I’m excited for them. I’m excited for guys like (linebacker) Fred Warner to get his shot and make things happen. Pro Day will always be an emphasis for us, trying to get our guys to the NFL. —BYU head coach Kalani Sitake
PROVO — A host of former BYU players will take over the Indoor Practice Facility Friday morning.
That’s when the program hosts annual Pro Day festivities in front of National Football League scouts.
“I’m excited for them. Now they’re alumni,” said Cougar coach Kalani Sitake of former players. “I’m excited for guys like (linebacker) Fred Warner to get his shot and make things happen. Pro Day will always be an emphasis for us, trying to get our guys to the NFL. But more than anything, trying to get them graduated so they can move on in life and be great contributors to our community.”
Sitake enjoys watching players reach for their goals.
“For a lot of these guys, it’s what they’ve been dreaming of. Whether it opens doors for them to get in or closes one, at least they can get that final say as far as showing what they can do on the field,” he said. “Some of them are coming off injuries, like Logan Taele and Travis Tuiloma, guys that couldn’t really perform last year. Now this is their chance. I think they’ll do some good things and surprise some people.”
ZERO-SUM GAME: Last September, Jeff Grimes was the offensive line coach at Louisiana State and BYU played LSU in New Orleans. The Tigers blanked the Cougars, 27-0.
Now, of course, Grimes is the Cougars’ new offensive coordinator.
When asked if he noticed anything about BYU’s offense in that game, Grimes replied, “I see zero.”
Apparently, he wasn’t referring to the zero points on the scoreboard for BYU that night.
“I absolutely have no knowledge of what goes on on the other side of the ball during a game,” he said.
Senior defensive lineman Corbin Kaufusi has noticed an LSU influence on the Cougars’ new offense.
“It’s awesome. When we heard coach Grimes was coming in from LSU, the first thing that popped into my head was, ‘Oh my gosh, they’re going to confuse the crap out of us.’ It’s been really good to go against them,” he said. “They are a lot sharper. There’s a lot more urgency around the offense. I love seeing that with them. They flip a lot of things and there are always motions. It’s hard to play defense against it.”
SPRING STANDOUTS: BYU tight end Matt Bushman said he’s been impressed with several defensive players during spring practices, including Dayan Ghanwoloku, who has switched from cornerback to safety.
“Dayan is a tough defender. He played cornerback. As a safety, he’s not going to get outrun. He’s used to guarding guys that run a 4.3 (in the) 40,” Bushman said. “Obviously, I’m taller than him and I need to use that to my benefit. He’s stepping up. Zayne Anderson took (Warner’s) position at the flash linebacker. He’s doing well. He knows how to cover. He can cover quick guys.”