Michelle Tessier, Deseret News
PROVO — BYU's depth chart on Friday night may look a little different than the version the Cougars released to the media Monday.
Coach Bronco Mendenhall cautioned the media following Monday's practice to "be leery of the two-deep" and that he's "not promising that will be Friday’s depth chart" for the Cougars' season opener against UConn.
One of the reasons, according to Mendenhall and other coaches, is to keep competition open and relatively fresh during every practice session. The other reason involves non-football reasons being worked out behind the scenes — a process Mendenhall is intent on keeping in-house.
Monday's depth chart included some notable things, primarily the inclusion of both Rob Daniel and Jordan Johnson as starters at the two cornerback positions. Neither player has seen reps with the first-team defense throughout fall camp, but the standouts were placed on top of the depth chart due to their overall talent and experience, according to Mendenhall.
Whether each player will remain on top of the depth chart, or even play against UConn, is something Mendenhall would not commit to.
“I would love them both to be able to start,” Mendenhall when asked of their depth chart status.
Notable omissions from Monday's depth chart were star running back Jamaal Williams and junior college wide receiver Devon Blackmon. Both players have stated publicly they will be suspended for the first game, although Mendenhall has not confirmed either suspension.
Another omission was senior nose tackle Marques Johnson, whom players have indicated will be suspended for the opener.
STOUT ON TOP: Senior linebacker Zac Stout found his way to the top of Monday's depth chart after sitting out all of last season to work through social and academic issues.
"It feels great to be back and starting," said Stout, who was listed as the starting Mike linebacker. "It's been a long road for me and I'm just happy to contribute. I feel ready to go mentally and physically and think we're going to have a strong group at inside linebacker."
CAPTAINS NAMED: BYU named its four team captains over the weekend, and to no one's surprise, senior safety Craig Bills and junior quarterback Taysom Hill were two of them. The other two (junior defensive linemen Remington Peck and senior running back Paul Lasike) came as a surprise — particularly to themselves.
"I really wasn't expecting it at all," Lasike said. "It wasn't a complete shock, but I definitely wasn't expecting it. But it's a great honor knowing players believe in you to be an example and a leader."
Lasike has come a long way since learning to play the game only two years ago after starring as a rugby player.
"It's real humbling for me to think how far I've come," he said. "I never imagined I'd go from where I was to where I'm being asked to be a team leader. It's an amazing honor and one I'll do my best to live up to."
As for Peck, he was largely in the same boat as Lasike in being named.
"I really didn't expect it, but it's cool to know I have the respect of my teammates and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to be an example and to lead those guys," Peck said.
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