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Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

BYU releases tentative depth chart Monday

By Brandon Gurney, Deseret News

Published: Mon, Aug. 25 7:15 p.m. MDT

 Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall coaches during a BYU football practice at BYU's practice fields, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014.

Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall coaches during a BYU football practice at BYU's practice fields, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014.

(Michelle Tessier, Deseret News)

PROVO — BYU's depth chart on Friday night may look a little different than the version the Cougars released to the media Monday.

Coach Bronco Mendenhall cautioned the media following Monday's practice to "be leery of the two-deep" and that he's "not promising that will be Friday’s depth chart" for the Cougars' season opener against UConn.

One of the reasons, according to Mendenhall and other coaches, is to keep competition open and relatively fresh during every practice session. The other reason involves non-football reasons being worked out behind the scenes — a process Mendenhall is intent on keeping in-house.

Monday's depth chart included some notable things, primarily the inclusion of both Rob Daniel and Jordan Johnson as starters at the two cornerback positions. Neither player has seen reps with the first-team defense throughout fall camp, but the standouts were placed on top of the depth chart due to their overall talent and experience, according to Mendenhall.

Whether each player will remain on top of the depth chart, or even play against UConn, is something Mendenhall would not commit to.

“I would love them both to be able to start,” Mendenhall when asked of their depth chart status.

Notable omissions from Monday's depth chart were star running back Jamaal Williams and junior college wide receiver Devon Blackmon. Both players have stated publicly they will be suspended for the first game, although Mendenhall has not confirmed either suspension.

Another omission was senior nose tackle Marques Johnson, whom players have indicated will be suspended for the opener.

STOUT ON TOP: Senior linebacker Zac Stout found his way to the top of Monday's depth chart after sitting out all of last season to work through social and academic issues.

"It feels great to be back and starting," said Stout, who was listed as the starting Mike linebacker. "It's been a long road for me and I'm just happy to contribute. I feel ready to go mentally and physically and think we're going to have a strong group at inside linebacker."

CAPTAINS NAMED: BYU named its four team captains over the weekend, and to no one's surprise, senior safety Craig Bills and junior quarterback Taysom Hill were two of them. The other two (junior defensive linemen Remington Peck and senior running back Paul Lasike) came as a surprise — particularly to themselves.

"I really wasn't expecting it at all," Lasike said. "It wasn't a complete shock, but I definitely wasn't expecting it. But it's a great honor knowing players believe in you to be an example and a leader."

Lasike has come a long way since learning to play the game only two years ago after starring as a rugby player.

"It's real humbling for me to think how far I've come," he said. "I never imagined I'd go from where I was to where I'm being asked to be a team leader. It's an amazing honor and one I'll do my best to live up to."

As for Peck, he was largely in the same boat as Lasike in being named.

"I really didn't expect it, but it's cool to know I have the respect of my teammates and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to be an example and to lead those guys," Peck said.

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney

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1. hedgehog
Ann Arbor, MI,
Aug. 25, 2014

what a sham...half of these guys won't be playing do to NCAA violations

2. AggieAndee
Holladay, UT,
Aug. 25, 2014

Things don't smell right with BYU's depth chart. I expect a BYU loss at UCONN and then Utah State will march into Provo and beat the Cougars this year.

Chuckie is a Heisman candidate and one of ESPN's top 25 players this year. What recognition has Taysom Hill got? Nothing but crickets. It's Aggie time.

3. Cougar Claws
Lindon, UT,
Aug. 25, 2014

Re: hedgehog

Nice to see you come back out of the woodwork. I'm sure you'll go back if Utah isn't bowl eligible for the third straight year.

Despite some of the issues with players, kudos to Zac Stout for truly earning his starting spot. A lot of more entitled guys could have given up after how everything went, including himself, but he chose to stick with it. Cougar Nation is proud of you Zac!

Go Cougars!

4. wapple12
Lehi, UT,
Aug. 26, 2014

@AggieAndee

Maybe you should do more research before cockily spouting off. Hill was named to the exact same top 25 Heisman list as Keeton. In addition to that he was named by NFL.com as one of the top 14 coolege players in the nation and was named to the Walter Camp, Maxwell and Davey O'Brien watch lists. Yeah that's crickets alright.