[ {"id":"d929b866-0566-5dae-96df-a314b7f33d4f","type":"article","starttime":"1627587660","starttime_iso8601":"2021-07-29T13:41:00-06:00","priority":50,"sections":[{"college":"sports/college"},{"football":"sports/college/byu/football"},{"soccer":"sports/college/uvu/soccer"}],"flags":{"editors_pick":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"BYU/UVU notes: Former Cougar Zach Wilson signs rookie contract with Jets","url":"http://www.heraldextra.com/sports/college/article_d929b866-0566-5dae-96df-a314b7f33d4f.html","permalink":"https://www.heraldextra.com/sports/college/byu-uvu-notes-former-cougar-zach-wilson-signs-rookie-contract-with-jets/article_d929b866-0566-5dae-96df-a314b7f33d4f.html","canonical":"https://www.heraldextra.com/sports/college/byu-uvu-notes-former-cougar-zach-wilson-signs-rookie-contract-with-jets/article_d929b866-0566-5dae-96df-a314b7f33d4f.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":3,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Jared Lloyd\nDaily Herald","prologue":"BYU\u2019s highest NFL draft selection ever has signed on the dotted line, according to sources. Wilson missed the first two practices of the New York Jets\u2019 training camp as the organization and his agent hammered out details of Wilson\u2019s rookie contract. The Associated Press and others said sources had confirmed that the two sides had come to an agreement Thursday on a four-year contract.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["zach wilson","sport","american football","practice","tyler allgeier","kyle beckerman","team","robert saleh","league"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"3c96c571-9f01-51d2-8d64-6dd77c338878","description":"FILE - New York Jets first round draft pick Zach Wilson works out during NFL rookie camp in Florham Park, N.J., in this Friday, May 7, 2021, file photo. The New York Jets and quarterback Zach Wilson have agreed to terms on his four-year rookie contract, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal. Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft in April, missed the first two days of training camp practices while the two sides hammered out details. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)","byline":"Bill Kostroun","hireswidth":5139,"hiresheight":3426,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/c9/3c96c571-9f01-51d2-8d64-6dd77c338878/610309ee25ee8.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"341","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/c9/3c96c571-9f01-51d2-8d64-6dd77c338878/610309ee13310.image.jpg?resize=512%2C341"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/c9/3c96c571-9f01-51d2-8d64-6dd77c338878/610309ee13310.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/c9/3c96c571-9f01-51d2-8d64-6dd77c338878/610309ee13310.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/c9/3c96c571-9f01-51d2-8d64-6dd77c338878/610309ee13310.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"aca76a58-de23-5e93-9c6a-dca6a17fdc48","description":"BYU sophomore running back Tyler Allgeier (25) runs up the field as part of a drill during the first day of 2021 spring camp at the indoor practice facility in Provo on Monday, March 1, 2021.","byline":"BYU Photo","hireswidth":3648,"hiresheight":2432,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/ca/aca76a58-de23-5e93-9c6a-dca6a17fdc48/603da72c34c9b.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/ca/aca76a58-de23-5e93-9c6a-dca6a17fdc48/603da72c20cd2.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/ca/aca76a58-de23-5e93-9c6a-dca6a17fdc48/603da72c20cd2.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/ca/aca76a58-de23-5e93-9c6a-dca6a17fdc48/603da72c20cd2.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/ca/aca76a58-de23-5e93-9c6a-dca6a17fdc48/603da72c20cd2.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}},{"id":"dc1281ae-5438-5bb1-9099-0d04e8e42134","description":"New UVU head men's soccer coach Kyle Beckerman talks to reporters at a press conference in Orem on Monday, April 12, 2021.","byline":"Jay Drowns, UVU Marketing","hireswidth":4176,"hiresheight":2784,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/c1/dc1281ae-5438-5bb1-9099-0d04e8e42134/6074f67385a7f.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/c1/dc1281ae-5438-5bb1-9099-0d04e8e42134/6074f67374a68.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/c1/dc1281ae-5438-5bb1-9099-0d04e8e42134/6074f67374a68.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/c1/dc1281ae-5438-5bb1-9099-0d04e8e42134/6074f67374a68.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/c1/dc1281ae-5438-5bb1-9099-0d04e8e42134/6074f67374a68.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":7,"commentID":"d929b866-0566-5dae-96df-a314b7f33d4f","body":"

BYU\u2019s highest NFL draft selection ever has signed on the dotted line, according to sources.

Wilson missed the first two practices of the New York Jets\u2019 training camp as the organization and his agent hammered out details of Wilson\u2019s rookie contract.

The Associated Press and others said sources had confirmed that the two sides had come to an agreement Thursday on a four-year contract.

The deal is reportedly fully guaranteed worth $35.15 million, including a signing bonus of $22.9 million and a has a fifth-year team option.

Not bad for a guy who wasn\u2019t heavily recruited coming out of high school but became a superstar for the Cougars in 2020.

One of the reasons the deal took longer to work out than many other rookie contracts was the offset language, which is a practice that provides clubs with financial protection if they release the player before the end of the contract.

NFL Network and ESPN reported the sides compromised with Wilson receiving his signing bonus within 15 days and the team keeping its offset language in the contract.

Wilson was the last of the first-round draft picks from the 2021 draft to get his deal finalized.

New York coach Robert Saleh didn\u2019t seem overly concerned about Wilson\u2019s deal still not being done two practices into training camp.

\u201cYou\u2019re not going to see me panic,\u201d he said after practice Thursday. \u201cLike I\u2019ve said, there are 89 guys that are counting on us to prepare them the best way we know how. And right now, they\u2019ve got our full attention.

\u201cZach\u2019s going to sign. And when it happens is when it happens. I don\u2019t try to worry about things I have no control over. So when it gets done, it\u2019ll be awesome to get him back.\u201d

About 30 minutes later, the agreement was hammered out. So Wilson should be with the team for its next practice Friday.

Fans who were starting to fret about the quarterback not yet signing took to social media to express relief. Even offensive lineman Greg Van Roten tweeted a gif of WWE wrestler Daniel Bryan doing his familiar \u201cYes! Yes! Yes!\u201d chant.

Saleh said he last spoke to Wilson earlier this week, but added that LaFleur has regularly been texting with the quarterback about the playbook and installation of plays.

\u201cWe\u2019ll be excited when he gets here,\u201d Saleh said before smiling. \u201cAnd it\u2019ll be good to not have to answer questions about it.\u201d

Allgeier, Empey named to two more watch listsBYU junior center James Empey and sophomore running back Tyler Allgeier were again recognized for past accomplishments by being named to 2021 college football award watch lists on Thursday.

The Wuerffel Trophy, college football\u2019s premier award for community service, named BYU center James Empey to its preseason watch list of 93 players receiving consideration for the annual award honoring college football\u2019s top community servant.

Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from the University of Florida, Danny Wuerffel, the Wuerffel Trophy exists to honor college football players who serve others, celebrate their positive impact on society, and inspire greater service in the world.

In being recognized on the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List, Empey received his fourth 2021 preseason watch list honor in addition to being named a preseason All-American by both Phil Steele and Athlon Sports. Empey was previously recognized for his off-the-field resume as a candidate for the prestigious 2021 AFCA Good Works Team, and was selected to the Rimington Award Watch List (most outstanding center) for the third time and Outland Trophy Watch List (top interior lineman) for the second straight year.

The Louisville Sports Commission today named BYU\u2019s Tyler Allgeier among 57 multi-talented college football players to the 2021 Watch List for the Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse.

The Paul Hornung Award, now in its 12th season, is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission in the memory of the late football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung. The winner and his family will be honored at the annual Paul Hornung Award dinner at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville in March 2021.

A sophomore in eligibility after last year\u2019s Covid season, Allgeier is a versatile athlete who has played significant roles on defense (linebacker), offense (running back) and special teams (kick returner, punt return unit, kickoff and punt coverage units) for the Cougars in his career.

UVU men\u2019s soccer announces 2021 schedule

Utah Valley University men\u2019s soccer head coach Kyle Beckerman has announced the team\u2019s 2021 fall schedule, with a non-conference slate highlighted by a home contest against NCAA Quarterfinal participant Washington. UVU will face three teams, all at home, who competed in this past season\u2019s NCAA Tournament.

The Wolverines open the season with a two-game road trip to Upstate New York where they\u2019ll face Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference schools Canisius (Aug. 26) and Niagara (Aug. 29). The trip to Canisius, in Buffalo, is a return trip from 2019 when the Golden Griffins visited Orem. UVU won that match 4-3 in overtime.

\u201cOur early schedule and the travel involved will test us, but the boys will be ready to go. We have some good measuring-stick matches in non-conference that will prepare us well for WAC play,\u201d Beckerman said. \u201cAs a conference, the WAC continues to get better from top to bottom and has a great opportunity to again be a multiple-bid league. We know every time out will be a battle and we look forward to competing.\u201d

The home opener, Beckerman\u2019s first contest in front of the 12th Wolverines, will be Thursday, Sept. 2 against CSUN on Clyde Field. The second and final non-conference home game will be against Washington on Sept. 16. The Huskies finished No. 8 in the country in the final United Soccer Coaches Poll after making their fifth straight tournament \u2014 and second straight quarterfinal \u2014 appearance. Both matches will kick at 7:30 p.m. MT.

Sandwiched in between those two home contests is a trip to Illinois, where Utah Valley will play road games at Big 10 Northwestern (Sept. 9) and Bradley (Sept. 12) of the Missouri Valley Conference.

WAC play begins with three straight road contests: at Dixie State (Sept. 25), at UT Rio Grande Valley (Oct. 1), and at Incarnate Word (Oct. 3). Three straight at Clyde Field will follow that swing with San Jos\u00e9 State (Oct. 7), Seattle U (Oct. 9), and UNLV (Oct. 16) coming to town over the next two weeks.

The remaining road matches in league play will be at Chicago State (Oct. 22), at Houston Baptist (Oct. 24), and in the season finale at California Baptist (Nov. 6). The Wolverines will also host both teams who represented the WAC in the NCAA Tournament in the final home weekend of the season. WAC Tournament winner Air Force will be in Orem on Oct. 28 before regular season champion and 25th-ranked Grand Canyon will close out the home schedule on Oct. 30.

The WAC Tournament will be hosted by GCU in Phoenix Nov. 10-14, with the top six teams qualifying for a chance to earn conference\u2019s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. \u2013 Headlined by a previous winner and three former finalists, including BYU\u2019s Jake Oldroyd, the 2021 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Watch List boasts a highly competitive field of 30 outstanding kickers.

Announced Wednesday by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, the 2021 preseason candidates for the nation\u2019s top place-kicker includes an unprecedented 20 former semifinalists.

A Lou Groza Award finalist in 2020, Oldroyd was named to four All-America teams as a sophomore last year in addition to being among the final three players up for the Groza Award. He was named second-team All-America by Walter Camp and The Athletic, while being a third-team honoree by The Associated Press and Phil Steele. Oldroyd is the first BYU All-American kicker since Matt Payne in 2004.

A native of Southlake, Texas, Oldroyd finished the 2020 season a perfect 13-for-13 on field goals to set a new BYU single-season field goal percentage record. More than half of his kicks came from at least 40 yards out, including three from over 50, which gave him more 50-yard field goals in a perfect season than any FBS kicker since 2004.

While sharing the top spot in nation with a perfect field goal percentage last year, Oldroyd also converted 60 of 62 extra points to finish No. 4 nationally for the most PAT conversions. His 99 total points scored in 2020 ranked No. 6 among kickers and No. 13 among all positions in the country.

Oldroyd already holds the BYU record for consecutive PAT conversions with 72 and enters 2021 ranked No. 2 in career field goal percentage (78.1%, 32 of 42) at BYU and No. 3 in career PAT percentage at 97.11% (101 of 104).

Joining Oldroyd on the list of candidates for the 2021 Groza Award is fellow 2020 finalist Will Reichard of Alabama as well as SMU senior Blake Mazza, who was a finalist in 2019 while at Washington State. Meanwhile, 2018 Groza winner Andre Szmyt, a senior from Syracuse, is another top candidate who has the chance to become just the second player to ever win the award multiple times, joining Sebastian Janikowski who won in 1998 and 1999.

Last year\u2019s Groza winner, Jose Borregales, is now in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With schools playing such a varied number of games last season, this year\u2019s watch list leans heavily on accuracy. In fact, all 16 FBS kickers returning who attempted 10 field goals and connected at 85 percent or better are represented on the list:

Reichard (14, 100%), Oldroyd (13, 100%)

Oklahoma State junior Alex Hale (13, 92.9%), Wyoming sophomore John Hoyland (13, 92.9%), Western Kentucky junior Brayden Narveson (13, 92.9%)

UAB sophomore Matt Quinn (11, 91.7%)

Auburn senior Anders Carlson (20, 90.9%), Indiana junior Charles Campbell (10, 90.9%)

Nebraska super senior Connor Culp (13, 86.7%), Duke sophomore Charlie Ham (13, 86.7%), Louisville junior James Turner (13, 86.7%)

LSU junior Cade York (18, 85.7%), Louisiana Tech sophomore Jacob Barnes (12, 85.7%), Kentucky super senior Mark Ruffolo (12, 85.7%)

UTSA super senior Hunter Duplessis (17, 85%), and Missouri sophomore Harrison Mevis (17, 85%)

Even though last year\u2019s season was shortened, more and more field goals are getting kicked from long distance. All six returning kickers who made at least three field goals from 50 yards or further were voted onto the watch list:

York (6)

Oklahoma junior Gabe Brkic (4)

Oldroyd (3), Campbell (3), Mevis (3), and Georgia junior Jack Podlesny (3).

The award is named for National Football League Hall of Fame kicker Lou \u201cThe Toe\u201d Groza, who played 21 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Groza won four NFL championships with Cleveland and was named NFL Player of the Year in 1954. Although an All-Pro offensive lineman as well, Groza ushered in the notion that there should be a place on an NFL roster for a kicker.

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After arriving at BYU, offensive line coach Darrell Funk is still learning minor details about life in Provo, including getting to know the names and faces of the sports reporters who cover the team.

With his position group, however, he\u2019s already set the tone.

\u201cCoach Funk is a great man,\u201d Cougar junior center James Empey said at Media Day in June. \u201cThe more you talk to him, the more you realize that he is an awesome person. He cares about everyone on the offensive line and everyone on the team. He tries to understand how they learn and I can feel that he really wants us to get better.\u201d

Unlike former offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes, Funk wasn\u2019t someone a lot of BYU fans knew when he was hired in February. They may have been surprised to learn that he had coached at places like Michigan, Purdue, San Diego State and Colorado State.

\u201cI\u2019ve been a lot of different places in my career,\u201d Funk said at Media Day. \u201cI was at UT-San Antonio when the staff got let go at the end of the 2019 season. I had a few interviews lined up but then COVID-19 hit. I ended up sitting out last fall.\u201d

Funk said that wasn\u2019t his plan, nor did he feel like he needed to \u201crecharge the batteries,\u201d but he realized that every cloud has a silver lining.

\u201cI turned a negative into a positive,\u201d Funk said. \u201cI did a lot of film study. I reconnected with my wife. It was a really productive year for me.\u201d

When jobs started opening up at the end of 2020, Funk connected with BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick, who he had coached against during his career.

\u201cWe started talking about this position,\u201d Funk said. \u201cIt was a slow-moving process but every time we talked, it felt like we were really aligned in our beliefs about the game. This has been a great O-line job forever and a great university. I was really fired up to be involved. It just worked out.\u201d

Funk explained that he knew from the outset that this wasn\u2019t going to be a place where he had to blow things up to get the offensive line headed in the right direction.

\u201cWith the success they had last year, they weren\u2019t looking for someone to start over,\u201d Funk said. \u201cEverything they do X\u2019s and 0\u2019s-wise I\u2019ve done at some point in my career. I put the kids at ease on maybe the second day when I told them that we weren\u2019t going to change the terminology. I said it is easier for me to learn what they call it. There was a collective sigh of relief. They\u2019re going to have to get used to my different style of coaching. I\u2019ve done it for 34 years, so there are some things that I believe in or push a little more. But these kids understand that there are big challenges ahead.\u201d

Funk understands that he has big shoes to fill as he takes a role that was shared with former BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes and former offensive line coach Eric Mateos, both of whom are now at Baylor.

\u201cI\u2019ve known Grimes for a long time and although I\u2019ve never coached with him, I\u2019ve always had a deep respect watching him coach,\u201d Funk said. \u201cI think a lot of the traits and skill-sets of the linemen here have been really well taught. I\u2019ve taken over for a lot of coaches and anytime I\u2019ve followed someone, there are things the guys do that you like. I\u2019m not going to change that. Then there are things that aren\u2019t what I teach. Any coach who takes over in any sport probably would say the exact same thing.\u201d

Empey and the other Cougar linemen are excited to see what Funk can bring to elevate the line\u2019s performance in 2021.

\u201cHe has good knowledge to share,\u201d Empey said. \u201cI think he\u2019s doing a great job helping us keep the momentum while also helping us to grow a little more. There are lots of things we can improve on. As we continue to work, I think it will get even better and better.\u201d

BYU\u2019s Payton Wilgar named to Bronko Nagurski Watch List, Empey named to Outland Trophy Watch List

The Football Writers Association of America released its 2021 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List on Tuesday, including BYU linebacker Payton Wilgar among the nominees for the nation\u2019s top defensive player in 2021.

The FWAA selected 90 defensive standouts from 61 schools in all 10 Division I FBS conferences plus independents on a roster that includes seven returning players from last season\u2019s FWAA All-America team.

Wilgar, a 6-3, 245-pound Covid-year sophomore in 2021, is a key, versatile defender against the run and pass for BYU. In 2020, he helped the Cougars finish ranked No. 11 in the nation with an 11-1 record, making 57 tackles with five tackles for loss while adding a team-best five QB hurries with four pass breakups and forced a fumble. Named to the 2020 Phil Steele All-Independent Second Team, Wilgar\u2019s efforts helped the BYU defense rank No. 4 in scoring defense (15.3), No. 10 in total defense (317.4), No. 19 in rushing defense (119.9) and No. 22 in passing defense (197.5) in 2020.

The Football Writers Association of America today announced the preseason watch list for the 2021 Outland Trophy, recognizing BYU center James Empey among the candidates for the nation\u2019s top interior lineman.

Continuing a celebration of the award\u2019s 75th anniversary in 2021, the FWAA has recognized 80 returning standout interior linemen on offense or defense representing all 10 Division I FBS conferences and independents. This year\u2019s watch list includes 26 offensive tackles, 26 guards, 16 centers and 13 defensive tackles.

A repeat Outland Trophy Watch List honoree, Empey has been recognized as a candidate for the nation\u2019s top interior lineman each of the past two seasons. The 6-foot-4, 303-pound native of American Fork, Utah, has started in all 34 games he has played as BYU\u2019s leader on the offensive line.

RB Tyler Allgeier signs endorsement contract with Balmshot

Balmshot is excited to announce that today it finalized a name, image, and likeness (\u201cNIL\u201d) endorsement agreement with Brigham Young University (\u201cBYU\u201d) football player Tyler Allgeier. This agreement adds to the recently announced agreements with Tyler Batty and Austin Riggs.

Balmshot is a family-owned company that sells specially formulated, proprietary lip balms canistered in patented, authentic 20-gauge shotgun shells. This unique product provides users with a cool look and greatly enhanced functionality. Instead of being loaded with buckshot, these shotgun shells are loaded with lip balm made from all-natural ingredients, beeswax, and SPF 15. Just as unique as the product is the company\u2019s mission to employ adults with special needs, Balmshot is also motivated by a commitment to help fight cancer. The product creator, Wayne Forrey, suffered from lip cancer, which led to the creation of Balmshot. His wife, Karen Forrey, had a distinguished career as a nurse working with cancer patients. Together they committed to donate 10% of the proceeds of every pink Balmshot lip balm purchased to cancer-related causes. Over $30,000 has been donated by Balmshot as a result of this commitment.

\u201cBalmshot is excited to continue breaking ground in the support of college athletes at BYU\u201d said Daniel Walker, one of the Balmshot owners. He continued, \u201cAs I got to know Tyler and his personal story, it became clear that he would be an excellent brand ambassador and be well positioned to make an impact in the fight against cancer.\u201d Mr. Walker added, \u201cThe support for Tyler Allgeier through BYU, particularly the coaching staff, and the Built4Life program, has continued to be fantastic. We are very pleased with the continual support BYU is giving these athletes in response to the NIL changes.\u201d

Tyler Allgeier, from Fontana, California, said \u201cThis past year my grandfather died from cancer. After he passed, I promised myself that I would find some way to help others who have struggled with cancer. I never would have imagined that a NIL arrangement could help me accomplish that. When the NCAA made these changes, I was excited about the financial opportunities. Balmshot has helped me combine an attractive financial arrangement with a platform to help others affected by cancer. I am so excited to be part of a company that has such a great product and mission.\u201d

More information about Balmshot can be found at http://balmshot.com.

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Here\u2019s what\u2019s going on inside Darnell\u2019s head as the smoke clears from another fireworks-filled July 24.

Wait, there\u2019s still smoke from fires in the region? Feels like I\u2019m living on Mustafar (Star Wars reference).

Summer time moves

Texas and Oklahoma threw college football into a realignment frenzy with the news this week both programs were looking to move from the Big 12 to the SEC. Now we\u2019re hearing reports that independence for the Longhorns and Sooners could be a possibility.

The conference system will change dramatically, it seems.

Or it might stay status quo. Who really knows?

College football is already in a precarious spot. The NCAA has lost all semblance of a governing body and the number of playoff teams is increasing. Name, image and likeness isn\u2019t regulated and likely to create more inequity. Many college football programs didn\u2019t get through the pandemic in great financial shape.

Now you have Texas and Oklahoma breaking away because they are only concerned about themselves. The impact goes much further than the Big 12. Ultimately, it will lead to fewer college football programs and fewer opportunities for athletes. The overall product will suffer.

My biggest concern is that the college football system that I grew up with and love is being replace by a model that will more closely resemble the NFL. Only the biggest and richest programs will survive and the only thing that matters is money.

We already have an NFL. What made college football special is eroding away.

What should BYU do?

With such a seismic change in conference alignment almost sure to happen, the Cougars will have options. No one really knows how things will turn out but I feel like BYU is in a good place. If a jump to a conference isn\u2019t attractive enough, Tom Holmoe can just stick with independence. That route has it\u2019s flaws but at least BYU is familiar. The partnership with ESPN should help. All I know is that the Cougars have a terrific athletic program that would be a big addition to whatever conference comes calling ... if the price is right.

Load \u2018em up

BYU is proving you can never have too many quarterbacks by signing two this week \u2014 Utah transfer Nick Billoups and Boise State transfer Cade Fennegan \u2014 to add to the four they already have in Jaren Hall, Baylor Romney, Jacob Conover and Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters.

It\u2019s a good move. You never know how many you will need, right? A key part of a coach\u2019s job is to make each position as competitive as possible. Plus you\u2019ve got to set yourself up for the future. The next Zach Wilson might be among this group.

We\u2019re only a few weeks away from fall camp when the quarterback battle and those at other positions will take place. Not sure how much practice we\u2019ll be able to watch (probably very little) but we\u2019re looking forward to bringing some perspective to this year\u2019s team.

Roster ready

The addition of LSU transfer Seneca Knight likely completes the BYU men\u2019s basketball roster for the 2021-22 season.

There is more talent in the program than ever and Mark Pope will have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to matchups. The Cougars are a little inexperienced in the post and Pope must find a way to build the best locker room in America with eight new players.

But I like the potential. Sight unseen, I\u2019m going to say the starters for Game 1 will be Alex Barcello, Te\u2019Jon Lucas, Seneca Knight, Caleb Lohner and Gavin Baxter.

Too many Olympic options

We\u2019ve waited a long time for the Summer Olympics and they are finally here. The biggest program I\u2019m having is figuring out how to watch them. There are so many options (TV channels and streaming) and the time difference (it\u2019s tomorrow in Japan) creates some confusion. I suppose I should just watch the prime time NBC broadcast.

Anyway ... \u201cU-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!\u201d

The learned

On social media this week, Jackson McChesney\u2019s dad congratulating his son on being accepted into the finance program at BYU.

While at a lunch meeting with my compatriot at the Herald, Jared Lloyd, we bumped into former Cougar offensive lineman Parker Dawe, who is having a very successful career in the financial arena.

Good to know those free educations aren\u2019t going to waste, right?

Staying at home

ESPN\u2019s Bill Connelly posted a list of the fewest and most players lost to the transfer portal in college football over the last year. BYU has lost only three. By comparison, Tennessee has lost 37.

Maybe Kalani Sitake is doing something right in Provo.

That\u2019s all there is for now, but for this: I purchased four bags of ice the other day, putting two on the floor and two on the passenger seat. When I pulled out onto State Street my seat belt alarm started going off. Apparently, 20 pounds is all it takes to trick my car into thinking there is someone sitting in the passenger seat without belting up.

Technology makes me laugh.

Have a great week, be good to others and dream of BYU against Arizona in Las Vegas. It\u2019s growing near.

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The BYU men\u2019s basketball program has a lot to offer prospective transfers: A winning tradition, a limited amount of distractions, a spacious practice facility, the chance to utilize a talented coaching staff to elevate their game and a recent record of successful transfers, to name a few.

Seneca Knight was enticed by all of that, but the clincher was, of all things, Deer Creek Reservoir.

Knight is a 6-foot-7 guard who has had stops at San Jose State and LSU. He entered the transfer portal earlier this month and BYU put on the full court press during his campus visit, including a 20-minute trip up Provo Canyon to Deer Creek.

Knight detailed his whole visit while a guest on Ben Criddle\u2019s ESPN 960 radio show on Monday.

\u201cI saw the water and all of the activities you can do there, and that got me,\u201d Knight said. \u201cThat closed it. I promise you, that did it. We drove around and took pictures. I saw people in the water and how much fun they were having. It was the perfect vibe.

\u201cCoach Nick (Robinson) told me you can rent jet skis. You can go canoeing or water rafting. Those were all the things I\u2019ve always wanted to try. I\u2019m open to new experiences.\u201d

It will be a new experience for Knight to live and play in Provo since he announced his commitment on Monday. After growing up in Lafayette, Louisiana and playing basketball in San Jose and Baton Rouge, the city boy said he\u2019s ready for some country life.

\u201cIt\u2019s a new atmosphere,\u201d Knight said. \u201cIt\u2019s more than just a city atmosphere.\u201d

Knight\u2019s parents accompanied him to Provo on the recruiting trip, which included a lot of food as well as a tour of campus and the surrounding area.

Knight said the visit began after breakfast at the Broadcast Building last Friday and included a golf cart tour of campus. At the BYU Bookstore, Knight said a Cougar basketball fan made an introduction and welcomed him to Provo.

\u201cTo be able to get that on my visit was nice,\u201d Knight said.

The group then took Knight to the Marriott Center Annex to watch the team practice and play pickup. Knight said he got to sit down and talk to the whole team.

What followed was a hike to Y Mountain, where Knight could take in a view of the entire valley.

\u201cI got to overlook the whole city,\u201d Knight said. \u201cI fell in love with that.\u201d

After dinner with the coaching staff and Alex Barcello, Te\u2019Jon Lucas and Caleb Lohner, the group went bowling. That activity was cut short when someone in a nearby lane threw a ball that hit the ceiling and set off the sprinklers.

Knight ended up at Lucas\u2019 apartment playing video games and talking with his prospective teammates.

The next day was breakfast with Pope, his wife, the coaching staff and Knight\u2019s parents.

\u201cIt was a genuine conversation with Coach Pope,\u201d Knight said. \u201cI was asking him about if I come here, what would it be like. After that conversation it (his decision) was a no-brainer.\u201d

Lucas has been in Provo for three weeks after committing to the Cougars out of the transfer portal and offered his advice.

\u201cCaleb and Alex, they\u2019ve been here longer,\u201d Knight said. \u201cAlex was a transfer and I asked him about everything Coach Pope did to develop his game and how well he progressed coming from Arizona. Coach Pope basically changed Alex\u2019s whole career around. It\u2019s kind of astonishing.\u201d

Knight has only been playing organized basketball for about six years. Pope\u2019s main discussion was about how he could transform Knight\u2019s game.

\u201cThe primary pitch was development,\u201d Knight said. \u201cThat was the main reason I was in the portal. Once Coach Pope gave me that pitch, I knew it was what I was looking for. I just said, \u2018Let\u2019s do it.\u2019\u201d

Knight averaged 17 points per game during his sophomore season at San Jose State and earned third team All-MWC honors. He played in only four games during the following season as the Spartans were forced to relocate to Arizona due to the pandemic. Knight entered the transfer portal and committed to LSU in January but eventually realized the Tigers weren\u2019t the right fit.

\u201cThe LSU commitment was rushed,\u201d Knight admitted. \u201cWe didn\u2019t get to do a lot of research on it. I made the decision to be closer to home because of COVID concerns. If something happened I would be right near my home. Once things settled in a little bit, LSU just wasn\u2019t the place I wanted to be. I have my goals and it just didn\u2019t feel like the right situation.\u201d

Knight said he plans to arrive in Provo in the next couple of weeks to join his new teammates.

\u201cIt feels great,\u201d he said. \u201cThe fans have been supporting me a lot and showing me a lot of love throughout this whole thing. It makes me excited to be able to get out there and to work ten times as hard so I can give them a show whenever I step out on the court.

\u201cThe offense BYU runs, I feel like I can help facilitate and create my own shots as well. On defense, I\u2019ll be using my length and athleticism to my benefit. The whole roster is great and they can all shoot it. I want to get downhill and kick it out to guys where I trust that person to hit the shot. I love how excited they are to play and get better. That\u2019s probably the thing I\u2019m most eager about because I want to be around guys that work.\u201d

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BYU women\u2019s volleyball has embraced the transfer portal entering the fall 2021 season and brought in three new players: University of Utah All-American right side Kenzie Koerber and liberos Aria McComber (Washington State) and Gretchen Reinert (Santa Clara).

Clearly, BYU coach Heather Olmstead is focusing on passing and serve-receive \u2014 and for good reason.

The Cougars struggled in their pass game in a 3-0 Sweet 16 loss to No. 1 seed Wisconsin during the NCAA Tournament this spring and bringing in two experienced liberos as well as a six-rotation star like Koerber addresses those issues.

Integrating those three players into a roster with a veteran returning group as well as the No. 5 recruiting class in the country is foremost in the Cougars offseason preparation.

\u201cOur approach will be the same,\u201d Olmstead said. \u201cThere\u2019s not much time to learn our system. We\u2019ll do the best we can to get everybody up to speed and get playing. We have three weeks (from the start of fall camp on August 9) until our first match. These transfers, they happened in a combination of ways. Some of it was kind of random but we had connections to all the kids that helped us.

\u201cThere are more kids available since the NCAA has given everyone an extra year because of the pandemic. It\u2019s a unique situation and we\u2019re going to take advantage of it if it\u2019s the right thing for us.\u201d

A welcome change

The addition of Koerber \u2014 as well as the return from a church mission by middle blocker Heather Gneiting \u2014 means BYU could field a starting lineup of five All-Americans in Koerber, Gneiting, setter Whitney Bower, middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg and outside hitter Talyn Ballard-Nixon.

The 6-foot-3 Koerber is so competitive that she has kept track of her record during team scrimmages this summer. So far, she\u2019s 11-0.

\u201cI just refuse to lose,\u201d she said. \u201cI think I can help take charge in that aspect of the game and bring intensity any time we\u2019re on the court.\u201d

Koerber was a second team All-American at Utah this spring, her third All-American citation. She totaled 163 kills last season \u2014 second only to first-team All-American Dani Drews \u2014 while leading Utah in aces (26) and finishing third in blocks (44). The Utes made four NCAA appearances and two trips to the Sweet 16 during Koerber\u2019s four years on the Hill.

Koerber was baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 2019 and said she was looking for more than just impressive statistics and on-court success.

\u201cUtah was a great experience but I feel like there were things in my life I didn\u2019t achieve,\u201d she said. \u201cI felt like I needed to be somewhere I could progress more as a person and BYU is a perfect place to do that. I felt like I wanted to be pushed in different ways.\u201d

Koerber played for Olmstead \u2014 and with Gneiting \u2014 during the summer of 2019 on the U.S. Collegiate National Team in Japan.

\u201cCoach Olmstead was really personable and I felt like she really cared about me as a player and a person,\u201d Koerber said. \u201cWe are very similar in that we both have a strong desire to win and we\u2019re both very competitive. I want to do big things in my last year of volleyball and we have the power to do that.\u201d

Koerber was familiar with most of BYU\u2019s current players but it took some time to adjust to new terminology and having married teammates. She came to Provo in early June and is hard at work as the Cougars host numerous volleyball camps.

\u201cIt almost feels like I\u2019m a freshman again,\u201d she said. \u201cI have a clean slate and this summer has been awesome. It\u2019s the breath of fresh air I really needed.\u201d

Koerber feels her leadership and skills can help the Cougars make a big run in the NCAA Tournament this fall.

\u201cI truly believe we can win it all,\u201d she said. \u201cThere\u2019s a lot of talk about having five All-Americans and getting back to the Final Four and none of that scares me. I thrive off that. If we can fit into all our roles and click together we can be unstoppable.\u201d

A serious student

McComber earned her bachelors degree in Business Administration with a minor in Chinese from Washington State this spring. She\u2019ll be pursuing her masters in environmental science at BYU with plans to focus on corporate sustainability.

\u201cI want to help the world become more green,\u201d she said. \u201cThe best step for that is to work with corporations and their supply chains and teach them how to be more earth friendly.\u201d

While in Pullman, McComber was a two-time Pac 12 Academic Honor Roll awardee and was named to the WSU Presidential Academic Honor Roll nine consecutive times.

Back in 2018, McComber told her coaches at Washington State that she was planning on graduating in three years and would be looking for a graduate school.

She made good on that goal.

\u201cI took 18 credits every semester and went to school every summer,\u201d McComber said. \u201cHeather told me it was going to be a hard load as a grad student and playing volleyball at BYU, but I\u2019ve always wanted to learn as much as I can while playing volleyball as much as I can.\u201d

McComber, who is from Hawaii, was recruited by BYU while in high school and developed a relationship with assistant coach David Hyte. She ultimately chose Washington State.

\u201cUp front, it was important for me to find a way to finance my additional schooling,\u201d McComber said. \u201cThat\u2019s when the doors opened for me at BYU. The girls here have been super nice and reached out to me before I got here. They\u2019ve helped make my transition way smoother.\u201d

McComber appeared in all 16 matches and all 62 sets for Washington State during the spring season, starting at libero. She was second on the team in digs with 158 and totaled 59 assists.

\u201cI\u2019m hoping to add more depth to the passing and the defense,\u201d McComber said. \u201cThat way we give our hitters more options and the freedom to do what they need to do. This team is going to be a top four contender this season. I\u2019m coming from a program that went to the NCAA\u2019s every year I was there and every weekend in the Pac 12 was a battle. I know BYU is top notch when it comes to that.\u201d

McComber has a pretty strong tie to BYU as well. Men\u2019s volleyball players Wil and Jon Stanley, also native Hawaiians, are related by marriage. McComber calls them her \u201cextended brothers.\u201d

\u201cWe talked on the phone and they told me how much they love it here and how big volleyball is,\u201d she said. \u201cThey\u2019re a big reason why I came here.\u201d

Coming home again

Reinert was a two-year starter at libero for Santa Clara, totaling 709 digs, 173 assists and 42 aces during her career. She graduated with a bachelor\u2019s degree in communications and a minor in retail studies this spring.

\u201cI\u2019m not going to lie, I was freaking out a little bit,\u201d she said. \u201cIt wasn\u2019t going to work out financially for me to stay at Santa Clara. I really want to coach after I\u2019m done playing volleyball and be a graduate assistant somewhere. My Santa Clara coach (Erin Lindsey) told me if there was any ounce of me that still wanted to play, I should enter the transfer portal. BYU contacted me within 24 hours. I was like, \u2018The BYU we play in the WCC?\u2019 I couldn\u2019t believe it so I took a screen shot of the e-mail they sent me and talked to Jonny (assistant coach Jonny Neeley) that day.\u201d

Now she\u2019s going to wear Cougar blue, preparing for the season and a masters degree in public administration. Reinert said playing the Cougars twice a year during WCC play has helped her acclimate to life in Provo.

\u201cIt\u2019s definitely different,\u201d she said. \u201cAt Santa Clara there\u2019s no honor code but it\u2019s a Jesuit school. We lived in Provo for 11 years and I was born here so I was prepared for it and it wasn\u2019t too much of a culture shock.\u201d

Reinert\u2019s ties to the state of Utah run deep. She was raised in Provo while her father, Jeff Reinert, was coaching at BYU as an assistant (1991-94) and then as head coach at Utah Valley (1994-2002). He is currently the head coach at junior college powerhouse Southern Idaho.

Twin Falls is about a four-hour drive to Provo and would provide opportunities for Jeff Reinert and his wife, Trish, to see their daughter in action at the Smith Fieldhouse.

\u201cI\u2019m so excited for BYU fans to be cheering for me in such a great atmosphere,\u201d Gretchen Reinert said. \u201cWhen I played at Santa Clara, even though they weren\u2019t cheering for us, it was still the best place to play volleyball in the conference.\u201d

"}, {"id":"11097c97-cd66-5a17-b33c-85f2747f08d6","type":"article","starttime":"1626803280","starttime_iso8601":"2021-07-20T11:48:00-06:00","priority":50,"sections":[{"other":"sports/college/byu/other"}],"flags":{"editors_pick":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"BYU's Diljeet Taylor named women's cross country head coach","url":"http://www.heraldextra.com/sports/college/byu/other/article_11097c97-cd66-5a17-b33c-85f2747f08d6.html","permalink":"https://www.heraldextra.com/sports/college/byu/other/byus-diljeet-taylor-named-womens-cross-country-head-coach/article_11097c97-cd66-5a17-b33c-85f2747f08d6.html","canonical":"https://www.heraldextra.com/sports/college/byu/other/byus-diljeet-taylor-named-womens-cross-country-head-coach/article_11097c97-cd66-5a17-b33c-85f2747f08d6.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":3,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Daily Herald","prologue":"BYU director of athletics Tom Holmoe announced Tuesday the naming of Diljeet Taylor as BYU women\u2019s cross country head coach. Taylor was previously cross country associate head coach and will continue to serve as associate head coach for BYU men\u2019s and women\u2019s track and field. \u201cWe are thrilled to name Diljeet as head coach, and we are incredibly thankful and amazed at everything she has done for BYU track and cross country,\u201d Holmoe said. \u201cWhat she has accomplished, including securing a national championship in cross country this past season, is something to make all of Cougar Nation proud. But even more important than what she\u2019s done, is who she is. She is an incredible human being, with an incredible amount of character, who has guided BYU student-athletes in important and meaningful ways. 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BYU director of athletics Tom Holmoe announced Tuesday the naming of Diljeet Taylor as BYU women\u2019s cross country head coach.

Taylor was previously cross country associate head coach and will continue to serve as associate head coach for BYU men\u2019s and women\u2019s track and field.

\u201cWe are thrilled to name Diljeet as head coach, and we are incredibly thankful and amazed at everything she has done for BYU track and cross country,\u201d Holmoe said. \u201cWhat she has accomplished, including securing a national championship in cross country this past season, is something to make all of Cougar Nation proud. But even more important than what she\u2019s done, is who she is. She is an incredible human being, with an incredible amount of character, who has guided BYU student-athletes in important and meaningful ways. We are so fortunate to have Diljeet here at BYU.\u201d

In five seasons since joining the BYU track and field and cross country coaching staff, Taylor has helped the Cougar women earn 10 All-America honors in cross country and 54 All-America honors in distance and middle distance track events.

\u201cI continue to be grateful for the administration here at BYU who have shown me an incredible amount of value over the past five years,\u201d Taylor said. \u201cThe support I have received has empowered me to give my best to our program. I look forward to continuing to build the women in our program so they can compete at the highest level in the NCAA. Our success here is a direct result of having the right women at the right place.\u201d

Taylor was instrumental in the BYU women\u2019s track and field and cross country program being named the 2020-21 USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Women\u2019s Program of the Year. She guided the women\u2019s cross country team to win the 2020 NCAA Cross Country Championship while her distance athletes scored every team point in a pair of top-10 finishes at this year\u2019s two track and field championship meets.

This year\u2019s women\u2019s cross country national title marked the first team championship in the sport since 2002. Four Cougars received All-America honors in the championship performance, the most All-Americans on one BYU team since 2003. Following the season, the USTFCCCA named Taylor the 2020 National Women\u2019s Cross Country Coach of the Year.

Taylor has guided the women\u2019s cross country team to five consecutive top-12 finishes at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, including four top-10 finishes. In 2019, women\u2019s cross country finished as the national runner-up at the NCAA Championships. The Cougars finished seventh in 2018, 11th in 2017 and 10th in 2016.

Under Taylor, the Cougars have claimed the last three West Coast Conference cross country titles (2018-20). She coached Erica Birk-Jarvis and Whittni Orton to WCC individual titles and her student-athletes have collected 33 All-WCC accolades and four WCC Freshman of the Year honors. Taylor has been named the WCC Women\u2019s Coach of the Year following each conference title the last three seasons.

On the track, Taylor\u2019s women\u2019s distance athletes have tallied 88 of the 94 team points scored at the last eight indoor and outdoor NCAA track and field championship meets. Her distance athletes have led BYU to three top-20 finishes at the indoor track and field championships and two top-25 finishes at the outdoor track and field championships.

At the 2021 NCAA Indoor Championships, Taylor coached the women\u2019s distance medley relay team to an NCAA title and Courtney Wayment to an NCAA title in the 3000 meters, marking the first time a BYU athlete/squad had won either event. Her distance athletes scored all 29 points at the championship meet to lead the BYU women\u2019s team to a seventh-place finish, the best finish since 2009.

Taylor added another national champion at the 2021 NCAA outdoor championships, coaching Anna Camp-Bennett to an NCAA title in the 1500 meters. The women\u2019s team finished 10th in the final standings, the program\u2019s first top-10 finish since 2005, with Taylor\u2019s distance athletes tallying all 20 of the team\u2019s points. Just prior to the outdoor championship meet, Taylor became the first BYU coach to be named the USTFCCCA Mountain Region Women\u2019s Assistant Coach of the Year.

Since Taylor\u2019s arrival to Provo, the women\u2019s distance squad has been rewriting the distance and middle distance top 10 lists in the BYU track and field record book. Her athletes currently hold five program records in indoor events and four program records in outdoor events. In total, Taylor\u2019s athletes hold 48 spots on program\u2019s top 10 lists, including the entire top 10 list for the women\u2019s mile.

Taylor had a combination of seven current and former athletes qualify for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, including Abraham Alvarado, Camp-Bennett, Lauren Ellsworth-Barnes, Orton, Claire Seymour and Wayment.

Prior to BYU, Taylor coached at Cal State Stanislaus from 2007 to 2016. She was originally hired as the head coach of the men\u2019s and women\u2019s cross country programs and also served as the distance coach for men\u2019s and women\u2019s track. In June of 2013, she was named director of track and field and cross country, overseeing the men\u2019s and women\u2019s programs.

During her time at Cal State Stanislaus, Taylor guided All-American Courtney Anderson to an NCAA Division II championship in the 1,500 meters in 2014. From 2013 to 2016, the distance and cross country programs accumulated 16 All-America honors, including consecutive runner-up finishes at the indoor championships by the distance medley relay team.

From 2004 to 2006, Taylor trained with Nike\u2019s Farm Elite Team, an Olympic development program that makes its home at Stanford University. She also served as an assistant coach to Keith Spataro at Menlo College before taking over as head coach in 2005.

Taylor attended Cal State Stanislaus as a student-athlete from 1999 to 2002. She was a three-time All-American in indoor and outdoor track and field as a specialist in the 800 meters and 1,500 meters. She set the school indoor record in the 800 meters in 2002. That same year she finished second at the NCAA Division II National Championship meet and finished her career second on the outdoor track all-time list in both the 800- and 1,500-meter events.

In 2002, Taylor was named Cal State Stanislaus Female Athlete of the Year and Scholar Athlete of the Year. She was also the most dominant runner for the Warriors during that time, earning Most Valuable Runner from 2000 to 2002. Taylor served as a team captain for the Warriors for two years.

Taylor graduated cum laude from Cal State Stanislaus in 2002 with a bachelor\u2019s degree in liberal studies. She is married to former Cal State Stanislaus basketball player Ira Taylor and they have two children.

Taylor was born and raised in Ceres, Calif. She is of Indian decent and grew up in the Sikh religion. Taylor is not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which sponsors BYU. While in the past head coaches throughout BYU Athletics have often been members of the church, it has been a practice but not a policy.

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Early in 2021, ESPN\u2019s Bill Connelly published his annual college football rankings in terms of returning production.

According to Connelly\u2019s formula (which weighs offensive line snaps, quarterback passing yards and receiving yards heavily), BYU will only have 47% of its offensive production returning. That put the Cougars at 117th out of 127 FBS schools.

With five high-profile players off to the NFL \u2014 quarterback Zach Wilson, wide receiver Dax Milne and offensive linemen Brady Christensen, Tristen Hoge and Chandon Herring \u2014 as well as the loss of offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes and offensive line coach Eric Mateos to Baylor, it\u2019s not surprising that many outside analysts expect BYU to take a step back from its high-flying success of 2020.

It\u2019s up to new Cougar offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick to make sure that doesn\u2019t happen.

BYU\u2019s offensive improved dramatically in 2020 as the Cougars found ways to be more aggressive on the attack.

\u201cWe set out the year before to be more explosive and I think that was what we were most proud of,\u201d Roderick said at BYU football Media Day in June. \u201cWe wanted to throw the ball down the field and we accomplished that.\u201d

A big part of that was the ability of Wilson but Roderick emphasized that the athlete who was the No. 2 pick of the New York Jets also set a high standard when it came to getting ready for a game.

\u201cOur entire staff had to come prepared because we didn\u2019t want to show up and have him (Wilson) know more about the opponent than we did or poke holes in the game plan we had come up with \u2014 which he sometimes did,\u201d Roderick said.

That has become the standard for players at BYU, according to Roderick.

\u201cWhen you get four quarterbacks in the room who are all trying to outdo each other with how prepared they are for a meeting, then the learning goes through the roof compared to me just standing up and lecturing,\u201d Roderick said. \u201cThat\u2019s the old days. That\u2019s over.\u201d

Roderick said that as a coaching staff appreciates having the players be active participants in developing the game plan and shoring up weaknesses.

\u201cIt might be something as simple as the backfield action on a play-action pass,\u201d Roderick said. \u201cThe way we drew it up and pictured it watching film looked really good, but then the quarterback says, \u2018The fake we are asking him to do is kind of awkward. What if fake this other way or reverse out?\u2019 I\u2019m always willing to learn and listen to my players. It would be stupid of me not to.\u201d

Roderick expects the current group of quarterbacks to continue to push themselves, each other and the coaches as they get ready for the 2021 season.

\u201cThese guys are really bright,\u201d Roderick said. \u201cAll these guys send me plays. You can run every play in the world or you won\u2019t be good at anything but they all have stuff that the see and then we talk about it as a group.\u201d

Roderick has coached football for more than two decades and said he sees the game changing in some ways and staying the same in others.

\u201cThe game is always evolving but some of the principles of the game never change,\u201d Roderick said. \u201cA lot of the plays we are running right now that we are good at are plays BYU ran in the 1980s. They are working. It\u2019s always a ball game. What think is really evolving is how coaches teach and how you get things accomplished.\u201d

The bottom line is that Roderick\u2019s expectations for the Cougar offense this fall are simple and straightforward.

\u201cWe\u2019ve got to protect the ball and we\u2019ve got to get touchdowns,\u201d Roderick said. \u201cThose are things that we did well last year and we need to do them again.\u201d

Allgeier named to Maxwell Award watchlist

The Maxwell Football Club today announced its watch list for the 85th Maxwell Award presented annually to the outstanding player in college football, naming BYU running back Tyler Allgeier to its list of the nation\u2019s top players in 2021.

Sponsored by Mammoth Tech and The Athletes\u2019 Corner, which are Executive Partners of the Maxwell Football Club, the Maxwell Award has been presented to the College Player of the Year since 1937 and is named in honor of Robert \u201cTiny\u201d Maxwell who was a former standout at the Swarthmore College and a renowned sports writer and football official.

Allgeier is one of 80 players recognized on the annual Maxwell Award watch list, which incorporates a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs and conferences from coast to coast. The list features six returning semifinalists from 2020, including Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati), Grayson McCall (Coastal Carolina), Breece Hall (Iowa State), D\u2019Eriq King (Miami), Sam Howell (North Carolina), and Dillon Gabriel (UCF).

Allgeier, a sophomore in eligibility after last year\u2019s Covid season, burst onto the national scene in 2020 in his first year as a starter at running back for BYU, rushing for 1,130 yards to rank No. 8 in the nation and No. 1 among players with 150 attempts or less. One of 14 sophomores named to the watch list, Allgeier received 2020 Phil Steele All-America honorable mention after helping BYU go 11-1 and finish ranked No. 11 last season. The 5-11, 220-pound back ranked No. 3 nationally for the most runs of 30 or more yards while averaging 7.53 yards per carry, which was No. 7 in the country and tops among all sophomores.

"}, {"id":"d7980c84-39f0-587d-89ba-da85f30bf82c","type":"article","starttime":"1626724800","starttime_iso8601":"2021-07-19T14:00:00-06:00","priority":50,"sections":[{"govt-and-politics":"news/local/govt-and-politics"},{"olympics":"sports/olympics"}],"flags":{"editors_pick":"true","featured":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Utah\u2019s Burgess Owens threatens to dissolve Olympic committee over recent protests","url":"http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_d7980c84-39f0-587d-89ba-da85f30bf82c.html","permalink":"https://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/utah-s-burgess-owens-threatens-to-dissolve-olympic-committee-over-recent-protests/article_d7980c84-39f0-587d-89ba-da85f30bf82c.html","canonical":"https://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/utah-s-burgess-owens-threatens-to-dissolve-olympic-committee-over-recent-protests/article_d7980c84-39f0-587d-89ba-da85f30bf82c.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Connor Richards\nDaily Herald","prologue":"U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, joined a handful of Republican lawmakers last week in threatening to dissolve and replace the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and its board of directors over recent \u201canti-American\u201d protests by some Olympic athletes. In a letter to the USOPC, Owens and other GOP lawmakers, including Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks, R-Indiana, Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-North Carolina, and Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Arizona, voiced \u201cserious concerns about radical, anti-American statements,\u201d which they argued would represent the country poorly on the world stage.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["u.s. olympics","olympics","burgess owens","republican","gop","congress","utah","4th district","owens","athlete","republicans","politics","sport","institutes","lawmaker","usopc board of directors","u.s."],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"c6b9f682-4e2d-5ef1-a8eb-bf9a0cda02cd","description":"Burgess Owens, the Republican candidate for Utah\u2019s 4th Congressional District seat, speaks during a campaign event held at Colonial Flag in Sandy on Thursday, July 23, 2020.","byline":"Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":2054,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/6b/c6b9f682-4e2d-5ef1-a8eb-bf9a0cda02cd/5f1a33c7965d8.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1740","height":"1191","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/6b/c6b9f682-4e2d-5ef1-a8eb-bf9a0cda02cd/5f1a33c77e16c.image.jpg?resize=1740%2C1191"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"68","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/6b/c6b9f682-4e2d-5ef1-a8eb-bf9a0cda02cd/5f1a33c77e16c.image.jpg?resize=100%2C68"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"205","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/6b/c6b9f682-4e2d-5ef1-a8eb-bf9a0cda02cd/5f1a33c77e16c.image.jpg?resize=300%2C205"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"701","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/6b/c6b9f682-4e2d-5ef1-a8eb-bf9a0cda02cd/5f1a33c77e16c.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C701"}}},{"id":"edf41925-c4a8-5961-9614-5b4e7619d9ab","description":"Burgess Owens, the Republican candidate for Utah\u2019s 4th Congressional District seat, listens as Donald Trump Jr. speaks during a campaign event held at Colonial Flag in Sandy on Thursday, July 23, 2020.","byline":"Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":2004,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/df/edf41925-c4a8-5961-9614-5b4e7619d9ab/5f1a33c762dfe.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1761","height":"1176","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/df/edf41925-c4a8-5961-9614-5b4e7619d9ab/5f1a33c74c3f8.image.jpg?resize=1761%2C1176"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/df/edf41925-c4a8-5961-9614-5b4e7619d9ab/5f1a33c74c3f8.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/df/edf41925-c4a8-5961-9614-5b4e7619d9ab/5f1a33c74c3f8.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"684","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/df/edf41925-c4a8-5961-9614-5b4e7619d9ab/5f1a33c74c3f8.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C684"}}}],"revision":9,"commentID":"d7980c84-39f0-587d-89ba-da85f30bf82c","body":"

U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, joined a handful of Republican lawmakers last week in threatening to dissolve and replace the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and its board of directors over recent \u201canti-American\u201d protests by some Olympic athletes.

In a letter to the USOPC, Owens and other GOP lawmakers, including Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks, R-Indiana, Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-North Carolina, and Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Arizona, voiced \u201cserious concerns about radical, anti-American statements,\u201d which they argued would represent the country poorly on the world stage.

The letter, which was first reported on by the New York Post, cited two Olympic athletes who have used their platform to criticize the U.S., including freestyle BMX biker Chelsea Wolfe, who reportedly said on Facebook in March 2020 that she hoped to win the competition so she could \u201cburn a U.S. flag on the podium.\u201d

The group of GOP lawmakers also referenced Gwen Berry, who last month turned away from the American flag and held up a T-shirt with the words \u201cActivist Athlete\u201d written on it after receiving the bronze medal in the hammer throw at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials.

Additionally, the lawmakers cited an International Olympic Committee rule stating that \u201cno kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas\u201d and urged the committee to enforce the rule.

\u201cThe Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act, enacted in October 2020, gives Congress the power, through a joint resolution, to dissolve the USOPC Board of Directors, terminate recognition of the USOPC as a national governing body of the U.S. Olympic teams, and replace the dissolved committee with a governing body that can adequately represent America and its athletes on the world stage,\u201d they said.

The Congress members continued, \u201cIf the USOPC continues to fail to discipline athletes who dishonor the United States and our flag, as required by its own charter, we would support a Joint Resolution to dissolve the USOPC\u2019s Board of Governors and find a replacement governing body for the U.S. Olympic team.\u201d

\u201cAmericans deserve an Olympic Committee that is patriotic and that shares their values,\u201d the letter reads. \u201cIf the USOPC is unable or unwilling to defend America from slander, it should be replaced by a more capable committee.\u201d

Owens, a former NFL player, has criticized athletes who use their platforms to protest political issues like systemic racism and police violence.

On the 2020 campaign trail, Owens billed himself as \u201cthe anti-Colin Kaepernick\u201d candidate, stating that he \u201cemerged as a cultural counterweight to the hatred that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has spewed for the last few years.\u201d

\u201cSports used to be a place where fans could go and get away from reality,\u201d the 4th District representative tweeted in August 2020. \u201cSports fans don\u2019t want to turn on their TVs and see a bunch of rich people arguing about politics all the time.\u201d

Other Republicans who signed on to the letter to the USOPC include Reps. Vern Buchanan, R-Florida; Andrew Clyde, R-Georgia; Mike Garcia, R-California; Yvette Herrell, R-New Mexico; Ronny Jackson, R-Texas; Randy Weber, R-Texas; Greg Murphy, R-North Carolina; and Ralph Norman, R-South Carolina.

"}, {"id":"0cf10e6c-ac05-59d5-986d-6751101a4179","type":"article","starttime":"1626723000","starttime_iso8601":"2021-07-19T13:30:00-06:00","priority":50,"sections":[{"football":"sports/college/byu/football"}],"flags":{"editors_pick":"true","spotlight":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"BYU's Allgeier earns spot on Maxwell Trophy Watch List","url":"http://www.heraldextra.com/sports/college/byu/football/article_0cf10e6c-ac05-59d5-986d-6751101a4179.html","permalink":"https://www.heraldextra.com/sports/college/byu/football/byus-allgeier-earns-spot-on-maxwell-trophy-watch-list/article_0cf10e6c-ac05-59d5-986d-6751101a4179.html","canonical":"https://www.heraldextra.com/sports/college/byu/football/byus-allgeier-earns-spot-on-maxwell-trophy-watch-list/article_0cf10e6c-ac05-59d5-986d-6751101a4179.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Daily Herald","prologue":"PHILADELPHIA \u2014 The Maxwell Football Club today announced its watch list for the 85th Maxwell Award presented annually to the outstanding player in college football, naming BYU running back Tyler Allgeier to its list of the nation's top players in 2021. Sponsored by Mammoth Tech and The Athletes\u2019 Corner, which are Executive Partners of the Maxwell Football Club, the Maxwell Award has been presented to the College Player of the Year since 1937 and is named in honor of Robert \u201cTiny\u201d Maxwell who was a former standout at the Swarthmore College and a renowned sports writer and football official.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{"label":"BYU Football"},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"a2feb3d2-24d0-5c72-a3f8-c771b1362946","description":"BYU running back Tyler Allgeier runs the ball downfield during the 27-20 Cougar win over UTSA at Lavell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020.","byline":"BYU Photo","hireswidth":3267,"hiresheight":2291,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/2f/a2feb3d2-24d0-5c72-a3f8-c771b1362946/5f8356ee16c13.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1719","height":"1205","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/2f/a2feb3d2-24d0-5c72-a3f8-c771b1362946/5f8356edf3f4e.image.jpg?resize=1719%2C1205"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"70","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/2f/a2feb3d2-24d0-5c72-a3f8-c771b1362946/5f8356edf3f4e.image.jpg?resize=100%2C70"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"210","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/2f/a2feb3d2-24d0-5c72-a3f8-c771b1362946/5f8356edf3f4e.image.jpg?resize=300%2C210"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"718","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/2f/a2feb3d2-24d0-5c72-a3f8-c771b1362946/5f8356edf3f4e.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C718"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"0cf10e6c-ac05-59d5-986d-6751101a4179","body":"

PHILADELPHIA \u2014 The Maxwell Football Club today announced its watch list for the 85th Maxwell Award presented annually to the outstanding player in college football, naming BYU running back Tyler Allgeier to its list of the nation's top players in 2021.

Sponsored by Mammoth Tech and The Athletes\u2019 Corner, which are Executive Partners of the Maxwell Football Club, the Maxwell Award has been presented to the College Player of the Year since 1937 and is named in honor of Robert \u201cTiny\u201d Maxwell who was a former standout at the Swarthmore College and a renowned sports writer and football official.

Allgeier is one of 80 players recognized on the annual Maxwell Award watch list, which incorporates a broad spectrum of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs and conferences from coast to coast. The list features six returning semifinalists from 2020, including Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati), Grayson McCall (Coastal Carolina), Breece Hall (Iowa State), D\u2019Eriq King (Miami), Sam Howell (North Carolina), and Dillon Gabriel (UCF).

Allgeier, a sophomore in eligibility after last year's Covid season, burst onto the national scene in 2020 in his first year as a starter at running back for BYU, rushing for 1,130 yards to rank No. 8 in the nation and No. 1 among players with 150 attempts or less. One of 14 sophomores named to the watch list, Allgeier received 2020 Phil Steele All-America honorable mention after helping BYU go 11-1 and finish ranked No. 11 last season. The 5-11, 220-pound back ranked No. 3 nationally for the most runs of 30 or more yards while averaging 7.53 yards per carry, which was No. 7 in the country and tops among all sophomores.

A native of Fontana, California, Allgeier scored 13 touchdowns, including an 86-yard gallop at Boise State, to achieve the eighth-best single-season touchdown total in BYU history and rank No. 10 in the nation for rushing scores last year. He added 14 receptions for 174 yards as a receiver, averaging 12.4 yards per catch, while his 118.5 all-purpose yards per game was tops for BYU in 2020.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced November 1, 2021, while the three finalists for the Maxwell Award will be unveiled November 22, 2021. The winners of the 2021 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on December 9, 2021. The formal presentations of the Maxwell Award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Tropicana Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on March 11, 2022.

Last year, DeVonta Smith (Alabama) won the 2020 Maxwell Award among finalists Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) and Mac Jones (Alabama). All three moved on to NFL this year.

The Maxwell Football Club has once again partnered with Pro Football Focus (PFF), XOS ThunderCloud and Phil Steele Publications as selection committee partners. PFF provides detailed metrics and performance-based assessments to selection committee staff, and several senior PFF analysts are members of our selection committee. Phil Steele\u2019s College Football Preview is generally recognized as the most complete preseason magazine. XOS ThunderCloud provides the Maxwell Club selection committee with access to game footage from all FBS colleges.

The Maxwell Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org to learn more about the association.

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