Kaufusi was approached by BYU coach Dave Rose about the possibility of playing for the basketball team following the football season. The 6-foot-7 Kaufusi could add some much-needed size and depth inside and was an accomplished performer on the hard court for Timpview High School.
"I really enjoyed playing both sports in high school, but it's definitely hard work," said Kaufusi. "It would be a challenge (playing both at the collegiate level), but it's something that's possible … we're going to sit down and talk more about it and then see how it goes."
One of those conversations about the possibility of playing both sports will undoubtedly be with football coach Bronco Mendenhall.
"It's really hard to be good at just one sport, let alone two," said Mendenhall. "Very few guys are capable of playing two, so it's really premature to talk about it."
Kaufusi's intent is to completely focus on football until the season officially ends, and he believes playing basketball could benefit him for the 2013 football season.
"I'll be in shape more and throughout my high school career it helped me as far as body control being so tall," said Kaufusi. "It helps with my quickness as well."
BYE WEEK RECRUITING: One big benefit for coaching staffs during a bye week is the opportunity to do some heavy in-season recruiting. All of the BYU coaches were on the trail over the weekend doing extra evaluations and making contact with many of those who they already evaluated.
"We're in really good shape recruiting — there's still a few pieces to finish up with the offensive line issues that we've had, but our finding pool has been really good," said Mendenhall. "I'm really comfortable where we're at right now. There's a couple of pieces (left), but it was a really productive week."
PREPARING FOR IDAHO: It's no secret that the University of Idaho doesn't present much of a challenge on paper, but Mendenhall, as always, is not taking the Vandals lightly.11 comments on this story
"We have a lot to improve on as a team, so our focus is on how much better we can get," said Mendenhall. "We had a full day on Idaho today and we'll worry about our next opponent after that and we have a lot to improve on, so that's really my focus."
BYU hosts the Vandals on Saturday at 8:15 p.m. in the Cougars' final home game of the 2012 season.
Mendenhall is encouraged about the strides the team has made on both the defensive and offensive sides of the ball.
"I like our balance and consistency," said Mendenhall about the offense. "Being able to run the football and throw it with fewer turnovers has been really healthful. I think that's the core of what's happened — better consistency with fewer turnovers."
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