BYU quarterback Riley Nelson did not participate in the spring scrimmage last Saturday. And that speaks volumes about how valuable coaches consider him — they certainly didn't want to subject him to a possible injury.
While he didn't take snaps in the scrimmage, Nelson has received the majority of reps in spring practices. For the first time in his Cougar career, the starting job is his during the spring. In an article titled, "Riley Nelson has BYU spring to himself," ESPN.com examines the Cougars' quarterback situation.
"Anybody who watched the second half of last season understands that Nelson brings an undeniable winner's mentality to the Cougars," writes Andrea Adelson. "All the adversity he has faced has changed his outlook and also given his teammates a reason to rally around him. The way he was able to lead the Cougars back against Utah State and in the bowl win against Tulsa was illustration yet again of the intangibles his coaches always praise. But for a deeper understanding of what he can bring to BYU on a full-time basis, this stat is more telling. Nelson replaced (Jake) Heaps in the starting lineup in Week 6. In the first five games with Heaps leading the way, BYU was ranked No. 78 in the nation in third-down conversions (39 percent). After Nelson took over, BYU was No. 1 in the nation over the next seven games."
"... there’s something we’re going to need to get past," writes Matt Moore. "Fredette is not stuck on the bench. He’s not being held back. He’s just not very good right now. And (Isaiah) Thomas has been excellent. He’s earned his playing time. And all the things we were concerned about with Fredette? They’ve turned out to be true."