PROVO — Few kickers carry as much hype joining a football program as Justin Sorensen did after signing with BYU back in 2008. The Bingham All-American looked to realize a lot of that hype his first season, but has since been a study in frustration after returning home from his LDS mission service to Georgia.
Injury problems have largely kept Sorensen from fulfilling his promise while confidence issues have crept in. The result was a completely unsatisfying 2012 campaign that saw Sorensen convert on just half of his attempts.
"On a scale of one to 10, I'd say I was about at a 17," Sorensen said regarding his frustration level last season. "It's really hard not having confidence in something you know you've done well almost your entire life. I was rusty last season and my body wasn't able to do what it should do a lot of the time. I felt like an old man."
Despite Sorensen's struggles, the BYU coaching staff largely stood pat at the kicker position in the offseason — not using any of its available scholarships to sign a potential replacement. Sorensen is being pushed by walk-ons such as Tyler Jackson from Itawamba Community College, however, and is thankful for it.
"It's great because it's hard when you don't have any competition," Sorensen said. "When you see them make a lot of field goals on the days that you're off — it pushes you."
Sorensen believes he's close to the All-American form he showed while at Bingham and is hopeful to put all his issues behind him.
"I've started using some more distance and accuracy techniques and those have worked very, very well so far," he said. "I think if I continue with that that I'll feel better than I did while I was at Bingham in a few months. I'm going easy on my back and I feel as good as I have health-wise since coming home from my mission."
Bronson Kaufusi was back practicing with the team, but isn’t quite done with basketball yet. The sophomore two-sport athlete will finish out the season with coach Dave Rose, but was anxious to get back to the gridiron.
“It was fun being out there with the guys,” Kaufusi said about his first spring practice session. “It’s a different mindset, a different technique, but it was fun.”
Hill is the front-runner at quarterback
Quarterback Taysom Hill saw the majority of reps during 11-on-11 drills and finished the session completing four of five pass attempts for a combined 20 yards unofficially. Ammon Olsen received reps behind Hill and missed on both his pass attempts.
“We haven’t named a starter yet, but (Hill) is running with the first-team,” said offensive coordinator Robert Anae. “He’s doing a real good job and I’m pleased.”
By George, he's a position coach
Anae mentioned that graduate assistant Andrew George will be the inside receiver coach responsible for both the HR and YR positions. Anae will work almost exclusively with the offensive line on top of his offensive coordinating responsibilities.
“I feel confident with Andrew and his ability to coach both inside receiver spots,” Anae said.