BYU’s basketball and football programs are not finished harvesting from the transfer portal, an exercise that will continue through late spring and early summer. Mark Pope has been working hard and has brought in talent, but he has yet to hold a media event where he describes what he’s done and why. That may not be too unusual. While Kalani Sitake has appeared here and there with tidbits of information on transfer recruits, he hasn’t had an all-inclusive media event to go over portal reporting either. Stay tuned.

The most recent football signee is Deion Smith from Colorado.

Here is Jay Drew’s piece on breaking down next year’s NFL draft and what BYU players should be included. Brandon Judd chimes in on BYU’s bowl prospects after Big 12 play next season. 

BYU’s handling of season ticket distribution has many fans emotional, as reported in this piece by Jay Drew.

Cougar Insiders predictions

Question of the week: If you had to buy stock in BYU’s first year of Big 12 play and had to spend it on the offense or defense, which would you choose and why?

Jay Drew: I’ve been fairly bullish on BYU’s offense through spring camp and I’ve seen nothing to move me off that bandwagon. Kedon Slovis is the real deal, he’s got a pretty good offensive line protecting him, and some weapons around him. I think BYU coaches have done a good job plumbing the transfer portal for some help at receiver and running back.

So, I think the offense is in good hands and I would definitely buy stock in it first, ahead of the defense.

Speaking of the defense, I think the additions of Weber State’s Eddie Heckard, Boise State’s Isaiah Bagnah and Utah State’s AJ Vongphachanh will help a lot, but I’m still not ready to buy stock in Jay Hill’s rebuilding efforts, even if Hill himself believes they’ve made significant progress.

The group still lacks playmakers and a big-time pass rusher, among other things.

Dick Harmon:  I believe Jay Hill’s defensive design will cause chaos and will be fun to watch attack quarterbacks. I predict BYU will double its forced fumbles and interceptions from a year ago, but am wary of believing that in one spring and recruiting cycle he’ll get all he needs to be where he wants to be with the defense.

On the other hand, Aaron Roderick, Fesi Sitake, Steve Clark, Harvey Unga and Darrell Funk have had multiple seasons to fine-tune and recruit to this offense. In watching Kedon Slovis operate in spring you can see his polish and experience and that is what is needed to trigger what Roderick has designed. The book is still out as to how effective the run game will be, but if that room steps up and Roderick can get a decent run game going, the rest will fall into place with attacking wide receivers and tight ends behind a huge offensive line. I’m bullish on the offense in the Big 12.

Cougar tales

BYU golfers have qualified for the U.S. Open qualifying first stage in historic numbers. Just recently, incoming freshman Peter Kim qualified to advance, as did current player Elijah Turner. Kim was a medalist at his site. I did a piece on how five current or former Cougars qualified in their first-stage events, four of them as medalists. In soccer, former BYU star Ashley Hatch made history for scoring in a pro league. 

From the archives

Related
Why current group of former BYU players in the NFL may be the strongest ever
With Aaron Rodgers now with the Jets, will Zach Wilson get a do-over to his NFL career?

From the Twitterverse

Extra points

Did NFL give BYU fans a nice road trip idea? (Deseret News)

Position review: tight ends (KSLsports.com)

Position reviews: running backs (KSLsports.com)

Fanalyst

Comments from Deseret News readers:

I think they could go to a bowl if they can beat a few teams with questions. They would have to take the first two and then beat Kansas, Cincinnati, WV and OSU. Kansas and WV had losing records last year and don’t look to have improved that much. OSU only won 7 games and is picked to be in for another down year. Cincinnati is predicted to have a big dropoff as well with a big coaching change and losing a bunch to the portal. These teams could also make a big jump and improve themselves. I think having Cincinnati and OSU in Provo will be a big deal with a full and noisy house, altitude, and possibly bad late fall weather for OSU. I’m predicting 5 wins, 

— Just_a_Fan

I’ve heard BYU fans complain for the last 10+ years that we don’t pay coaches enough, we don’t have nice enough facilities, and now we’re falling behind on NIL. “Unless the University is willing to pony up, we’ll keep falling further behind!” Well, demand has increased, and the University has taken (small) advantage of that. This is how business works people. It would be one thing if they ramped up pricing and no one was buying tickets. That would be greedy and ill-advised. But the fact that you couldn’t get your normal seats indicates BYU is finally becoming a hot ticket again ... and the prices might need to be even higher to balance out the demand. Also, the Cougar Club priority tickets program isn’t new. It just never inconvenienced you before. I’m not saying that you should be happy about losing your tickets. Maybe just remember that it is part of seeing your team come out of the basement, being in a real conference, and paying a full P5 coaching staff! Be happy for all of Cougar Nation instead.

— Yosimite Sam

Up next

May 17 | 8 a.m. | Men’s golf | NCAA Regional | Morgan Hill, California
May 18 | 1 p.m. | Softball | @ San Jose State | San Jose, California
May 18 | 6 p.m. | Baseball | Pepperdine | Provo
May 19 | 6 p.m. | Baseball | Pepperdine | Provo
May 20 | 1 p.m. | Baseball | Pepperdine | Provo

BYU’s Ashley Hatch tries to avoid a tackle during a second-round NCAA Women’s College Cup tournament game Nov. 19, 2015. Hatch recently made professional soccer history. | BYU Photo