BYU football: Eathyn Manumaleuna, Bronson Kaufusi expected to lead BYU's defensive line this fall
“I’ve been there, but I think the main reason I was able to contribute as a freshman is because there weren’t a lot of guys available,” Manumaleuna said. “This year there’s a lot of guys coming in and it should be a huge battle. I’ll try and help as much as I can, but ultimately it will be up to each guy and how hard they’re willing to work.”
The incoming group of players include JC transfer Kalolo Utu (6-2, 260), JonRyheem Peoples (6-6, 300) and Merrill Taliauli (6-2, 305.) They’ll battle with Tuni Kanuch and Marques Johnson for playing time at nose tackle.
“I’m excited to have five guys battle it out for playing time,” coach Kaufusi said. “This is what you love as a coach — opportunities like this to coach guys up and hopefully get them to compete at a high level. It’s going to be a lot of fun and hopefully we figure it out.”
THIRD IN THE PECKING ORDER: Coach Kaufusi mentioned that Remington Peck will be the third defensive lineman behind Manumaleuna and Bronson at the start of fall camp. Peck played sparingly last season but made a lot of strides during spring practices.
“Remington has put in the time and has improved his strength and his overall play,” coach Kaufusi said. “It’s been exciting to watch his improvement and he’s probably going to be the guy to beat out at the other starting defensive end if we have to use (Manumaleuna) at nose tackle.”
Converted tight end Austin Holt will also compete at defensive end, but has some catching up to do.
“I liked what I saw from Austin in spring, but he has a ways to go,” Coach Kaufusi said.
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