Ferris Bueller was right; life moves pretty fast and this summer for BYU could be the fastest on record — or at least feel like it. The long, snowy winter is just now giving way to warmer temperatures even as the Cougars wrap up spring practice.
Friday’s scrimmage will provide coach Kalani Sitake and his staff one more evaluation period before the transfer portal window reopens Saturday.
Sitake will have 15 days to adjust the roster both with departures and arrivals. Offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick wants two more receivers. Running backs coach Harvey Unga wouldn’t mind another addition to join newcomers Aidan Robbins and LJ Martin.
Defensive coordinator Jay Hill wants to add size and strength to the defensive line and linebackers and if the Cougars could add another body or two in the secondary, they would take it. Unlike years past, when the hit list might be more of a wish list, BYU’s future in the Big 12 makes them a viable option for players everywhere. In fact, Sitake expects to turn down more outside inquiries than he accepts.
The portal winds down as the NFL draft begins, where a handful of Cougars, including quarterback Jaren Hall, receiver Puka Nacua and offensive tackle Blake Freeland hope to hear their names called.
The flurry of activity will quickly escort BYU to May and June for conditioning and individual workouts — and maybe a short vacation or two.
July begins with a bang as BYU officially becomes a member of the Big 12. The Cougars are planning for an on-campus celebration in the afternoon of July 1 before Stadium of Fire fills LaVell Edwards Stadium that night.
Less than two weeks later, BYU will debut at Big 12 football media days at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (July 12-13). It is there that the Cougars will come face to face with Oklahoma for the first time since Max Hall, Dennis Pitta, Colby Clawson and company stunned the No. 3 Sooners 14-13 in that same stadium in 2009.
BYU will also bump into Texas and head coach, and former Cougars quarterback, Steve Sarkisian. It was Sark that led BYU to its only New Year’s Day bowl appearance when the Cougars beat Kansas State 19-15 in the 1997 Cotton Bowl Classic — a game played 20 miles east of AT&T Stadium.
Kansas State will also be at the meetings, and while there is a good chance the Wildcats fanbase has little recollection of the Cotton Bowl, all persons associated with Texas will be relieved to see former Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill is still with the Saints.
TCU will be there too. The Horned Frogs, fresh off their appearance in the College Football Playoff national championship game, have a deeper history with BYU than any other school in the Big 12. Coincidentally, the last meeting between the former Mountain West foes was at Cowboys Stadium in 2011. TCU won the game 38-28, but Cougar fans may remember the night more for quarterback Riley Nelson giving a high-five to the official on live television.
As for the newcomers, BYU will huddle up with Central Florida, Cincinnati and Houston. All four teams start on fresh footing, but in head-to-head battles since 2011, BYU is 3-0 against Houston, 2-0 against Cincinnati, and 2-1 against Central Florida.
The summer summit will also mark the first time a Big 12 preseason poll will cast an early judgment on what the rest of the conference expects to see from BYU this fall. The transfer additions of quarterback Kedon Slovis, running back Aidan Robbins and All-American cornerback Eddie Heckard have Cougar fans cautiously optimistic.
Just days after the Big 12 meetings, NFL training camps open with rookies reporting as early as July 18. One week later, on July 25, BYUtv kicks off its 10th season of “After Further Review” with a special show featuring NFL hopefuls and touchdown makers Hall and Nacua.
The following week, as BYU prepares to open fall camp, former Cougars quarterback Zach Wilson and the New York Jets kick off the NFL preseason against Cleveland in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 3. As any football fan knows, once the first game is televised, the football doesn’t stop until the Super Bowl.
BYU will spend a month in camp, but before the Cougars get to the Sept. 2 opener against Sam Houston, the new college football season will already be underway. Navy and Notre Dame headline a handful of games set for Aug. 26.
When it comes to football, Ferris is right. Life moves pretty fast and considering the busy calendar and the massive remnant of winter still in the mountains, the long hot summer for BYU may scoot by faster than ever before — and for some, the fall can’t get here quick enough.