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Jaren Wilkey/BYU
BYU linebacker Butch Pau'u has returned to form for the 2018 season.

PROVO — During the offseason, BYU defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki hired a new safeties coach, Preston Hadley, and moved some players to different positions, including linebackers Sione Takitaki and Zayne Anderson, who previously played on the defensive line and at safety, respectively.

Meanwhile, Butch Pau’u, another linebacker, is healthy after being injured much of last season.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Safeties coach Preston Hadley throws to his players while warming up before the Blue-White Game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, April 7, 2018.

“Sione, Butch and Zayne are really, really good. When we have those three in the game or when we have those three out of the game, there’s a big difference in the speed of the ‘backers, the disruption of everything going on and the D-line doesn’t have to be as good when they’re in,” Tuiaki said. “Butch is looking a lot like he did his first year. Last year he struggled through some injuries and got a little heavy. He fought through it and was a warrior about it. This year, he looks really good. Sione, now that he’s playing linebacker, I wish we would have moved him when we first got here. He’s a next-level player at linebacker.”

The changes have been positive, Tuiaki said.

“It’s been good. Preston’s been a good addition to the staff,” he said. “It’s been a smooth transition. A lot of players that have been moving, there’s a lot of excitement for them. Change sometimes is good.”

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QUARTERBACK DECISION: BYU’s coaching staff has a huge decision to make during fall camp — choosing a starting quarterback.

The top candidates appear to be senior Tanner Mangum, junior Beau Hoge, sophomore Joe Critchlow and freshman Zach Wilson.

Sitake said that decision will be made by him, offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes and passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Aaron Roderick.

I don’t know who’s going to start yet,” he said at Media Day on June 22. “There’s plenty of time for them to compete. It’s an important decision to make.”