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Five Things We Learned From BYU’s Week One Press Conference

Aug 29, 2022, 4:28 PM | Updated: Aug 30, 2022, 3:48 pm

PROVO, Utah – The BYU football season is upon us. That also means it’s time for the weekly press conferences.

Seventh-year head coach Kalani Sitake and select BYU football players addressed the media on Monday.

Here are five notable things we learned from the press conference.

BYU football game week is finally back

Pretty straightforward here. Sitake has a lot of excitement to have the football season finally here.

There are high expectations for the 2022 BYU football team. They enter the season ranked in the preseason AP Top 25 poll for the first time since 2009.

“We’re excited for football to be back here. It was cool to watch Week 0 happen last week and preseason NFL games, high school football games are going on, we’re right at the beginning of it,” said BYU coach Kalani Sitake. “I like the next few months and what’s about to happen with football. I’m excited for it. I think the guys are really excited. We just had to get through the grueling parts of fall camp. And now that we’re at this point, I feel really good about our team and our preparation. ”

USF poses similar challenges as Arizona did last year

Last season, BYU faced an Arizona team with a completely new program. The Wildcats had a new coaching staff and a lot of new transfers.

The same thing applies to USF. After a two-win season last year, head coach Jeff Scott hired a pair of new coordinators in Travis Trickett at offensive coordinator and Bob Shoop at defensive coordinator.

USF also hired former Arkansas and SMU coach Chad Morris as an analyst. In addition, they’ve beefed up their staff and added many new personnel from the transfer portal.

“There’s a lot of unknowns still. We don’t know much about what they do on offense or what they do on defense with the coordinators that they have. We’ll have to be ready for everything. That sometimes happens in season openers. Last year against Arizona, very similar thing where we didn’t know a whole lot going into that game. We have an idea but they could do a lot of different things.”

Payton Wilgar’s shoulders feel better than ever

Heading into the Georgia Southern game last year, Payton Wilgar was pulled from the lineup to have season-ending shoulder surgery.

Wilgar’s return gives BYU one of their top defensive players.

When asked by KSL Sports how much trust he has in his shoulders, the St. George native gave glowing reviews for his recovery.

“I’ve been super blessed with the surgery and the rehab and I tell a lot of people, you know, it doesn’t necessarily feel like I had surgery. It just feels like I took some time off. And my shoulders feel better than they ever have at BYU.”

Wilgar noted he hasn’t gone through “a lot of live” tackling portions of fall camp. So Saturday will be one of the first times he’s participating in tackle football.

Former BYU LB is part of the football sports performance staff

Kalani Sitake was asked a question from a reporter about “Sports Scientists” that have impacted the BYU football program during fall camp.

Sitake pointed to two men, one of which is a former BYU linebacker. That would be Coleby Clawson, who was the player that leveled Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford in 2009.

Clawson is the Director of Sports Performance on Sitake’s staff.

The other man that Sitake pointed to was Dr. Skyler Mayne. Dr. Mayne has worked with a lot of athletes in the state in preparation for the NFL draft.

Isaac Rex will play against USF

During the Coordinators’ Corner program, BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick said that tight end Isaac Rex will be playing against the USF Bulls on Saturday.

Rex has recorded 15 touchdowns the past two seasons for the Cougars and is one of the top tight ends in the program.

Last year, in the regular season finale against USC, Rex suffered a gruesome ankle injury that looked to be a setback that potentially would keep him out for at least a month of this season. But his recovery has been quicker than anyone expected.

No. 25 BYU at USF

Kickoff: 2 p.m. (MT)

Location: Tampa Bay, Florida (Raymond James Stadium)

TV: ESPNU

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM – Extended pregame coverage begins at 10 a.m.)

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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