BYU football: 10 players to buy stock in (10 items)
PROVO — BYU’s media day last month brought with it the typical buzz associated with the team and its prospects for the coming season. The team returns a lot of veteran players who are likely due for improvement along with some up-and-comers, who were talked about with optimism by both coaches and players.
So which players seem to have created the most buzz with their offseason workouts and otherwise?
Here’s a look at 10 such players who would be smart stock buys for those looking for some quick gains heading into the 2014 football season.
1 of 10. Algie Brown, 6-1, 219, running back
Last season, fans saw a glimpse of what Brown is capable of given his 234 rushing yards and two touchdowns playing as a redshirt freshman.
Quote: “Algie is a lot like the typical running backs BYU has had in years past. A guy like Harvey Unga, or a Manase Tonga — a player who can do a variety of things and run with a lot of strength and power. Also a guy who can catch the football and block well. We’re looking for all that from Algie, and I think he could have a special year for us,” said Atuaia.
2 of 10. Edward Fusi, 6-0, 317, offensive lineman
Fusi’s buzz started in earnest during spring practices and has continued into the summer workout period.
Quote: “Fuse (Fusi) is the man. He’s like a bulldog, and he’s real intelligent in knowing everyone’s assignment, and he’s a true leader that way. He’s always been a good football player, but now that he’s in shape and has a year under his belt — he’s going to get it done this year. No doubt,” said offensive lineman De’Ondre Wesley.
3 of 10. Tuni Kanuch, 6-2, 325, offensive lineman
Quote: “Tuni adds that hard edge to our room that helps everyone. Guys start fighting more when they have that and when they’re surrounded by it. That’s what Tuni brings, and we’re going to benefit huge from it and we already saw some of that in spring,” said offensive line coach Garett Tujague.
4 of 10. Nick Kurtz, 6-6, 205, wide receiver
Now with a good grasp of the offense, Kurtz is an excellent buy as someone who could explode into a top offensive option his first year in Provo.
Quote: “Nick is smart and after three weeks of fast study he just did his thing in spring. I mean, we saw it immediately in other drills, but when things started clicking for him with how we do things, you started to see him make big plays. That’s only going to get better and better this fall, and I’m excited for him. I’m excited about how much he can help us this year,” said receiver Mitch Mathews.
5 of 10. Jordan Leslie, 6-3, 210, receiver
Quote: “You can see it immediately when he’s out there working out. He’s a lot like (Kurtz) in that you can immediately know he’s a player capable of big things. He’s going to experience some learning this fall, but it helps that he’s been in a college system before,” said Mathews.