BYU football: Here’s why some potential starters aren’t on the fall camp roster

Ahead of Thursday’s high-profile portion of the first training session of preseason training camp, BYU distributed copies of its “2022 BYU Football Fall Camp Roster” to reporters.

There were 109 names on the list, with lots of multiple numbers, as usual. For example, Cal transfer running back Chris Brooks and 2021 top tackle Ben Bywater will both wear No. 2 this year.

This number will increase once school begins, as schools are allowed to have 123 players on their final rosters, per NCAA rules.

“If the guys aren’t training today, 90% of them are because they’re not cleared yet, not 100% healthy. So in the example of (Chaz Ah You ), he’s not ready to go. We’re not going to force him. We still have a month and time to go. — BYU football coach Kalani Sitake

There were a few surprising omissions from the list for those who follow the program closely, but don’t panic just yet. Coach Kalani Sitake said some guys, like former four-star rookie Chaz Ah You, haven’t yet been medically cleared or are still dealing with some college work with the end of the summer term on August 12 .

The game-changing Ah You when healthy apparently falls into that first category. He was seen in training on Thursday, but was not taking part.

Ah You “is at fall camp,” Sitake said. “If the guys aren’t training today, 90% of them are because they’re not cleared yet, not 100% healthy. So in the example of (Ah You), he’s not ready to leave. We’re not going to force him. We still have a month and time left.

Here is what Ah You posted on its Twitter account on Thursday afternoon: “Patience: the ability to accept or tolerate delays, troubles or suffering without becoming angry or upset. We’re all good on this side!

Sitake said the coaches “want to make sure we’re working with our specialists and that (Ah You) is in the right position to be healthy before we hit the pitch.”

Ah You played in BYU’s first eight games last year and started in six, before leaving the Washington State game on Oct. 23 with an undisclosed injury. He never played again in 2021.

Kick returner Hobbs Nyberg, defensive back Quenton Rice, offensive lineman Donovan Hanna, backup kicker Justen Smith, cornerback/returner Caleb Christensen, receiver Chris Jackson and defensive lineman Atunaisa Mahe were all on the BYU roster released in June (except Jackson, who returned from the transfer portal), but not on the fall camp roster released Thursday.

Rice, Hanna, Smith and Mahe were all in practice Thursday but not participating, according to KSLsports.com.

As for Hobbs, who was the No. 1 punt returner on the offseason depth chart, Sitake said the former St. George baseball player “would be joining us,” but didn’t. not specified why he was not currently training.

“I’ll just tell you: some guys are (working on) an injury or dealing with academics right now,” Sitake said. “We’re at the end of the summer semester, and some guys are still finishing it too.”

Rice, the son of former BYU DB Rodney Rice, is returning from an injury, Sitake said.

Offensive lineman Lisala Tai, a transfer from Snow College who was one of the Cougars’ recruiting class of 2022 prizewinners, is also not yet on the list.

Sitake said Tai “got his academics in order,” but some paperwork needs to be completed before he joins the team.

In the media portion of Thursday’s practice, Jaren Hall got the first reps at quarterback, followed by Jacob Conover and then Cade Fennegan. No surprise there.

“Right now I’m looking for guys to compete for the starting spots, then once we have a (solidified) depth chart, we’ll move on (with young guy development),” Sitake said.

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