PROVO — BYU offensive Coordinator Robert Anae likes how his offensive line is shaping out through the first few days of fall practice. His assumed starters have some solid experience and chemistry which should make for a productive unit during the 2015 season.
Given the collective experience returning, Anae has felt comfortable rotating several players in with the first-team offense through four full practice sessions.
“We’re rotating with the first group seven guys,” Anae said. “So that gives us seven to work with Taysom in the first group and as long as Tejan (Koroma) is at center we’re good.”
Should Tuni Kanuch prove healthy he would add an eighth option ready to rotate in with the first-team offense. So far the former Bingham standout has been sidelined with what coaches define as "lingering injuries" sustained since last season.
The seven offensive linemen rotating in with the first-team offense includes Koroma, Austin Hoyt, Ryker Mathews, Ului Lapuaho, Kyle Johnson, Brad Wilcox and Parker Dawe.
Mathews, who is the lone senior in the group, knows there's still much to work on, but likes the chemistry that's being developed.
“We all have to learn to work with each other and there’s a couple of new dudes in that rotation,” Mathews said. “We all have things we need to work on, but you get a lot of chemistry working with the same guys.”
Mathews has been playing primarily at left tackle with Hoyt seeing most of the reps at right tackle. Next to Hoyt at guard is Lapuaho while Johnson usually mans the guard position next to Mathews. Koroma is the starting center, and as mentioned by Anae, is one player for whom coaches haven't found adequate backups.
As for the overall performance so far, Mathews has seen some ups and downs with his position group.
“We’re a little bit rusty coming in,” Mathews said. “There’s a few mental errors we need to figure out, but then once we do, and we kind of understand how the guy next to us is playing, it’s going to make all the difference.”
Still planning on West: Much has been made of running back Charles West's future at BYU in light of his off-the-field troubles since signing with the Cougars in February. Many speculated that West would never join BYU's program while others remain optimistic that he'll find his way to Provo eventually.
Count BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall in with the optimistic contingent.
Following Wednesday's photo day Mendenhall mentioned that West could join the program as early as next January.
"We are hopeful Charles (can) join us, pending everything getting cleared up, and it looks like that has happened," Mendenhall said.
West is a 5-foot-9, 180-pound running back prospect from Coppell, Texas.
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