Kalani Sitake has to feel some momentum this spring.
He just signed an SEC transfer defensive back, had former Super Bowl champion coach Andy Reid speak to his team at his coaching clinic on Thursday, and hosted NFL scouts for pro day on Friday.
Sitake just finished the week in which he continued to host many high school recruits on campus and somehow convinced some alumni stars to play one another in LaVell Edwards Stadium next Thursday.
That may be the biggest ask — getting some out-of-shape yesteryear stars to go after one another for the love of the game and colors.
“I love BYU,” Reid said before leaving on Friday. “I bleed blue. I have a (BYU) helmet in my office and I’m all in.”
Reid played for Edwards and position coach Roger French in the late ’70s and in a brief presentation to BYU’s football team after a clinic, he laid out some advice.
Thursday, @Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was keynote speaker at the @BYUfootball HS coaches clinic featuring coaches from six states & Canada. A former BYU offensive lineman, Reid also spoke to BYU's 2022 football team prior to practice. #BYUFootball— BYU Cougars PR (@BYUCougarsPR) March 25, 2022
Reid told Sitake’s players to be proud of why they are at the school, to void distractions, to bring energy to the field — to do it without fear, stay aggressive, and in attack mode.
“That fits right in line with what we’re trying to do as a team,” said Sitake. “Hopefully our guys can take it to heart. If it works for a Super Bowl team, it can hopefully work for us here at BYU.”
Meanwhile, on Friday, senior receiver Samson Nacua likely helped himself in workouts before NFL entities during pro day. Nacua ran an impressive 4.47 time in the 40, and with his agility drills and athleticism, he checked a lot of boxes.
His running mate, receiver Neil Pau’u, didn’t break 4.7 as Samson did, but the former QB but placed on stage his fluid route running, size, strength and mental awareness. This is what his position coach Fesi Sitake said is his “artistry” as a receiver, and it could get him a serious look.
Did Austin Collie and Dax Milne open the door for more BYU receivers to get a crack at NFL careers with Nacua and Pau’u?
Neither was invited to the NFL combine.
Yet, both had solid college careers and an impressive catalog of highlight films.
Sitake made no bones that high on his agenda is getting his players opportunities — either in future football chances, as interns or in positions in the corporate or coaching world. He called it a “high honor” to take the lead in the endeavor.
He also recognizes that a professional football career beyond college is the exception rather than the rule for aspiring athletes.
“We will exhaust every resource we have to get our players as many shots as they can in the NFL,” Sitake told BYUtv on a live interview during pro day.
“The game is going to end for everybody. That is inevitable and it is usually not at the time you want it to be, unless your name is Tom Brady.”
The one player who will likely get the biggest look from a very small senior class at BYU is former walk-on running back Tyler Allgeier, who did some limited agility drills on Friday before scouts.
Allgeier has a chance to be the highest-drafted BYU running back since Jamaal Williams went in the fourth round in 2017.
The highest-drafted BYU running back was 1973 NCAA rushing champion Pete Van Valkenburg, who went in the third round following that season.
A consensus of most mock drafts has Allgeier going somewhere between the low 80s and high 90s — middle of the third round to fourth round — on Day 2 of the draft.
Allgeier, Pau’u, Nacua, center James Empey and defensive lineman Uriah Leiatua were the only BYU players taking part in pro day. Quarterback Baylor Romney, who took a job with software company Adobe, agreed to throw to the three skill players.
Sitake said the mere five guys who took part in Friday’s pro day actually tells another story — that his football program, fresh off a 10-win season and 5-0 record against the Pac 12, is very young.
He fully expects the next two pro days of 2023 and 2024 to have double the numbers, thus take far more time for scouts to mull over performances and data points.
And give more of his guys time to rest in between events.
We shall see.