Provo • Comfortable almost always was a word that came up when people talked about former BYU football coach LaVell Edwards, who died last December at the age of 86. Edwards was "comfortable in his own skin," it often was said, and "made everyone around him feel comfortable and at ease." It was fitting then that during BYU's seventh annual football media day at the BYU Broadcasting Building on campus Friday that players and coaches alike used the word comfortable a lot to describe their outlook in coach Kalani Sitake's second year. BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe announced players will wear LAVELL patches on their jerseys this fall to honor the legendary coach. "I feel a lot more comfortable going into it this season," said Sitake, who guided the Cougars to a 9-4 record last year and a 24-21 win over Wyoming in the Poinsettia Bowl. "Last year, all we had was spring ball and not really a full offseason. So this year, we have a full season, another spring and then an offseason where we actually tested our guys and saw our guys get bigger and stronger and faster. So I have a lot more confidence going into it." Second-year coordinators Ty Detmer and Ilaisa Tuiaki echoed their boss' sentiments. Detmer said he actually can play a round of golf or return to his ranch in Texas for a couple of days without spending the entire time worrying about getting ready for the season. "You feel settled in," the former Heisman Trophy winner said. "You know the timeline and what needs to get done." Starting quarterback Tanner Mangum, a rising junior, also is more at ease, relaxed and prepared to be a leader, he said. "We want this year to be a special year, and we feel like it can be," Mangum said. "There is pressure, but I like it." Mangum isn't quite ready to pronounce this season his final one in Provo, although he's hinted on social media with references to his age, 23, that he could enter the NFL draft in April despite having a year of eligibility remaining.
BYU football: Cougars ‘a lot more comfortable’ entering second year under Sitake
Salt Lake Tribune | Jun 24