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Getting the most out of BYU football media day

Athletic director Tom Holmoe, Kalani Sitake headline BYU football media day

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An man in a polo with the BYU logo (a Y in a circle) walks past banners with BYU players and “Y FOOTBALL” written on them.

BYU football coaches, players and administrators participate in BYU football media day in the BYU Broadcasting Building in Provo on Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

This article was first published as the Cougar Insiders newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox each Tuesday night.

Tom Holmoe will join head coach Kalani Sitake headlining BYU’s football media day on June 17. It will be a day filled with position coach and player interviews, a lot of hope, optimism and speculation about the quarterback position.

It’s a day reporters take a deep dive into profiles, what ifs, and defining what they can of BYU’s 2021 football program without Zach Wilson, Dax Milne, Khyiris Tonga and Brady Christensen. Look for our stories throughout the week and others that will spring out of this mammoth media opportunity as June and July lead to formal workouts and the opening of fall camp and the first game against Arizona in the Las Vegas Raiders’ nearly one-year-old Allegiant Stadium, just one more NFL stadium venue for the independent Cougars.

In the meantime, here’s a tuneup story by Jay Drew, who had an interview with BYU secondary coach Jernaro Gilford and why he thinks BYU’s defensive corners will be special this season.  

Staying in the realm of football, here is an in-depth piece on former BYU and NFL star Vai Sikahema and his new role as a general authority for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a bonus, here is a peek at former corner Ben Criddle and his career as a popular radio sports commentator, which he has done the past nine years.

Cougar Insider predictions

Question of the week: What surprise announcement could athletic director Tom Holmoe make during media day?

Jay Drew: After last year’s BYU football media day was canceled by the pandemic, it seems like it has been an eternity since BYU football coaches and AD Tom Holmoe spoke in person to the media.

That will change Thursday. Kudos to BYU for doing a real, live media day rather than another virtual news conference.

Will there be any noteworthy announcements?

I doubt it. It has been a quiet summer so far, which is how BYU likes it. Maybe a scheduling announcement or something similar. But I don’t foresee anything major such as a coaching contract extension. We will see. 

Dick Harmon: This is usually the time for Holmoe to make some kind of unique announcement because he has a great platform with all the media there, plus the university’s own house organ (BYUtv) and it is in the campus studio with a worldwide audience. The most common announcement would be a scheduling event, a game in the future. It could also be a bowl tie-in for the future or maybe a video presentation of work on the new updated locker room facilities. I don’t anticipate any talk of conference invitations, but it would be nice to learn of a new scheduling partnership with a Power Five conference like the Big 12, Pac-12 or Big Ten. The SEC already considers BYU a P5 opponent on its scheduling matrix.

Cougar tales

There were ups and downs for BYU’s men and women’s track and field teams at the NCAA championships in Eugene but one of the races you have to see is the victory and school-record performance in the 1,500 meters by senior Anna Camp-Bennett. Her first-place effort helped the Cougars women finish the highest since 2005. Here is a brief look at her sprint at the finish and it is amazing acceleration. 

Here is Doug Robinson’s roundup of the NCAA championships for both the men and women’s teams. 

Here is a story on Camp-Bennett’s race and Garrett Marsing’s great finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and a near first place for one of the school’s all-time great distance runners Connor Mantz in the 10,000.

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Comments from Deseret News readers

Tremendous story. Throughout her BYU career, (Anna Camp) was always running in someone else’s shadow. Somebody else was always the star, and she was a good, but never the top runner on the team. Although she did not make the final in the 800 meters, the way she finished in the 800 semis should have put her competitors on notice that she was a force to be reckoned with in the 1,500 meter final. Her great finish in the 1,500 takes some of the sting away from the results in the women’s 5,000 and 3,000 steeplechase.

— SGU84770

It sounds like (offensive line coach Darrell) Funk has been a good fit. It is very encouraging that BYU’s coaches are not trying to dampen expectations for this upcoming year and have spoken optimistically about the OL along with other positions on the offense. Maybe we’ll actually be better than many of us initially thought. Let’s hope the OL performs well because, as others have noted, this basically is where offense begins.

— CougarForever

Up next

June 17 | 8 a.m. | BYU media day | BYUtv