SOUTH JORDAN — Of all the things that could succinctly sum up the current status of Bingham's football program as one of the state's true juggernauts, consider just one number — 0.
That's how many two-way players will be lining up for Bingham when the Miners take the field against Viewmont in Week 1 of the 2009 season.
Coach Dave Peck has been trending toward platooning his entire varsity roster over the past few years — only three players went both ways last fall — and Peck feels his program has reached the point and has enough depth for him to have his players focus only on one side of the ball.
As Peck pointed out, it's not that his stars couldn't shine on both sides of the field — it's that he feels his program will be better off for going to a platoon system.
"You can't tell me that (running back) Harvey Langi wouldn't be one of the best linebackers in the state or that (right guard) Tuni Kanuch wouldn't be one of the best D-lineman in the state. Brayden Anderson is our best receiver by far — he's our best athlete — but he's also our best DB, so we've put him on defense," said Peck. "We just kind of made a commitment that, 'Hey, we feel like our team will be stronger and better, and we won't have to take kids away from their school-work and other things (for) quite as long.
"Now," added Peck, "if at any point in the season I feel like there's a glaring weakness on either side of the ball, I won't hesitate to take one or two of my best players to help with that weakness. But we're definitely going into the season with nobody going both ways."
Virtually everyone expects the Miners to be one of Class 5A's heavy-hitters again this fall, but heading into the 2009 season, Peck says that the primary focus of his staff and players is to simply do as good of a job as they possibly can each day.
"Our team theme this year is, 'Right here, right now," said Peck. "Everyone wants to get caught up in, 'OK, we've got to win the state championship' or, 'We've got to beat Trinity,' but what we've gotta do is just be as good as we can be every day that we come together."
One guy who's clearly been doing that is Langi.
A first-team All-State selection a year ago, Langi's stock continues to rise and rise. He already has offers from Utah, BYU and Stanford, according to Peck, and if he has the kind of junior season many think he will, many more offers will probably be on the way for the 6-foot-2, 220-pound varsity captain.
"Harvey has the potential to be the best back, I think, to ever come out of the state of Utah when it's all said and done," said Peck. "He's got that type of ability. He could be, his senior year, a 230-, 235-pound kid that's running a 4.4 (40-yard dash) and catches the ball really well out of the backfield.
"I think the sky's the limit for him, I really do. He's gonna get big-time national attention, and I think there's no doubt he's a big-time player."
Bingham Miners 2009 prep football preview
Coach: Dave Peck has gone 83-28 in nine previous seasons as Bingham's head coach.
Key players: Offensively, it starts with the Miners' stellar line, which will be anchored by Tuni Kanuch, Brandon Taukeiaho and Bradyn Heap. Those guys will blow open holes for star running backs Harvey Langi and Inoke Taufalele, and they'll look to pass-protect for senior QB Ty Hanny, who went undefeated in Bingham's sophomore and JV teams. On the other side of the ball, DB Braden Anderson, DL Baker Pritchard, FS Bridger Peck and NT Seni Fauonuku should all have outstanding seasons. Senior Braeden Loveless is one of the state's best kickers and punters.
Strengths: From top to bottom, just about every aspect of Bingham's team and program is solid. They have tons of size, speed and athleticism in their starting units, and behind those guys, there's oodles of depth.
Weaknesses: Are there any? Coming off a title-game loss to Alta last year, the Miners are hungry to prove that they can climb to the top of the 5A mountain once again.
Last year: 11-3, lost in the state championship game.
Predicted Region 3 finish: First.
Postseason possibilities: Once again, expect Bingham to contend for the 5A state championship.
Aug. 21 — VIEWMONT, 7 p.m.
Aug. 28 — ALTA, 7 p.m.
Sep. 7 — vs. Trinity, Texas, TBA
Sep. 11 — AMERICAN FORK, 7 p.m.
Sep. 18 — at Cottonwood, 7 p.m.
Sep. 24 — at Kearns, 7 p.m.
Sep. 30 — COPPER HILLS, 7 p.m.
Oct. 9 — at West Jordan, 7 p.m.
Oct. 16 — Riverton, 7 p.m.
Oct. 22 — at Taylorsville, 7 p.m.