BYU football: Here’s why some potential starters aren’t in fall camp – Deseret News

BYU football: Here's why some potential starters aren't in fall camp - Deseret News

Before the media watching part of the first practice of preseason training camp on Thursday, BYU distributed copies of its “2022 BYU Football Fall Camp Roster” to reporters.

There were a whopping 109 names on the roster, with many multiple numbers, as usual. For example, Cal transfer running back Chris Brooks and 2021 leading tackler Ben Bywater will both wear #2 this year.

That number will grow once school starts, as schools are allowed to have 123 players on their final rosters, according to NCAA rules.

“If guys don’t practice today, 90% of them are because they’re not cleaned yet, not 100% healthy. So in the example of (Chaz Ah You), he is not ready to go. We do not intend to force it. We still have a month to go, and some time.” – BYU football coach Kalani Sitake.

There were some surprising omissions from the roster for those following the program closely, but don’t panic just yet. Coach Kalani Sitake said some guys, like former four-star recruit Chaz Ah You, either aren’t medically cleared yet or are still taking care of some academic work with a summer term ending Aug. 12.

Ah Vi, who is a game changer when healthy, seems to fall into that former category. He was seen at practice on Thursday, but did not participate.

Ah Vi “is in fall camp,” said Sitake. “If guys don’t practice today, 90% of them are because they’re not cleaned yet, not 100% healthy. So in the example of (Ah You), he is not ready to go. We do not intend to force it. We still have a month to go, and some time.”

This is what Ah You posted on his twitter account Thursday afternoon: “Patience: the ability to accept or tolerate delay, problem or suffering without getting angry or upset. We’re all good on this side!”

Sitake said coaches “want to make sure we work with our specialists and get (Ah You) in the right position to be healthy first before he takes the field.”

Ah You played in BYU’s first eight games last year, and started in six, before leaving the Washington State game on Oct. 23 with an undisclosed injury. He never played again in 2021.

Punt returner Hobbs Nyberg, defensive back Quenton Rice, offensive lineman Donovan Hanna, backup kicker Justen Smith, cornerback/returner Caleb Christensen, quarterback Chris Jackson and defensive lineman Atunaisa Mahe were all on the BYU roster released in June (except for Jackson, who returned from the transfer portal), but not on the fall camp roster distributed Thursday.

Rice, Hanna, Smith and Mahe were all at practice Thursday, but not participating, according to KSLsports.com.

As for Hobbs, who was listed as the No. 1 returner on the offseason depth chart, Sitake said the former St. Louis baseball standout. George will “join us” but did not specify why he is not currently practicing.

“I’ll just tell you: some guys are either (going through) injuries, or dealing with academics right now,” Sitake said. “We’re at the end of summer semester, and some guys are still finishing that as well.”

Rice, the son of former BYU standout DB Rodney Rice, is returning from injury, Sitake said.

Offensive lineman Lisala Tai, a transfer from Snow College who was one of the prizes of the Cougars’ 2022 recruiting class, is also not on the roster yet.

Sitake said Tai has “sorted out his academics” but some paperwork needs to be completed before he joins the team.

In a media viewing portion of Thursday’s practice, Jaren Hall got the first reps at quarterback, followed by Jacob Conover and then Cade Fennegan. No surprise there.

“Right now, I’m looking for guys to compete for starting spots, and then when we get a depth chart (solidified), we’ll move on (with developing younger guys),” Sitake said.

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