PROVO, Utah – The BYU football team held its seventh of 15 spring practices at the Indoor Practice Facility on Thursday.
The following are quotes from the postpractice media availability.
Passing Game Coordinator/Wide Receiver Coach Fesi Sitake
On where the team is at so far
Spring is going great. There’s competition on both sides of the ball. There’s no one practice where a side just completely dominates from beginning to end, which is the sign of a well-rounded, competitive team. I’ve been really pleased with both sides. But, offensively speaking, we’ve been able to maintain pretty solid health. There’s a lot of execution. Obviously, there are holes and voids that we need to fill and there are some young guys who have been stepping up and filling those holes. The guys are having fun, a lot of energy out there and that’s really what you want around this time of the year.
On the chemistry of the offensive coaching staff
It’s been awesome. I feel it’s been a seamless transition. It’s cool, even though we lost a lot of experience, the guys still know this offense very, very well collectively. It’s allowed us as coaches to really focus on the nuances of each play. Instead of creating new plays, we’ve been able to find creative ways to dress up what we’re already good at, what we’ve proven to be good at, find different ways to cause mismatches and highlight certain personnel. That’s kind of the next jump we feel we need to take. I think that it’s been really cohesive amongst all of us on the offensive staff, and the players are latching on to it, and I like where we’re at right now.
On the quarterback competition
It’s a really good competition. Coach Roderick is distributing those reps as evenly as he can. We’ve obviously got a true freshman in Jacob Conover; this is the first time he’s really played football in this offense. He was able to play on the scout team last year, but he’s doing a great job. Baylor Romney and Jaren Hall are the two most experienced proven guys. I feel they are just constantly getting better every day. Everyone’s got a little bit of rust, including quarterbacks. Sol-Jay Maiva-Peters has done a great job as well with the reps he’s getting. It’s been a really fun competition to watch it all play out. I’m excited to see, as the last two weeks unfold, who continues to succeed and emerge. I know coach Roderick will do a great job managing that room.
Defensive Lineman Lorenzo Fauatea
On where he expects to play this year
Right now, it’s just according to our defense and what kind of set that we have on the field. So, I’m inside, outside. It just depends, wherever coach likes or wants me, that’s where I’ll be. Right now, it’s just both getting to learn both defensive end and defensive tackle.
On being a veteran and a leader
I’m basically just taking any of the freshmen that we have coming in as defensive linemen this year and trying to get them caught up with the speed and IQ of the game. Especially in college, the IQ is at a higher level than what it was in high school. And, just trying to get them caught up with everything that is going on: different types of schemes the offense can give off, getting the freshmen caught up with where we are at now and basically helping out our freshmen D-lineman.
Reflecting on the past year
I just think of the hardships that we’ve overcome, especially as a team. Last year, we had about five or six spring practices, and boom, we got the news that we were done. As a team, we were struggling. What do we do now? From there, I think we grew a lot because we had to figure out our own workout spaces. A lot of the team was going to parks, to empty stadiums and to high school football fields to work out and get our work in. I feel like we’ve grown from that. This year we have all these protocols that we have to go through that help us to be able to play. I feel like we’ve grown not only as a team, but as a staff, as a whole, with the coaching staff, with the trainers, with our strength coaches. Everybody has grown since the pandemic.
Quarterback Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters
On what it’s like to be part of the quarterback competition
For me, it’s a blessing. A lot of people would love to be in my position right now, competing for the job, and it’s been fun. Every day you just got to come out and eat and grind. It’s been a fun process so far.
On what he learned from watching Zack Wilson
His confidence, for sure. The way he plays, the way he comes out with his mindset, his work ethic, his film study and everything he does is with confidence. He doesn’t play around, doesn’t joke, he’s serious, but at the same time, he knows how to have fun. It’s good for him to always be productive, try not to slack off or whatnot. Always stay locked in.
On Coach Roderick
He’s just like our friend. He’s always there when we need him. He’s there to coach us up. He helps us a lot as far as defensive schemes and game planning. I can ask him for anything and he’ll be like, “Oh, I got you.” That’s the type of relationship we’ve got with him.
On the talent of the offense
I think the talent on this offense is crazy. Whoever starts at quarterback is going to be lucky because we’ve got dudes at receivers, o-line, running backs. It’ll be a fun offense to watch this upcoming season.