PROVO — Going into fall camp, linebacker Adam Pulsipher was listed as the backup to Francis Bernard. During much of fall camp, Pulsipher played Bernard's position when Bernard was not on the practice field.
However, last week coaches decided to move Matt Hadley from safety to the starting linebacker spot vacated by Bernard, who won't play in 2017.
Still, defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki is counting on big contributions from Pulsipher this season.
“We need him to win is the bottom line,” Tuiaki said. “He knows the defense enough where he can play those two (inside and outside linebacker) spots. He’ll definitely have some snaps and have a role with the defense. Attitude-wise, he’s awesome. He’s the ultimate team player.”
MO’UNGA’S STATUS: Defensive lineman Tevita Mo’unga has returned to the practice field but his status remains up in the air when it comes to playing time season.
Mo’unga, a 6-foot-3, 335-pound junior, is dealing with some academic issues. It remains to be seen if he will be eligible to play.
TEAM HEALTH: BYU lost one player, cornerback Austin McChesney, for the season with a knee injury during fall camp.
How’s the overall health of the team going into the season-opener?
“We have guys that are banged up and guys that we hope will be ready for the game,” said coach Kalani Sitake. “Not a large amount. We’ll be healthy for the most part going into game one.”
EARLY START: For BYU’s players, having two games before fall semester starts is a bonus. The first day of classes is Sept. 5.
“Oh yeah, it’s great,” said defensive end Corbin Kaufusi. “When school comes it’s like you have to focus on school work and then remember about the game. Right now it’s like you can’t wait for the game.”