Even though it's been two and a half weeks since spring practices ended and more than four and a half months remain until the season opener on Sept. 3, BYU football gave its fans a morsel of information on Monday to chew over.
The school released its post-spring depth chart, giving an indication of the players who could be expected to play major roles in 2016. It should be noted that players who are joining the team for fall camp — such as junior college transfers Handsome Tanielu (defensive tackle) and Jonah Trinnaman (wide receiver) — are not listed on the depth chart.
Among the highlights:
At quarterback, it lists senior Taysom Hill "or" sophomore Tanner Mangum as the starter. Hill was limited in spring ball while returning from a Lisfranc injury last season, while Mangum ran with the first-team offense under new offensive coordinator Ty Detmer.
Sophomore Francis Bernard is listed as the starter at weakside linebacker. Bernard switched over to defense after playing at running back as a freshman. He played both offense and defense at Herriman High.
Freshman cornerback Troy Warner is listed as co-starter with Akile Davis at the left cornerback position. Warner, the younger brother of linebacker Fred Warner, is an early enrollee at BYU and a four-star recruit. Davis transitioned over to defense from wide receiver.
Sophomore Micah Hannemann switched positions during the spring, going from cornerback to safey. He is listed as the starter at strong safety, backed up by senior JC transfer Eric Takenaka.
Sophomore Squally Canada is listed as backup to senior Jamaal Williams at running back. Williams returns to the team after missing last season due to an undisclosed rules violation, while Canada, a Washington State transfer, only played in the Las Vegas Bowl last season, due to transfer rules.
Senior Parker Dawe is listed as the starter at center. This could change in the fall, if last year's starting center, Tejan Koroma, returns to the team. He missed spring ball for undisclosed reasons.
Junior Tanner Balderree is listed as the co-starter at tight end with sophomore Nate Sampson. Both players made catches during the spring game. Senior Bryan Sampson should also be in the mix come fall.
Sophomore wide receiver Moroni Laulu-Pututau is listed as co-starter with senior Colby Pearson at one of the wideout positions. Laulu-Pututau showed promise in the spring after joining the team last summer and playing sparingly as a freshman, partly because of lingering injury issues.
Because of injuries, the Cougars were without several players in the spring who show up on the depth chart. They include defensive linemen Travis Tuiloma and Logan Taele, free safety Kai Nacua and right guard Kyle Johnson.
Nine positions are marked with an "or" listed between the first and second player to indicate a tight race for that starting position. There are, however, no "or" positions on the offensive line, indicating there is a strong base for who will be starting in the trenches for the Cougars in 2016.
Freshman James Baird is listed as the starter at placekicker. The Cougars tested out several kickers in the spring, but the results were underwhelming. Last year's starter, Trevor Samson, was a senior in 2015.
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