BYU Football vs. New Mexico State 27

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Tanner Mangum (12) and linebacker Sione Takitaki (16) talk after the Cougars defeated New Mexico State University on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

Here’s what’s going on inside Darnell’s head.

Now that “Avengers: Endgame” is done, what will I talk about with my young adult children?

Actually, the conversation will continue because if there’s one thing my kids love talking about, it’s superhero movies. If I want to get them going, I just tell them I think I like the DCU better than the MCU, and oh boy, do they engage.

And if I have to explain to you what DCU and MCU means, I’m not sure we can be friends.

Cougars in the League

Linebacker Sione Takitaki was the only BYU player selected in the NFL draft, taken in the third round by the Cleveland Browns. His rise to the third round is pretty amazing. He did it with some great workouts and terrific performances at the Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game.

So if you are at BYU and want to get drafted into the NFL, play linebacker. Takitaki, Fred Warner and Kyle Van Noy approve this message.

What I love about Takitaki is he didn’t waste his talent. So many college athletes arrive with talent but let themselves get distracted. Takitaki had his share of distractions, but he persevered, worked hard and was rewarded.

Defensive end Corbin Kaufusi signed a free agent contract with the Saints and quarterback Tanner Mangum has mini-camp invites with the Raiders and the Lions to show his ability.

I can see how it might be disappointing to BYU fans that only one Cougar has been drafted in each of the past four seasons.

It does point out that there is a lot of work for the BYU coaching staff to do when it comes to recruiting talent.

Think about how Nebraska feels: The Huskers didn’t have any players drafted for the second straight year.

All good things …

“Avengers: Endgame” was a stunning cinematic experience.

I’d invested a good portion of the past 10 years, along with my wife and kids, watching and re-watching the 22 movies leading up to Endgame. It was well worth it for me. The story was fun but the moviemaking is simply incredible. The amount of work that went into crafting the movies and making a satisfying conclusion is mind blowing. Well done, Russo brothers, and literally thousands of others who make the Marvel Universe possible.

Filling their roles

New BYU coach Mark Pope brought in three assistant coaches this week in Chris Burgess, Cody Fueger and Nick Robinson. Burgess, I’m told, is good at molding and developing big men. Fueger has a reputation as the kind of guy opposing coaches hate because he’s relentless in his preparation and on the recruiting trail.

Robinson? His role is not as clear. He was a standout player at Stanford, has been an assistant at Stanford, William Jewel and LSU and a head coach at Southern Utah. He also has some experience at Stanford and LSU on the operations side. He and Pope became acquainted while they we both working in operations in the SEC.

Meanwhile, four former UVU players have followed Pope to BYU and Cougar fans are a little confused. How is this casting a wider net in recruiting?

I would advise you to take it easy, Cosmo Cougar. Jake Toolson is a legit Division I player and will be eligible immediately as a grad transfer. Wyatt Lowell and Richard Harward will both sit out next season and Trey Stewart will serve a mission, so he won’t return until 2021-22. There are plenty of other spots on the roster available in the future for the coaching staff to fill from states other than Idaho and Utah.

Lowell is a 6-foot-10 forward who can really shoot it. The 6-11 Harward is a great story, a local kid (Orem) who didn’t really have a role with the Wolverines when the season started but took advantage of his opportunities and became indispensable. He will be a big help defensively and with rebounding in 2020-21. Stewart is a bouncy, slashing two guard who made some pretty spectacular plays at American Fork last season.

All of these guys can fill roles eventually. Plus, when players love a coach enough to transfer with him, that’s loyalty.

Rare, I know, but loyalty is a good thing.

Say what?

Unpopular opinion: Watermelon is highly overrated as a summer time treat.

Come at me, bro.

Live arms

The BYU baseball team is having a historic season on the mound.

The Cougars swept Pacific this weekend to move to 29-10 overall and 13-5 in West Coast Conference play. Starters Jordan Wood (4-1), Easton Walker (6-0) and Justin Sterner (8-3) are a combined 18-4 in 27 starts. Freshman Reid McLaughlin is a perfect setup man (5-1, 1.74 ERA in 41 innings). The pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.34, which is the best mark in the program since 1969.

At the college level, that kind of pitching is pretty special.

OK, that’s all for today, but for this. YouTube is so addicting. I click on a movie preview and the next thing you know an hour has passed and I’m watching a video on how to make BBQ ribs.

Must be grilling season again.

Have a great week.

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