Jeremy Crabtree, Rivals.com: Utah Coach Kyle Whittingham talks about his recruiting process for Utah. With Utah not being in a major conference has its troubles in recruiting highly touted high school players. The Utes have been getting better talent from Utah with players as Paul Kruger, his younger player David Kruger, and then this year getting the number one ranked junior college player from Snow College in James Aiona.
"With our philosophy, we try to recruit the raw material – athleticism and speed are the priority. Ideally, you want big-framed guys that can run and are athletic. That's the starting point. I think our assistant coaches have done a very good job of finding those type of players."
Utah even with their success over the past five years, they still have to find the right player who they can coach up and who will fit their system. Even in saying that their success has opened the door to some players they may not have been able to get into, and can compete with almost every school out West.
Graham Watson, ESPN.Com: BYU is looking to have more options on offense instead of just passing to Austin Collie deep, running Harvey Unga up the middle, or tight ends running an out pattern. BYU plans on running a little bit of the option and varying their offense
The obvious difference is that star wide receiver Austin Collie is gone, but his absence has allowed a lot more wide receivers to get into the mix. I spent part of practice looking up numbers of guys not on the two-deep depth chart who were running great routes and making nice catches.
With these new changes on offense BYU should be able to be more efficient on offense and not as predictable when the team is struggling, and be able to bring something different to the table.
Mike McGrane, San Diego Union-Tribune: New defensive coordinator Rocky Long is looking for a player to play the 'Aztec' spot in his wacky 3-3-5 defense. While at New Mexico the position was called 'Lobo' and that position calls for the player to be able to be versatile.
"It's got to be someone who's capable of being a multidimensional player, someone who can play defensive back in coverage but also be able to drop down into the box and play linebacker."
San Diego just started spring practice last week, so no player has been named to the Aztec position. One thing to consider is if SDSU actually has the athlete to play that position up to the standards of Rocky Long.
1280 the Zone: Interview with BYU linebacker Jan Jorgensen
Interview with Utah Defensive Coordinator Kalani Sitake
Interview with BYU QB Coach Brandon Doman
Mario Trujillo, The Daily Lobo: The new offense being installed by Mike Locksley will now require the offensive lineman to be more fit then the past. Locksley was previously at Illinois where the Illini ran a no-huddle and hurry up offense which means the lineman must be in better shape when they line up.
"We are rarely in the huddle," Degory said. "We are constantly at the ball. We are going to grind people down in the third and fourth quarter and take full advantage of that. We would love to rotate, but our concerns are with depth," he said. "We want to make sure that if we put a No. 2 in there, we don't miss a stride."
The ideal goal is to wear down the opponents late in the game, but if New Mexico does not have the horses to do the no-huddle for most of the game then it does no good. This new offense could get the Lobos over the hump, because they have always had the defense.
Kelly Lyell, The Coloradoan: The Rams are without top linebackers from 2008 with Ricky Brewer who is suspended and then Jeff Horinek who graduated the past year. This spring practice is revealing that the new corp of linebackers should be able to step in right away and not s a step, and they actually could be better.
"Kawulok is a very good, smart, steady football player," said Larry Kerr, CSU's defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. "Right now, if I had to rank the players at linebacker, he'd be our second-best player. (Mychal) Sisson would be No. 1, and Kawulok would be second."