Head Coach: Jeremy Hill (1st season)

2015 record: 4-6 overall, 1-5 Region 7 (T-5th)

Playoffs: None

Players to Watch: Puka Nacua, So. WR; D’Arman Auelua-Notoa, Sr. RB; Tousili Fiatoa, So. DE/OL; C.J. Alatini, So. DE/OL

Outlook: The best thing about freshmen and sophomores is that they eventually become sophomores and juniors.

Orem had one of the youngest teams in the state last season and the Tigers struggled to find consistency. New head coach Jeremy Hill, an assistant at Orem the past five seasons, inherits a talented team growing into their potential.

“They’ve matured well,” Hill said. “I hate to see freshman have to get varsity time and start varsity like we had last year but it’s beneficial for this year. We’re still a young team but we’re going to be ready to challenge.”

Senior running back D’Arman Auelua-Notoa figures to be featured on offense along with talented sophomore receiver Puka Nacua. Linemen Tousili Fiatoa (6-2 200) and C.J. Alantini (6-1 245) are both four-star sophomores who started last season and have already committed to BYU.

Senior Hunter Van Buren and sophomore Cooper Legas both earned playing time at quarterback last season. Brooks Ringer, who started at wide receiver for the Tigers as a sophomore before moving to Spanish Fork last season, has returned and will compete at quarterback as well.

On tradition: “You don’t want to be that coach that always is saying, ‘Back in the day, back in the day, back in the day.' That’s the Uncle Rico syndrome. But at the same time we’re trying to really instill in them a winning attitude. Back in the 1980’s and 90’s when Orem was winning state championships and competing, it was never a matter of ‘Are we going to win region?’ It was ‘Who are we going to be playing on the (Rice-Eccles Stadium) turf this year?’" --  head coach Jeremy Hill, a captain on the last Orem team to win a state championship in 1994

Darnell Dickson can be reached at ddickson@heraldextra.com. Follow him on Twitter @darnellwrites.

Darnell Dickson, who has been covering sports in Utah since 1989 (with a detour to Nebraska for three years somewhere in there), is currently the BYU football columnist and BYU men’s basketball beat writer.

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