PROVO — The BYU football team suited up in full pads and engaged in full-contact drills Thursday morning for the first time of fall camp. And for the Cougar offensive front, it was like Christmas day.
"It's definitely one of the most exciting times of fall camp," said offensive lineman Braden Brown. "We wait a lot of months, conditioning and doing a lot of stuff that isn't exactly straight football stuff, but when we get to go full speed, and hit guys, then it's like it's finally here and we all love it."
The offensive line responded very well to the first day of full-contact work. Throughout the team drills, the O-line provided some gaping holes for the running backs to pass through.
"It's important for us to come out and set the tone," said Brown. "The first day, it's not always the cleanest day, but I think we set the tone well as far as being aggressive and we got it into the end zone, which is what you want."
Overall the offensive line provided 45 yards on eight run attempts with the first-team offensive line accounting for 38 yards on just four run attempts. Highlights included an 18-yard gainer by Bryan Kariya and a couple of runs of five and seven yards by Michael Alisa.
Jake Heaps had perhaps his worst showing of the practice session, going just 1-for-3 for nine yards while suffering his first interception. He was picked off by safety Daniel Sorensen as he put too much air under a pass to a wide-open target.
Heaps almost had a second pass picked off in the end zone as Uona Kaveinga dropped back in coverage to knock it away.
Riley Nelson, meanwhile, probably had his best showing of the fall, going 3-for-3 for 39 yards in his lone set of reps. He ended the set hitting tight end Richard Wilson in the end zone from 14 yards out. Wilson made a great leaping grab for the score.
James Lark saw the final set of reps and completed his only pass, a 13-yard touchdown to running back David Foote.
"We have a lot to work on, but we're definitely pleased with the effort we had today," said Brown. "We just can't let up now. We can't fall back, and we have to keep aggressive."
MISC: Bingham High coach Dave Peck was in attendance to watch his many players that are part of BYU's program currently. He was in no doubt pleased to see true freshman and former Miner Manoa Pikula stuff Michael Alisa along the line of scrimmage for no gain. ... Justin Sorensen connected on all of his field goal attempts save for his shortest one of just 18 yards, which he shanked. ... The team again worked extensively on kick return. Players that were fielding kicks included JJ Di Luigi, McKay Jacobson, Ross Apo, Cody Hoffman, JD Falslev, Dalin Cutler, Dalin Tollestrup, Rhen Brown and Cody Raymond.