Roster Management in Provo is Really Hard
It's hard for a lot of CFB fans to get into recruiting because there are so many busts and so many ways a kid's career could end up and unless it's a big name 4 or 5 star guy you don't put any thought into it until he shows you something. That's even worse in Provo where missions become a factor.
We wrote about it in February around signing day that stars do matter. But time in the program and development also matters. Yesterday, Ilaisa Tuiaki did a great interview with Jarom Jordan where he talked about a few things I think are worth diving into:
The Defense in 2016 and 2017
He talks about running quarters vs man and doing different things. Despite what you think you see on TV or what Twitter people tell you - we don't run the same thing every single play, we don't drop 8 every play, we don't run a "middle school" scheme.
He mentions that he was a lot more aggressive in 2016 adn 2017 because he had the personnel to do so AND that this year he feels that they are back to that level. That is the sign of a good coach that he adjusted to fit his talent - now the recruiting is a different story to be addressed.
You can disagree with his approach. You can think it's boring. You can want to bring more pressure. You can get wildly obsessed with time of possession thinking it's a meaningful number. All of those are fine (excpet the last one) opinions to hold - but to the fans out there who think Coach E is dumb and doesn't know what he is doing adn is therefore unqualified are dumb, don't know what they are talking about and are unqualified to make that claim.
I too am in that unqualified position - so I defer to the players, former players, and coaches at other programs and HS coaches that have interacted with him who tell me it's quite the opposite. And I trust them over a random guy on Twitter who complains every time we give up a first down (or the people who think Ty deserved one more year and E should've been canned after 2017)
If you've never heard the term quarters before - here you go the meat starts at about the 5 minute mark:
The Bowl Game
He took responsibility for the bowl game - said it started at the top and he did a poor job motivating. And that after a long season when they were running on fumes with injuries come the USC game, nobody was excited to go to Shreveport.
That's completely understandable. It's frustrating. None of us as fans wanted it either - it was a letdown for the players as well and it's really hard to overcome human nature.
I don't remember the last time a coach said "that's on me for not doing a good job motivating my guys and there were some different things we needed to do as a staff" but I'm happy to hear it. It's in the past, you can't change it, but he owned the outcome (even though we only lost by a FG - so I think the staff had them in a position to win but they didn't make enough plays).
Janimal is Back
He was here in 2016 and 17 as a GA, went off to Snow as a DC. Now he is back again. It seems that the NCAA will lift analyst limitations and expand staffs, but either way keep an eye on that becuase I expect improvements on the DL with him around.
I hate the hockey subs. You weaken the entire thing instead of one part of the defense. There is the balance to be had of developing guys so you don't have a year where you start 8 guys with next to no experience, but I hate the wholesale subs.
And I don't like how many guys we have signed where BYU is the only offer. But let's take a look at the timeline of Kalani's first true recruiting class. In 2016 most of the guys who signed committed to Bronco. So 2017 would be the first where it was all Kalani.
If a kid went on a mission, that would give the following possible timeline:
2020: Covid year as a RS Freshman
2021: RS Freshman
2022: RS Sophomore
This can vary if they didn't go on a mission, didn't redshirt, etc. But even without covid, we would be looking at that first batch of kids being RS Juniors or a true Senior right now if they served. So let's run through some of those guys:
Bounced from Program: Tongi Langi, Seleti Fevaleaki, Tanner Baker, AJ Lolohea, Preston Lewis
Medical Retirement: Keenan Ellis, Langi Tuifua
Finished Career: Isaiah Herron, Khyiris Tonga
Still Playing: Ben Bywater, Chaz Ah You, Ammon Hanneman, D'Angelo Mandell, Alden Tofa, Tyler Batty.
Ah You, Batty, Hanneman and Bywater will all be able to come back next year.
Bounced: Amone Finau, Brach Davis, Oliver Nasilai, Viliami Tausinga, Isaac Matua, Alex Miskela, Nate Latu (ended up at Snow an now at Ok St), Chinonso Opara (OT now at Weber)
Medical: Cade Albright,
Finished: Isaiah Herron
Still Playing: Talan Alfrey - torn ACL last year, shoudl play this year. Malik Moore
Bounced: Chuck Alatini, Dmitri Gallow, Eric Ellison
Finished: Shamon Willis
Medical: Cade Albright
Still here: Caleb Christensen, Michael Daley (FINALLY!) , Javelle Brown, Brooks Maile, George Udo
Then 2020 and 2021 are obviously still here. But there are a lot of guys that washed out, or are still underclassmen even though we are entering year 7 of the Kalani Sitake era. It's wild and it is hard to manage and the injury bug has hurt the defense more than the offense.
That doesn't change that we need to upgrade talent an get guys with more offers, but looking at how many guys that the staff brought in that are just barely getting aroun to being develope the way they would like isn't surprising that they shifted philosophies - now hopefully we can redirect and get back to what we expected when the style of play to be when they came in.