We’re going to try and sneak on 15 (players), and if the refs catch it, then we’ll go to 13 or 12. —BYU head coach Kalani Sitake
BYU released a season depth chart prior to Monday's media session, which included 15 different positions on the offensive side and 13 on the defense. Yes, there's only 11 players a team can field at one time, with Sitake joking about the number of players listed to reporters.
“We’re going to try and sneak on 15 (players), and if the refs catch it, then we’ll go to 13 or 12,” Sitake quipped. “No, I think it’s just really hard if you set just one with 11 Without tipping our game plan we’re just trying to be respectful you guys, so you’re not scratching your head and asking these questions next week.”
Notable within the released depth chart is converted safety Matt Hadley listed as the starting weakside linebacker. The 6-foot, 205-pound senior made the switch after it was determined assumed starter Francis Bernard wouldn't play this season.
“We do a lot of things with our linebacking crew that kind of (has) a lot of carry-over from our safety position to our linebackers,” Sitake said. “So those guys can easily go back to the safety position. We just feel like we have really good depth there, at that position.”
Another safety listed on the depth chart at linebacker was true freshman Chaz Ah You.
Junior Zayne Anderson was listed as the starting free safety, with Handsome Tanielu and Kesni Tuasinga listed as the starting defensive tackles. Junior defensive tackle Tevita Mo'Unga was not listed on the depth chart and is working to become academically eligible, according to defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki, who spoke about the matter to KSL on the weekly "Coordinators Corner" radio show.
STARING AT THE SUN: Like most people, the solar eclipse was on Sitake's mind during Monday's press conference, with the Cougar head coach expressing frustrations with the rare occurrence.
“I’ve never really worried about looking at the sun until today,” Sitake quipped. “I just have to remind myself, ‘Don’t look up. Just don’t look up.’ So far I’m undefeated on that one.”