During a post-practice media session on Tuesday, Bronco Mendenhall seemed downright giddy about the immediate future of BYU football.
For one, Bronco really likes his revamped coaching staff that includes off-season hires Ben Cahoun (wide receivers), Joe DuPaix (running backs), and the promotion of Brandon Doman to offensive coordinator.
Mendenhall said, “I’ve had more fun in the past month and half or 2 months than I’ve ever had here in 6 years. They are so much fun. They (coaching staff) are optimistic, realistic, positive, they have a ton of energy, the players love them. They are just great staff members. For where we are to this point, I really like where we are.”
Doman, who was promoted to offensive coordinator and will call the plays, hyped the Cougars’ defense.
Doman explained, “They are really good. It is the best defense I have seen BYU have in maybe 10 years. They are talented, they have a ton of depth. They are big up front. We've added some depth to the defensive line, and some real size and athleticism up there that we have not had in a long time.”
“Then we have added some core linebackers that can play. We have had a couple of position changes. One of the guys I am most impressed with right now is Mike Hague. He moved from running back to strong safety. He is doing a fantastic job. They have added some depth over there that is going to make them really good."
When asked if the 2011 team will be the most talented during his 7-year tenure in Provo, Mendenhall responded, "Mmmm. ... I like our chances."
Even quarterback Jake Heaps admitted, “It's a totally different vibe as a team."
BYU faces a tough early season schedule that includes at Ole Miss, at Texas, Utah, and UCF. In late October, the Cougars will play TCU on a Friday night at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX.