Riley Nelson

FRANCHUK: Nelson wants to do special teams again

2012-06-27T12:30:00Z 2012-07-19T18:56:05Z FRANCHUK: Nelson wants to do special teams againJason Franchuk - Daily Herald Daily Herald
June 27, 2012 12:30 pm  • 

Riley Nelson likes a little misery.

And the BYU starting quarterback would still like to keep company on the special teams, even though that would be an astonishingly rare move for the Cougar coaching staff to allow such a precious commodity to be part in harm's way.

The senior said Wednesday at BYU's football media day that he intends to at least continue giving scout-team looks when fall camp and the regular season begin in earnest in August.

Nelson was a "gunner" on special teams, sprinting the sidelines to attack the punt returners, until he became the starting quarterback, surpassing Jake Heaps in early October.

"I had to push really, really, really, really hard last year for coach (Brandon) Doman and coach (Bronco) Mendenhall to let me try out and do that," Nelson said of the team's offensive coordinator and head coach. "I don't know if I could be on the starting team, but I plan on giving scout looks."

Nelson, who doesn't plan on an NFL career, scoffs at the idea of being too fragile to do more than be a quarterback.

The "scout look" would mean mimicking opponents in practices leading up to the games. Contact would still be prevalent sometimes.

Nelson said one of his favorite memories of last year was the Central Florida game, which turned dramatically in BYU's favor when Cody Hoffman returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

Nelson served as a scout-teamer that was imperative to the play.

In practices, a teammate had to set a cross-block on Nelson. Nelson said he worked all week to "make it miserable" for whoever had to block him.

That effort paid off on all accounts, as Hoffman scored a long touchdown. Whoever dealt with Nelson all week knocked down the UCF player, sparking a score that arguably changed the course of the season as well.

"To me, that's what it's all about," Nelson said.

For what it's worth — and the opinion would seem to have a lot of value — Doman says Nelson will not have a special team role.

Nelson's too valuable, and there's "no point," Doman said, risking such a key figure.

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