BYU football Online exclusive: Experience a plus on offensive line

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  • Re: Anonymous | 2:10 p.m.
    Jan. 23, 2010 2:56 a.m.

    Congratulations on being in Oxford. I know Ole Miss has a very good school....

    But seriously, both schools are very good, but not great. Each have their colleges that are nationally recognized. The Marriott School of Management is extremely well-respected, but BYU as a whole is solid, but not nearly as well thought of.

    Regardless, students graduating from either university can do well in the world. Both schools have alumni that have gone on to greatness.

    How did we get onto this on a sports thread anyway?

  • Seattleview
    Jan. 22, 2010 10:27 p.m.

    I am sure the 2 extra years helps make BYU offensive linemen better players. I just wish they could also lose 50lbs of fat off some of their bellys. Nothing wrong with strong and moble players.

    As regards comments made about Utahs 4 4star recruits coming this week, I am sure they will do well with this group. They should get at least 2 of the 4. (V J Feko, Heimuli) They have set a record this year for "decommits" (8-9) so these will be nice upgrades for the onces they lost. Good for Utah.

    I wonder how that will affect their efforts in TX in the future.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 22, 2010 2:10 p.m.

    I don't like feeding trolls, but what the hey. I'm a BYU grad currently studying for a masters in economics at Oxford. When I first arrived, the head of the department said in my interview that he expected "great things" from me, since I came from BYU. His favorite economist, Lant Pritchett, is a BYU grad. The only other americans in my course come from Ivy league schools.

    Cougars do just fine in the real world.

  • Matt Foley
    Jan. 22, 2010 8:45 a.m.

    Remember when Andrew George caught that TD pass against the U...that was awesome.

  • GO UTES!!
    Jan. 22, 2010 7:07 a.m.

    Big weekend for Ute recruiting as four, 4 star recruites take a visit.

    DT Ricky Heimuli
    OL John Collen
    S Eric Dregan
    LB V.J Feko

    Also hearing rumors that the Utes might announce today that Lucky Radley (RB), has verbally agreed. Radley had offers to UCLA and North Carolina.

  • Just a few observations
    Jan. 22, 2010 3:48 a.m.

    I have degrees from both Utah and BYU. I have lived outside of the intermountain area for the last fifteen years. This is how I see things:

    Both BYU and Utah provide sound educations, and both have colleges that are well respected on a national level. But neither is viewed by third parties as "outstanding univeristies." For example, US News and World Report ranks BYU 71, and Utah 126. Sure, this publication may have some bias (they/we probably all do), but the term "Harvard of the West" when referencing BYU is probably only spoken by BYU graduates and/or Mormons.

    Second, it is advantageous to have returned missionaries on you team, as long as the coaching staff/program understand how to treat them. Transitioning from mission life to "the real world" takes time. If coaches are patient, they benefit by having more physically and mentally mature athletes. It's like having a three year redshirt. It is legal, and both teams have benefited greatly from it.

    Skill position players benefit as well. NFL receivers are at their peaks in their late twenties. None of them say, "you think I'm good now, you should have seen me at 22!"

  • re: the usual inane comments | 1
    Jan. 21, 2010 8:59 p.m.

    Wow, thank you for speaking so accurately and truthfully. Your comment was from "the usual inane comments," and sure enough you made the usual inane comments!

  • J in Texas
    Jan. 21, 2010 8:45 p.m.

    It's ignorant to criticize the quality of BYU's (or Utah's for that matter) undergraduate programs, but I suspect the orginal comment was intended to get a rise out of folks like me rather than based on any real experience with a "fortune 50" company.

    Still, to add my perspective...I work for a top-tier consulting company in Texas (than consults to Fortune 50 & 500 companies) that only hires top students from a select group of schools each year.

    Those schools? Rice, Vanderbilt, UT-Austin, WashU (St. Louis), and BYU. Not bad company to keep, and BYU grads do more than hold their own.

    In addition, it's rare that I don't find several BYU alums working for our clients. While I'm sure that Fresno State is a fine institution, I don't remember ever meeting a client that is an alum.

  • RE: NL | 4:54 p.m. Jan. 21, 2010
    Jan. 21, 2010 7:34 p.m.

    Apparently you are also not smart enough to realize that BYU played Florida State, not Florida. Kidding aside, BYU's offensive linemen are ideal size for a passing team. Florida State's defense wasn't stellar against BYU. The problem in that game was that BYU's defense was much LESS stellar's than FSU's.

  • Re: NL
    Jan. 21, 2010 6:02 p.m.

    Ask former defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey of LSU what it's like being fat and slow. He was on the defensive side of the ball where lineman need to be faster. His gut was humongous and he was an All-American playing in the SEC.

    Don't be so ignorant. Lineman ALL OVER THE LEAGUE have guts hanging out. But it doesn't mean the big guys can't carry their weight. BYU has a very solid offensive line. I challenge you to find another offensive line in college football that is light years better. Ask the University of Utah's "elite offensive line" how they fared against BYU's "slow" defensive front. They got their butts handed to them.

  • Anonymous | 10:59 a.m. Jan. 21,
    Jan. 21, 2010 4:59 p.m.

    I was a mediocre engineering student at BYU. I recieved many offers. All of which were outside of Utah. If I had accepted all of the final interviews offered me, I would have missed most of my final semester. The offer I accepted paid me to get a Texas A&M MBA. Not only did they pay for my schooling, but they gave me a competitive salary and no other duties until I graduated. 3 years after graduating I'll be making a 6 figure income with a month of vacation time per year. I am also doing work that matters and saves lives on a daily basis.

    Non bad for a fake school.

  • NL
    Jan. 21, 2010 4:54 p.m.

    I have a question regarding BYU and the linemen. I watch most of the games and I compare the line of both teams and curious about the size. I see BYU players with very large stomachs which in the outside world would be considered as being obese. I looked at TCU and some are large but most are not obese but I see no big over-hanging stomachs. I see speed in the TCU players and slower BYU players. I am just curious as to why the BYU players are so big and slow compared to other teams. This was evident when they played Florida and TCU. Florida made comments in their local paper that they could beat the BYU line by slants and speed. They did. It would be nice to hear from the coaches as to what the benefit is to have a slow obese lineman against teams such as TCU and Florida. I am not smart enough to see it I guess.

  • Re: AZ fan
    Jan. 21, 2010 4:30 p.m.

    Go wild? You must be joking. Missionaries sacrifice 2 years of their lives and work VERY HARD. Missionary service is a 24 hour a day job. Missionaries who do their service correctly work for that amount of time. Going wild might be what you get to do on weekends, but there are no days off in missionary service (even preparation days are days meant to prepare for the rest of the week).

  • RE: anonymous 7:06
    Jan. 21, 2010 2:43 p.m.

    Because they are usually married by the time they finish college...

  • To Anonymous @ 10:59
    Jan. 21, 2010 12:45 p.m.

    I graduated from BYU almost 30 years ago with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and have worked outside of Utah, primarily in the Southeast, since then. I have worked for three Fortune 50 companies and am now President/CEO of a smaller company. With that said, I will state emphatically that either you are lying about your experience or you are allowing your hate for BYU and/or Mormons to cloud your vision. BYU is HIGHLY respected outside of Utah and my BYU degree has opened doors for me that would never have been opened had I went to Fresno State, as you suggest.

    If you worked for me with the attitude that you display here then I would fire you! You obviously should not be in any position of leadership or responsibility.

    Advice to BYU grads... seek employment where ever you desire. The world is not as judgmental as this person.

  • thenrie
    Jan. 21, 2010 12:15 p.m.

    Let's see. "Anonymous." Can't spell, biased and bigotted..."hiring manager for a fortune 50 company"? Maybe he meant a Fortune 500 company? Maybe on a day off? Surely he's not surfing the web and typing messages on a web board on company time.

    I'm betting a wet-behind-the-ears freshman at some no-name college up north.

  • Re: Anonymous @ 10:59
    Jan. 21, 2010 12:01 p.m.

    What a dumb statement. BYU is very highly regarded throughout the country and world as being a top university. I would be shocked if any top company, even yours, does not have several BYU grads in leadership positions. If you don't like BYU athletics that is one thing, but be critical the education one receives at the Y is just plain stupid.

  • AZ fan
    Jan. 21, 2010 11:44 a.m.

    My suggestion is that if you are planning to leave for two plus year mission and expecting to be welcomed back with “open arms” it’s probably best you just go to YbU. No other coach really wants that kinda mental and physical baggage.

    And Yes, the reason why YbU linemen are overweight and sloppy is because of they disconnect from football and go wild for 24 months.

  • @ It is an advantage 12:19am
    Jan. 21, 2010 11:21 a.m.

    You: I for one don't accuse the Cougars of having an UNFAIR advantage, but it is an advantage.

    Me: I am not from Utah, but the defensiveness wrt complaints about age are mostly connected with assumptions from the critics that the mission is a physical advantage. I think most will concede that it can be a mental and emotional advantage, but there is as much or more evidence that it is a physical DISadvantage than it is an advantage, especially when you look at skill players.

    So many lineman have become injury prone upon return (Speredon, Bright, H Reynolds, etc). Many balloon in weight while others shrink.

    Physical/conditioning advantage? No.

    Mental and emotional advantage? Probably.

  • bakerb
    Jan. 21, 2010 11:10 a.m.

    High School Recruits and Parents take note:

    Advantage or not, outside of BYU and maybe Utah, Mission Service is not encouraged by College Coaches.

    Take note of some Recruits that originally intended to serve Missions that chose to attend BCS Schools :

    Havili (USC), Ngata (Oregon), Teo (Notre Dame), many others...

    Certainly there have been some players at other Schools that have served Missions, but in general, those Coaches are going to pressure the Athlete NOT to serve a Mission.

    There are many GREAT Persons who did not serve Missions. However, if a Mission is important to these Recruits, they really need to look long and hard at the reality of the situation. No matter what the Coach/Recruiter may say, these Schools don't really want the Athlete to serve a Mission.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 21, 2010 10:59 a.m.

    A BYU degree cares no more weight than say a Fresno State degree outside the state of Utah. I know LDS support their own but trust me, as a hiring manager for a fortune 50 company, I'd pick many other schools over the Y.

    Advice to BYU grads... seek employment in Provo.

  • It is never a disadvantage
    Jan. 21, 2010 10:52 a.m.

    Serving a 2-year LDS mission is never a disadvantage. What is the down side to serving other people full-time for 2-years at your own expense? You learn all of the values that people constantly call out for, i.e., selflessness, charity, humility, maturity, spirituality, emotional stability, etc., etc.,

    It is very rare to find people who have served honorable full-time missions who regret their decision to serve. While on the other hand, there are many who decide not to go who regret it.

    While it may seemingly delay a college graduation or professional job, in the long run, it is never a disadvantage.

  • re: Mike
    Jan. 21, 2010 10:25 a.m.

    It's too bad you have no idea of what you are talking about.

    Majerus had some issues but to say that he didn't understand the missionary issue is crazy. Look at his team that he took to the finals - it was loaded with returned missionaries - infact at the time our team had more returned missionaries than the y - should that matter to anyone.

    Don't forget Majerus won 9 straight conference titles and put a good number of players into the NBA. As good as the y has become, who do they have playing in the NBA??

    Oh and by the way Ute fans don't say that Max Hall doesn't have talent - you can't win that many games without talent - we just think he is a DB - that's all.

  • Belgie
    Jan. 21, 2010 10:23 a.m.

    From Good Question: "That's only true for BYU and Utah diplomas, when you go to a REAL school you have a real JOB lined up when you graduate."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Don't know too many people that have graduated from the U, but everybody I know out of the Y has had an easy time finding a job - usually multiple offers. The business and accounting programs are top-notch. Engineering is also excellent. Most programs are very well respected.

    I know an 18-year old with a 3.5 GPA and a 31 on the ACT. He doesn't think he'll even be able to get into BYU. I'd love to hear what "real school" you went to. Unless it's Harvard or Cal Tech (or one of such schools), you've got no room to talk.

  • O-Line surprise
    Jan. 21, 2010 10:22 a.m.

    I was impressed how the BYU O-line improved during the season. They may be big, but they still can move. Terence Brown is around 350 lbs. and is very agile for a player that size and he was only a sophomore. They stepped up when there were injuries. It is nice they had players who filled in when the starters were injured. I think Coach Weber did a great job understanding how to use the returned missionaries. With Reynolds and Brown returning, it should be a strong O-Line. The only question is who is going to play center. I know last year Terence Brown experimented playing center. Can you imagine a 6 "4 350 lbs playing center? I hope the O-line continues to improve on size as well as quickness. They will need it with a new quarterback.

  • Mike
    Jan. 21, 2010 9:54 a.m.

    Britton Johnson didn't succeed for two reasons. #1- He went to the U, #2- Majerass was his coach. And Majerass didn't know, understand, nor care to understand what going on a mission meant and how he should handle it in regard to how it affected his players. And it was too bad because Britton was one of the best basketball players this state has produced. So what if he went to the final two with the U.

    Any questions? The Y Basketball team is kicking butt with several returned missionaries contributing a lot to their current success.

  • "Stalwart"
    Jan. 21, 2010 9:41 a.m.

    Is it just me or does a mission seem to have more of a negative effect on basketball players than football players? Weber and the o-line deserve accolades. Many, including myself, thought the 2009 offensive line would be a team weakness. They turned out to be a team strength. Most of them will be back in 2010 to help out our green QB's.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 21, 2010 9:39 a.m.

    The more successful Utes & cougars in the pros are found along both offensive and defensive lines.

    As for skill positions, currently, advantage: Utes... Weddle in San Diego and Sean Smith in Miami.

  • Good question
    Jan. 21, 2010 9:01 a.m.

    "Why not after college when these guys have nothing else to do?"

    That's only true for BYU and Utah diplomas, when you go to a REAL school you have a real JOB lined up when you graduate.

  • A Couple Points
    Jan. 21, 2010 8:54 a.m.

    1. I think the advantage of a mission is often a DELAYED advantage. Most RMs need a season back to get to their pre-mission level. Many suffer injuries related to their time off. As this article stated, BYU has learned how to effectively manage RMs to turn it into an advantage. It is NOT an advantage in and of itself which is why other coaches don't do it. BYU has no choice. Missions are encouraged for every young man including athletes. It was a learn to make it work or don't coach here situation.

    2. Max Hall is very much in an Austin Collie situation. He needs to find the right fit. As the ESPN piece correctly pointed out, he could be a nice backup in a system that values his accuracy and gym rat mentality. But he is not a guy who can just step into any system and succeed. Collie would be the 10th receiver on a team like the Raiders who value only speed. He landed on the perfect team with the perfect QB for his skill set. Hall will need to find the same type of situation.

    Go Cougs!!

  • Belgie
    Jan. 21, 2010 8:49 a.m.

    Seems that linemen may do better after their missions. Skill players almost invariable do worse.

    From the article: "He'd convinced freshman LDS linebacker Manti Teo not to go on a mission after the season."

    Is anybody really surprised? I bet it didn't take much convincing.

    From Anonymous: "Why the pressure to go on a mission right out of high school? Why not after college when these guys have nothing else to do?"

    The main reason is that's what the church has asked of us. We do it because we think it's the right thing to do. Really, though, there are a lot of advantages. HS graduates are pretty immature. 2 years of service does wonders for a kid. By the time you graduate from college, it's time to get to work and to have a family. 19 is the perfect age for a mission.

  • Shorts
    Jan. 21, 2010 8:31 a.m.

    RE: Anonymous "Why the pressure to go on a mission right out of high school? Why not after college when these guys have nothing else to do?"

    This is a simple answer and it is your second statement that is wrong. After college your married, supporting a wife and kids. If you dont get married while in college and you finish a college degree and then go on a two year mission and come back what do you tell an employer? "I finished my dregree 2 years ago I have no experance and I've forgotten most the stuff I was taught." 19 is a good age to go before life gets to busy. I've been out of college of 20 years and just gets faster and faster.

  • RE: anonymous 7:06
    Jan. 21, 2010 8:26 a.m.

    Young men are encouraged to serve when the become eligible at age 19 because other things will often crowd the mission out if they don't go right away. A lot of well intentioned Mormons don't serve missions because they "will go next year."

  • Utes line
    Jan. 21, 2010 7:48 a.m.

    I can't wait to read about all the upcoming options for the Utes. Oh wait...

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 21, 2010 7:06 a.m.

    Being new to the state and not LDS, I have a question; Why the pressure to go on a mission right out of high school? Why not after college when these guys have nothing else to do?

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 21, 2010 6:25 a.m.


    in the CFL.

  • And
    Jan. 21, 2010 1:02 a.m.

    And neither did Bryan Johnson.

  • the usual inane comments
    Jan. 21, 2010 12:41 a.m.

    Big-Time schools use a thing called a "Red Shirt" to get the linemen another year of age and strength. This allows the kid to then have 5 years of college instead of 4.

    THAT's how REAL colleges do it.

    PS a 7th round draft doesn't get you much (in pay, in guarantees, or spot on the roster) Good luck to Max 'the Hater' he'll need it to ever cash a real NFL check.

  • It is an advantage
    Jan. 21, 2010 12:19 a.m.

    Take the lead on one of your own coaches, Cougar fans. Quit being so defensive when people outside Utah County claim that BYU benefits from having older players on their teams. I for one don't accuse the Cougars of having an UNFAIR advantage, but it is an advantage.

    Look at the top male performers among world-class athletes in every sport. They are in their late twenties to early thirties. Most of them are physically stronger than they were in their early twenties, they have more competitive and life experience, and are mentally and emotionally more mature. The continue to benefit from the non-physical aspects as they age, but injuries and declining physical abilities become handicaps.

    As to "then why don't other programs encourage their athletes to go to the Peace Corps for a few years," that's thinking too far outside of the box for most coaches. They tend to have the "a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush" mentality. They have a familiar system , a don't want to risk losing their athletes. Plus, it would be a pretty hard sell to the typical athlete...

  • BleedCougarBlue
    Jan. 20, 2010 10:38 p.m.

    So, if it's such a huge advantage to have players who are older then why aren't all the big-time football schools sending their players to do charitable work overseas for a couple of years for the Red Cross or something like that?


    On another note, Max Hall haters, I just saw an ESPN video clip on the East-West shrine game in which they were predicting Max Hall to be a 5th to 7th round draft choice who would make a good backup QB for a while and possibly start a couple of years down the road like Jeff Garcia.

    Yeah, just remember, yewties, Max Hall has nooooo talent.

  • Good article, stupid comments
    Jan. 20, 2010 10:14 p.m.

    As per usual, the comments are lame.

  • Oh, please . . .
    Jan. 20, 2010 8:54 p.m.

    let's not start the NC talk already. You'll jinx us!

  • Deseret News Editor
    Jan. 20, 2010 5:57 p.m.

    None of the comments on this article have been authored by writers from Deseret News. A comment claiming to be by the author has been removed.

  • Y
    Jan. 20, 2010 5:49 p.m.

    Imagine how good the Y would be if they could get 4 and 5 star WR and RB and CBs, they would win the NC almost every year since the Y holds it own with these old white lineman playing on offense

  • Advantage
    Jan. 20, 2010 5:45 p.m.

    If it is such a huge advantage, why isn't every program in the country trying to get their players to join the Peace Corps for two years. Also, it is against team rules on several teams (Michigan being one) for players to be married. I think anonymous 3:53 hit it on the head. For some it works, for others it doesn't. Overall I think it is a disadvantage except maybe the O-line where size and maturity are key rather than speed and quickness.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 20, 2010 4:46 p.m.

    When the Cougars win it's because of returned missionaries and when they lose it's because of returned missionaries. Critics of BYU are only active when the Cougs are on top. Let's talk about something else.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 20, 2010 4:28 p.m.

    Majerus didn't handle returned missionaries with they same kind of understanding that is needed for great success. Weber is right. It is in learning how to handle the missions. Some coaches and players do it better than others.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 20, 2010 4:18 p.m.

    Very glad to have Jerry Hughes in the NFL. Jake and Riley had better take these very big and nice guys to dinner. Unga must be happy, too.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 20, 2010 3:53 p.m.

    I actually think it's a dis-advantage for some players and an advantage for others.

    Some guys come back from Missions and are never the same. Some come back and (once in game shape) are better.

    Britton Johnson was never the same basketball player after he came back. Brandon Doman(Go 9ers!) seemed become a better QB (to me) after he came back. It's hit or miss.

    Bigger, (sometimes) more mature linemen are nice to have but I think this article blows it a bit out of proportion.

  • Credit!
    Jan. 20, 2010 3:22 p.m.

    These guys deserve a lot more credit then they have gotten. They are only going to be better this year. Can't wait. Go Cougars!!