LAS VEGAS It appears Bryan Kehl has escaped his stay at BYU without getting tackled and bound up in the connubial bliss that's affected 29 of his teammates.
Make that 30, if Austin Collie marries in mid-January.
Kehl is easily the most eligible bachelor on BYU's team. Handsome, funny, energetic, he could have nudged out Brad Pitt for the role of Achilles in the movie "Troy" simply on strength and body shape believability alone.
How did he survive?
"I'm too picky," Kehl confessed.
He's not searching for the No. 8 or even the No. 10 on the scale of female perfection. An 11 or 12 will do.
His singlehood? "It's strong. I'm as picky as they come," he said.
"I guess my life's been about looking for the best and settling for nothing less. I never would have believed I would have made it this far and still be single."
He says he gets teased about his bachelorhood every single day. "From my friends, my teammates, my roommates, my parents, my coaches you name it. That's something about being a Cougar in Provo though. It's normal everywhere else."
True. On UCLA's football team, the Cougars' opponent on Saturday in the Las Vegas Bowl, only two players are married: LDS quarterback Ben Olson and offensive lineman Alesky Lanis.
Kehl believes it's all a matter of finding the right chemistry. "I'm taking Chemistry 101, finding the bonds, that cohesive element. We'll see."
Kehl will lead the Cougar defense against UCLA Saturday in the Las Vegas Bowl and when the game is over, he's tendered offers to play in the Hula Bowl and East West Shrine Game. He chose the East-West Shrine game in Houston.
"I'll then prepare for the NFL Combine and see what happens from there."
Kehl said Saturday is all about getting a win, finishing with a win and setting up the 2008 team to go a long, long way on the local and national scene.
COUGAR NOTES: The Cougars are ready to play and they're sick of practice, according to MWC sack leader Jan Jorgenson. "It's time to play, it's just time," he said. Coach Bronco Mendenhall said he has tried to time practices and workouts so his players are ready to "knock down the stadium gates" to get in the bowl game. "From what I saw today, they had a hard time containing themselves." He said it is time after he put his team through a second practice that resembled a regular season Thursday practice (Wednesday was also like a Thursday practice).
Asked how much confidence he had in his ability to gauge his team's readiness, Mendenhall said, "I think they are right on. I think they were ready to play four or five games ago. This isn't a team you have to worry about their maturity or their readiness."
Mendenhall said he hasn't been stalling or holding the team back, in fact, he planned on taking his team on separate buses to different locations Thursday which were unknown to the players. Once at pre-selected destinations, the squad would be engaged in service projects. The Cougars planned on moving players out of the team hotel, Planet Hollywood, to the J.W. Marriott for a secluded Friday pre-game setting. Mendenhall repeated on Thursday that his defense is preparing for both an immobile, strong-armed Ben Olson and a fleet-footed but less accurate passer in Osaar Rasshan. "We've played against four mobile quarterbacks the past year, and we have a couple of mobile scout team quarterbacks who have given us a work."Mendenhall said last year's bowl was about a group of seniors being rewarded for coming a long way and finishing 11-2. "This year's bowl game is more about the team and where it has come and is headed in the future."