BYU football Top 25 Countdown to Camp: No. 1

2014-07-31T06:00:00Z 2014-08-02T18:15:04Z BYU football Top 25 Countdown to Camp: No. 1Jared Lloyd Daily Herald Daily Herald
July 31, 2014 6:00 am  • 

No. 1: Garett Tujague, BYU offensive line coach

Note: As the final month before the BYU football team starts fall camp ticks away, here is Jared Lloyd's list of the Top 25 individuals who will have the biggest impact on the success of the Cougars in 2014.

Yes, this is the No. 1 individual who will have the biggest impact on the BYU football season this fall, although Tujague probably comes as a surprise to many.

Here's the reasoning:

The offensive line is probably the unit in football that most relies on cohesiveness and teamwork. An outstanding individual lineman isn't going to have much success if the players around him struggle.

That means that while players like De'Ondre Wesley, Tuni Kanuch, Edward Fusi, Michael Yeck, Ryker Mathews and others are certainly important, they only can be truly exceptional if the entire unit comes together.

That's Tujague's job -- and the amount of success the Cougar offense has is directly tied to how well the line works together.

It's not that the BYU line was completely horrible in 2013. There is no way the Cougars rush for a season-record 3,475 yards on the ground without the guys up front opening quite a few holes to run through.

But there is also no doubt that the offensive line needs to get a lot better.

BYU quarterbacks were sacked 38 times in 2013, and opponents were also credited with 32 quarterback hurries. In total, Cougar players were brought down behind the line of scrimmage 78 times.

For BYU junior Taysom Hill to be able to run less and complete more passes, he has to have enough time to make his reads and get the ball to the right places.

That all hinges on how well the offensive line performs. Stellar line play orchestrated by Tujague could result in a dramatic offensive improvement, while another year of mediocre play in the trenches probably brings another decent -- but not impressive -- win total.

Daily Herald sports editor ​Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or Twitter: @JaredrLloyd. Instagram: @JaredrLloyd.

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