During the spring, BYU coaches converted defensive linemen Tanner Balderree and Stephen Richards — a.k.a. “The Bash Brothers” — into tight ends in part to help protect Taysom Hill.
“The intent was to have a more versatile run game and not so quarterback-centered,” coach Bronco Mendenhall explained. “From what I know about defense, one of the things that’s really difficult to prepare for is when the other team has multiple tight ends or wings moving, not only before the snap but after the snap We looked at our roster, at who is really tough, who has a good mindset, who isn’t afraid to block anyone. And then possibly they’d be able to catch the ball as well. So Steven Richards and Tanner Balderree, they both came to mind. We did it in spring as an experiment and it took off.”
“Those guys bring a dynamic that we didn’t have before,” Hill said. “Their main role is going to be blocking for us. Those guys are tough. They want to get in and get their hands dirty and stick their noses in where they don’t belong. That’s going to help us become a lot better. They’ve added an element of toughness and that grit mentality of, ‘Let me just go toe-to-toe with this guy.’ It’s been really helpful.”
“Those are some dogs right there,” running back Jamaal Williams said of Balderree and Richards. “They came from defense and have been given the opportunity they want to show that they got by blocking. They’re smashing brothers and that’s why they’re called the ‘Bash Brothers.’”
IMPACT IN SECONDARY?: The BYU defensive secondary is young, and one of those who will be counted on this fall is Micah Hannemann, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound sophomore out of Lone Peak High who played in a reserve role as a freshman in 2012 before serving a mission.
“He’s really athletic. He’s got great feet, good size," said defensive lineman Remington Peck. "That’s something we’ve lacked at corner for a few years. As long as he can learn it, he’ll help us for sure.”