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BYU tight end Matt Bushman heads up box after making catch in opposition to Fresno State in Fresno, California, Saturday, Nov. four, 2017. After a stellar freshman season, giant issues are anticipated of Bushman this 12 months.
PROVO — Wanted: Big, tall, beefy, soft-handed, agile playmakers who can catch, block and fill in a tradition-rich place for BYU soccer. The thin, faint of center, and ceaselessly injured beware; it’s a combat in the market.
Another Dennis Pitta or Jonny Harline would do exactly positive.
Freshman All-American tight end Matt Bushman wishes operating buddies. He has the entire gear to make himself a important goal within the Cougar offense this autumn. He is fast, athletic, has superb talents as a receiver, and after hanging on important layers of muscle, he’ll be a higher blocker within the offense Jeff Grimes needs to run.
But it’ll be the entire higher with extra tight ends to percentage the weight, are compatible into double-tight formations, follow power to linebackers and safeties and make giant performs.
The candidate pool was once being constructed up, then it has struggled.
A 12 months in the past Bushman was once joined by way of transformed receiver Moroni Laulu-Pututau, and returned missionary Joe Tukuafu was once additionally meant to give a contribution for Ty Detmer. But a week prior to the opener, Laulu-Pututau suffered a Lisfranc harm and Tukuafu failed to realize a unlock from Utah State, the place he signed out of highschool prior to missionary provider. O-lineman JJ Nwigwe transformed to tight end as Tanner Balderree and Hunter Marshall had their very own demanding situations with a view to give a contribution.
This summer time, Laulu-Pututau claims he’s 100 p.c again. Nwigwe is extra skilled and a confirmed blocker. But Tukuafu isn’t at the roster. Freshmen Tanner Leishman, Nate Heaps, Hank Tuipulotu and Dallin Holker glance promising however want vetting, enjoy and building, starting from weight acquire to publicity to the pains of Div. I soccer.
I’ll put it this manner: BYU wishes its tight ends to be productive with a view to win. It at all times has. It could also be a recruitable place the Cougars have historically stuffed with stars.
Is July too early to mention there’s a depth factor previous to fall camp?
I believe so.
Folks will wish to step up. Grimes would possibly wish to lend fullback Brayden El-Bakri or some offensive linemen to a few formations.
Right now, tight ends trainer Steve Clark is “absolutely” offered on Bushman’s development. He’s larger and more potent. “He needs to hold up in the run game,” stated Clark.
“Laulu-Pututau is 100 percent and we need to keep him healthy,” Clark said. “He looks good. He is healthy and he is explosive. Keeping him healthy is easier said than done. If he can stay healthy, he’ll be a great asset.”
Clark stated he expects Tukuafu to be again at the roster. “But I don’t know when that will be. It is definitely doable. He will be a really good one.”
Clark stated you at all times want playmakers and will at all times use extra. Tuipulotu will be introduced alongside slowly and can be evaluated in moderation as he progresses. “He has that great name and hopefully he’ll be in the same mold as his father Peter.”
Holker’s stats out of Lehi have been eye-popping. He was once a goal of now-Washington State QB Cammon Cooper and, early on, Holker could be efficient out of the slot. At 6-foot-Five and 225 kilos, he stuck 97 passes for 1,766 yards and 22 touchdowns his senior 12 months in a Pioneer uniform.
“You have to be cautiously optimistic about young players,” stated Clark.
He is aware of a freshman like Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa can are available in and make a right away affect, however that isn’t most often the case. There is a few baking time had to best possible issues.
“For some guys, it takes a little time and we’ll have to see where he stands. Dallin graduated early and was able to work out with the team and we were able to put in a lot of offense with him. We need to see how he transitions.”
Clark stated Nwigwe (6-Five, 260) has the blockading deal down and Bushman is coming into the area of body-to-body war. He’s had so as to add extra fleshy armor to take action.
“You have to remember Matt came in as a receiver in high school, not a tight end, and this is a little bit foreign to him. It’s challenging for Matt and he’s done everything we’ve asked of him. This will be a big fall camp for him because we know he can do the route running and catching, he just needs to hone in on the run, that other aspect.”
It will lend a hand that his spouse’s father is Chad Lewis, a former NFL Pro Bowl tight end with the Philadelphia Eagles.