PROVO — BYU secondary coach Nick Howell likes the depth he has in the defensive backfield.

"I feel more comfortable about our depth now than I did one year ago," Howell said.

At the cornerback spots, there's Jordan Johnson, Preston Hadley, DeQuan Everett, junior college transfer Adam Hogan and freshman Micah Hannemann.

At safety, the Cougars boast Daniel Sorensen, Joe Sampson, Craig Bills and Mike Hague.

"Those four are playing good," Howell said. "Danny is the anchor. Around that there's Joe and Craig and Mike, who's steady. I feel very comfortable with our four safeties."

Coach Bronco Mendenhall has said that the secondary might be "the best we've had athletically" since he starting coaching at BYU.

WALK-ON NO MORE: Wide receiver JD Falslev will never forget the day that Mendenhall told him he would be on scholarship.

"I wanted to jump in my car and drive all the way back to Logan and show up in parents' living room. It was really cool," he remembered. "It's a moment when you look back and say, 'I made it.' Not that you're the guy, but you've earned that scholarship. Not to say that anyone else here who earned a scholarship out of high school didn't earn it. They had their unique stories and so do I."

BYU's track record of giving so many walk-on players scholarship was a big factor in Falslev choosing to play for the Cougars.

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"That's a very big reason. There were a couple of other places I could have walked-on, but I would have been holding the down markers and holding bags," he said. "No one would have known my name."

JUMP BALLS: Wide receiver Cody Hoffman enjoys playing basketball, so it stands to reason that he likes jump balls.

When quarterback Riley Nelson scrambles and is looking for an open receiver, he has shown a propensity for lobbing the ball in Hoffman's vicinity.

"Jump balls are definitely my favorite," Hoffman said. "But I like catching all the routes. I like getting the ball and making plays."