Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the Brigham Young Cougars.
Kicker: Justin Sorensen, senior"If anyone was doubting that the Cougars are spending an inordinate amount of time trying to find a reliable kicker for the 2013 season, those doubts were erased at LaVell Edwards Stadium, as senior incumbent Justin Sorensen (5-for-6) and one-time University of Utah recruit Vance "Moose" Bingham (4-for-6) attempted six field goals apiece and juco transfer Trevor Samson (2-for-3) got three tries. Samson was a perfect 5-for-5 on PAT attempts and Bingham 2-for-2, while Sorensen wasn’t called on to try an extra point. 'It was fun to get a few extra kicks in a live situation,' coach Bronco Mendenhall said. 'We are trying to evaluate our kickers. We have three in the competition, and it has been really close.' Mendenhall said all three have made a high percentage of their kicks through the first week of camp, and that this coming week will be crucial for all three competitors. Redshirt junior Scott Arellano will handle the punting chores and the holding chores."
(South Jordan, UT / Bigham HS)
"On a scale of one to 10, I'd say I was about at a 17," Sorensen said regarding his frustration level last season. "It's really hard not having confidence in something you know you've done well almost your entire life. I was rusty last season and my body wasn't able to do what it should do a lot of the time. I felt like an old man." Despite Sorensen's struggles, the BYU coaching staff largely stood pat at the kicker position in the offseason — not using any of its available scholarships to sign a potential replacement. Sorensen is being pushed by walk-ons such as Tyler Jackson from Itawamba Community College, however, and is thankful for it. "It's great because it's hard when you don't have any competition," Sorensen said. "When you see them make a lot of field goals on the days that you're off — it pushes you." Sorensen believes he's close to the All-American form he showed while at Bingham and is hopeful to put all his issues behind him. "I've started using some more distance and accuracy techniques and those have worked very, very well so far," he said. "I think if I continue with that that I'll feel better than I did while I was at Bingham in a few months. … I'm going easy on my back and I feel as good as I have health-wise since coming home from my mission."Kicker: Tyler Jackson, sophomore (Oxford, MS / Itawamba Community College)
Tyler Jackson participated in Spring Camp and had a solid outing. Jackson, a LDS Church member from Mississippi, transferred to BYU from Itawamba Community College in Fulton, MS, where he was the starting kicker his freshman year. Jackson garnered MACJC All-Conference honors in his only season at Itawamba, connecting on 6 of 8 field goals and 25 of 25 on PAT’s. Jackson’s season long field goal at Itawamba was 47 yards.
Spring game: Officially the final score was 17-14 in favor of the West team, thanks to a 45-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Tyler Jackson midway through the scrimmage.Kicker/punter: Trevor Samson, junior (Fresno, CA / Clovis West HS / Fresno City College)
Walk-on transfer. Went 6 of 9 on field goals with a long of 45 yards during his sophomore year at Fresno CC.Kicker: Vance Bingham, freshman (Draper, UT / Alta HS)
freshman returned from missionary, Bingham was known as "Moose" when he kicked for the Hawks several years agoKicker: possible addition to roster... Matt Gulbrandsen: has been serving in the Uruguay Montevideo West Mission.
Punter: Scott Arellano, junior (Santa Ynez, CA / Foothill College)
Punter Jordan Miller, sophomore (Henderson, NV / Green valley HS)Scott Arellano is a junior college transfer from Foothill College, who spent last season as Riley Stephenson’s backup. Arellano showed glimpses of his talent throughout Spring Ball booming high, hanging punts that allowed his coverage team time to get into position but he struggled with consistency....Arellano’s stats at Foothill College revealed that he does indeed have a strong leg. His net punting average at Foothill was a solid 40.67 yards per attempt. Arellano placed 15 of his 46 attempts inside the 20 and caused 12 other punts to be fair caught. He also hit 8 punts more than 50 yards, with a season long of 68 yards.
Pushing Arellano in Spring Ball was Jordan Miller, who was a redshirt on the 2009 squad and returned from his LDS mission in the offseason. Miller struggled with consistency in Spring Ball alongside Arellano but his kicks didn’t seem to have the high-hanging arc that Arellano showed. Competition breeds success and the Cougar coaching staff is hoping that Miller and Arellano will hone their craft over the summer and provide the stability and consistency they long for this fall.LB/snapper: Kevin O'Mary, senior (San Diego, CA/ Mira Mesa HS)
OL/snapper: Parker Dawe, freshman (Pleasant Grove, UT / Pleasant Grove HS)
Long snapper: Ben Chapple, senior (Westminster, CA / Westminster HS)
Long snapper: Devin Brewer, sophomore (Hattiesburg, MS / Oak Grove HS)
Reed Hornung is gone and must be replaced at deepsnapper. Kevin O Mary was listed as the starter coming out of spring, but both Chapple and Brewer are listed on the roster as deepsnappers.