BYU

Cougar Cuts and Quotes: March 26th, 2015

Opening Segment:

Gurney: “BYU is handling the media much better this year, they are even giving out treats to the media after practice.”

Nitty Gritty:

Criddle: “The former UNC Head Coach Dean Smith left $200 to each of his former players.”

Gurney: “My first experience covering BYU was with Gary Crowton. You wouldn’t get many straight answers with him because he would know what’s going on and couldn’t decide what else to say.”

Gurney: “One thing that I like about Bronco is that he’s straight forward and gives honest answers.”

Criddle: “Bronco gave some love to Frank to the media and said along the lines that when you put the right guy in the right position it makes a huge difference.”

Gurney: “Tomorrow I expect to see a pretty typical BYU practice, there are two positions (QB and OL) where if you don’t have a ton of depth you will struggle.”

Gurney: “I think it’s really good to pump some new blood in for the strength and conditioning coach.”

Criddle: “Bronco loves bringing new blood in the program and having a 1st string guy with a back up nipping at his heels.”

Gurney: “Coach Peck at Bingham is probably the best coach in the state of Utah and the reason why is because of their development in the weight room.”

Gurney: “First play in practice yesterday was an 80 yard pass to Mitch Mathews from Christian Stewart.”

Criddle: “I think the WR’s are getting spoiled this year with Stew practicing in the spring because Stew has better vision, better touch, and he can spin the rock.”

Gurney: “My dark horse MVP candidate for spring is Trey Dye, he’s had a great spring and is really stepping up.”

Criddle: “My guy is Nate Carter, no one else at the RB position has top end, homerun speed like he does.”

Gurney: “I think he’s going to be very important to BYU this year and it’s because you never know if Jamaal will make a full recovery from his injury.”

Criddle: “Nate Carter is a high-risk, high-reward player there’s always some doubt in the back of your mind if he can really get the job done.”

Evan Brennan Interview:

Brennan: “Jordan is going to perform very well tomorrow, he is looking great in all of the drills and should make a name for himself.”

Brennan: “Jordan was dinged up for most of the season and got invited to some post season games but decided to sit out to heal up.”

Brennan: “I actually just took a call from an NFL coach about Paul Lasike, he’s a guy to be excited about because of his lack of wear and tear.”

Brennan: “De’Ondre Wesley has lost about 20 lbs and is going to impress with his explosiveness in the broad and vert.”

Brennan: “Solo Kafu is a guy that is being overlooked, he was considered to BYU’s best OL but he’s had a number of schools look at him.”

Brennan: “Skye is going to really shock people in the agility drills and change some minds to how athletic he is.”

Jordan Leslie Interview:

Leslie: “I think one place where I’m going to surprise people in my speed and agility, it’s something that’s been overlooked this year.”

Leslie: “My top end speed hasn’t been noticed which is surprising because I was known for that at UTEP.”

Leslie: “I expect to put up around 20 on the bench tomorrow.”

Criddle: “What was the change in competition like coming from UTEP to BYU?”

Leslie: “We played some big programs like Oklahoma and Wiscy but I think it did hurt me, not many receivers with 3,000+ yards and didn’t get combine invites.”

Leslie: “I think Rob is going to run real good, I think he’ll also get somewhere between 28-30 reps on the bench and jump really good.”

Gurney: “Jordan, I never covered anyone who became a fan favorite in only one year at BYU like you did, how did you do it.”

Leslie: “I was welcomed with open arms and had some great teammates like Taysom and Mitch who welcomed me into the brotherhood.”

Cougar Insider Report:

Criddle: “I was surprised Jordan Leslie wasn’t invited to any senior bowls, but it turns out he was.”

Criddle: “Jordan didn’t care about working on 1-on-1’s he was more concerned about putting up big numbers at the combine.”

Criddle: “When he came in this year, he didn’t really stand out, but it turns out he had a hip flexor injury.”

Criddle: “Skye is excited about his agility and bench, I told him he needs to focus on his 40 and only on his 40.”

Gurney: “It’s time to embrace Skye, he did a phenomenal job as a walk on. A lot of grief he gets is because he played CB his 1st year.”

Jay Drew Interview:

Drew: “Apparently we al have to give up our date night to go watch BYU scrimmage.”

Drew: “About half of the starters on defense will play tomorrow and a little more than half on the offense.”

Drew: “One interesting story line coming out of camp is how far ahead the offense is against the defense.”

Drew: “Bronco is making it sound like there’s only going to be 30 plays of scrimmage tomorrow.”

Criddle: “So it sounds like there’s going to be more of a fan fest down at LES opposed to a scrimmage.”

Drew: “It sounds like the scrimmage is going to take a back seat to some of the other events down there tomorrow.”

Drew: “Bronco actually apologized to us for not showing up to a scheduled media appearance.”

Drew: “Bronco is really making an effort to become more media friendly.”

Drew: “I think that Bronco is really trying to extend an olive branch to the fans with all of the activities that they have planned for tomorrow.”

Gurney: “Anae is at his best when he is being so blunt with you, but he’s done a great job with the media this spring.”

Gurney: “He even went as far as to ask my opinion on how I thought the team looked.”

Drew: “My Y-Factor for the game tomorrow is Bryan Sampson at TE, it looks like the offense is really making an attempt to bring the TE’s back into the offense.”

Drew: “Nate Carter is going to have a big scrimmage. He really tears it up in practice and is going to make the most of his opportunity.”

Gurney: “This year is Nate’s year to really make a case for him to get some more playing time

Drew: “Because of Jamaal’s situation it’s too bad what’s going on about Charles West because he could’ve been a guy who came in and contributed.”

Drew: “The number of turnovers that BYU gave up in the second half of that game was astonishing and directly correlated to them losing that game.”

Drew: “I think a matchup that hurt BYU was playing against the athletic guards that Ole Miss had.”

Drew: “It was sad to see what happened to Kyle Collinsworth, he was a difference maker for that team and him sitting hurt a lot.”

Drew: “What sticks out to me is BYU won 8 out of the last 9 games, I thought they were dead after that Pepperdine lost but they did a great job turning it around.”

Criddle: “What do you think about the future of the basketball program?”

Drew: “I think that they will have a similar year to this year in 2016. The injuries really hurt them this year.”

Drew: “They should be able to make it to the NCAA tournament next year but they need to find a way to avoid the season ending injuries next year.”

Drew: “I think that Kyle needs to stay because he is a mid to late-second round pick. He needs to develop his outside game to succeed in the NBA.”

Drew: “I know the age factor weighs in, but I think he has the best way to improve his stock by staying.”

Chris McGown Interview:

McGown: “Our goal this year is to make it back to the NCAA’s and we’re doing what we can to get better every week.”

McGown: “I don’t know how encouraged you can be by losing, but we played Pepperdine really well and feel like we got better from that.”

McGown: “I told the team that now it was time to go back to our home gym and we play really well at the SFH.”

McGown: “The layout of the fieldhouse is unique, your down in the action because of the closeness of the seats to the floor your within arms reach.”

Gurney: “I think everyone got to be familiar with Taylor Sander, who is the next big guy to step up?”

McGown: “There’s another Sander in the gym who’s developing quite well. Langwood is also developing quite well, he’s 6’9″ or 6’10” and can jump really well.”

McGown: “For us, we need to finish first or second in the MPSF to make the tournament.”

Gurney: “You guys are playing the top teams every night, what’s the level of competition like in the MPSF?”

McGown: “Comparisons have been made to ACC basketball or SEC football. 8 or 9 of the top 10 teams are in our conference.”

McGown: “We knew how Brenden Sanders could be, but he has been so willing to make changes to his game to get better and help the team.”

6 o’clock Hour:

Criddle: “Big news out of Provo, Bronco announced that he is pleased to announce Justin Anderson as the new director of player personnel.”

Criddle: “Justin graduated from BYU in PR and communications.”

Criddle: “You aren’t necessarily disappointed in this hire, Geoff Martzen had the position last year but left to CSU to get a pay raise.”

Gurney: “I’m surprised about the hire, I thought BYU would bring in another non-LDS guy so they could branch out in recruiting.”

Criddle: “I like that Bronco brought in a guy that is passionate about BYU and he won’t be looking to leave for a pay raise next year.”

Gurney: “My one knock on Martzen is that they are missing out on too many talented in-state guys. Anderson knows the local recruit.”

Gurney: “BYU has missed out on too many solid LDS kids with mission plans, something I never thought I’d say.”

Criddle: “When you haven’t come from a football background and are more of a fan, there’s more a nerd perception that coaches will give you.”

Criddle: “Justin will be looked at by coaches as one of their own and if they approve, they will trust his evaluation.”

Gurney: “Why don’t you rotate your receivers more?”

Gurney: “What sets Anae off is when you ask a question that is making a suggestion.”

Gurney: “Why don’t we always call Dr. Anae Dr. Anae? We have to call some other guy who administrates another program a Dr. everytime.”

Gurney: “It surprises me how seriously some people take themselves on twitter.”

Criddle: “My one knock on Martzen is the perception he had because of his background.”

Criddle: “It’s similar to Nick Howell, he came into the defensive coordinator position and was much younger than the other coaches. If he tells you to do something you hesitate.”

Gurney: “What state do you need to recruit other than Texas? It’s a big state with a lot of talent.”

Gurney: “If you have a good foothold in Texas, you sign 10 guys from there and sign the best LDS talent after that.”

Gurney: “Here’s the thing about Pro Day, it’s long, you can’t ask questions, it’s very hush hush, it’s a lot of patiently waiting until you can ask questions at the end.”

Gurney: “It’s always fun to see how guys show up, one guy I think of is Marcus Mathews.”

Gurney: “I look forward to Alani Fua working out tomorrow. I don’t think anyone will get drafted but I think Fua, Wesley, Leslie, and Lasike will get picked up.”

Gurney: “I think that Rob Daniel will have the best performance and pro day, and it sounds like Jordan Leslie will too.”

Gurney: “One of my favorite interviews was Wesley last year where he said this is a weird place, but I dig it.”

Random Thoughts:

Criddle: “One tradition that I remember was getting your head shaved. In 2005, I was a true walk-on on the first day of school. By 2006 I had made a name for myself and people thought I was always a member of the team and I was able to get out of it.”

Gurney: “I remember there was one freshman who was terrified because they don’t just shave your head, they put some goofy designs in it.”

Criddle: “The reason I wasn’t given a preferred walk on was because they gave it to Zac Erekson instead of me and invited me to come try out on the first day.”


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