Mar
05
Kalani Sitake on BYUSN 3.03.20


your burning questions. Here is that interview.>>Kalani, how would you sum up day one of spring football?>>A lot of fup. Although we missed the seniors that graduated, the amount of upper classmen and guys returning with playing experience is huge for us. And so it seemed a lot easier because we could focus on things other than teaching and learning the plays. This is something the guys already know. We could focus on crucial details that would help them be better. Defensively that helped out. Offensively it did as well. We got some special teams work. The team made a huge step in practice one. Looking forward to the next 14.>>Every team tries to establish and identity, as they should. What do you know about this team as of March, early March, we’ll say?>>Keep working. This team will work really hard and good things will happen with guys with this type of work ethic and this determination. The sense of urgency with our players leading the way is setting the standard for everything else. The new guys get in here and feel like they have to get going quickly. That is a good sign. We can let the seniors and juniors, the guys with a lot of playing experience keep leading the way, I think we will be in a good place.>>Who are some of the new guys, freshman or returning missionaries, you feel like are making an impact now?>>It is hard to mention one. There are guys with position changes we have made, gets guys different looks at different places. That is huge impact for our team and get from our defense, offense and special teams. It is hard to mention one person because I will forget. Probably another dozen.>>Zayne Anderson, in the secondary, he looks a lot slimmer, he says he feels awesome. Max tuli.>>That is more natural, for their body and their instincts fit the db style. Whether they are playing nickel, safety or corner, that all depends on how the competition goes. I think in the past we have had to move guys around to get the best on the field that sometimes means bulking up a guy who doesn’t fit the best at linebacker. With so much depth at linebacker, we can move guys around. It gives us more freedom to play ashd the Zayne at safety and corner. That gives us the best flexibility to get the leverage on the field. I’m looking forward to it. It is going to a lot of fun.>>Who is going to join khyiris Tonga?>>That is still out. We have a lot of bodies that can compete. Bracken el-bakri. It depends where we can get a fit for our ends. Four-man front or three-man front depends on khyiris being in there. He is focused and has lost a lot of wait. He wants to be an every down guy.>>What different schemes will you try. A four-two-five was floated out there. What schemes are you looking at with this team?>>A lot. I don’t want to let everyone know what our strategy is, the key is to get the best 11 on the field and in a position where we can create havoc and have flexibility to do a lot of different things. We have smart guys to can run a bunch of plays and schemes. We established a solid foundation of a team that can adapt and do a lot of different things. It took more time in the off-season to get us ready. In day one of spring football we are right where we need to be. I’m excited about it. Without saying too much, we can do a lot of different things. This is the first time I felt that way as a head coach. We can do whatever is best for our scheme. We have guys who understand it. We are doing changes on the field today and practice. It was an easy transition. They have seen it and played it.>>Why do you think that it?>>It is probably them understanding what all 10 guys are doing on the field. Raising their level of football I.Q. That helps out and us stressing them a little bit. Letting them know that knowing more is going to help them perform better.>>On the offensive side, Zach Wilson comes back, the incumbent starter, you have the cure ascot case of Jaren hall and Baylor Romney. Is there is a race for the backup quarterback position?>>There is a race for the quarterbacks to be the best they can. We will play the best guys. We feel comfortable with the talent that is there, the talent we recruited. We should never be in a position where we are struggling to get a quarterback on the field. If you look in the years past, decades ago, we have done really well when guys have been stressing for some playing time. I think we have a good opportunity for that to happen.>>At the running backs group, you get Devonte Cole. What does the running backs room look like?>>Tyler Allgeier, Finau is coming along with his injury. Lopini Katoa can do a lot of things. He is versatile. He can catch the ball in the backfield. I think those guys, the connection of Jackson Mcchesney being older and off his mission longer is huge for us. Then you see some other guys start to emerge as we get further down the line. Right now we feel like that is a good group. Offensively, I think we can put them in a position to have an impact in games.>>What is the latest with Neal pau’u. He posted it is good to be back. It is nice to see him at practice.>>He is ready to roll. He is 100% with us. We are proud of the things he has done and the position he is in right now. We are looking forward to him being a contributor to our team. We missed him last year, he was on the team, but he redshirted. It would be good for him to make some plays for us this year. Glad for the things he was able to accomplish in this last year. Really proud of him.>>I know a lot of people are concerned about Chaz ah you. What is the latest you can tell us>>Chaz is on the team, working with the honor code, with the school and with the community and trying to get things better. They are still going through the process. We love Chaz and we are here to support him. He knows that. He is currently on the team. Will not be participating in spring, but he will be with us. There is a process he has to go through. I think it is probably the most I can say about that right now other than we love him and let him go through the process and be there to support him what happens regardless football wise. Most important is Chaz as a person.>>You still need a running backs coach. When is that expected to be announced?>>You and jarom don’t want to come coach them.>>You don’t want us to coach them.>>That is a big joke. No disrespect to you guys, you guys are great.>>None taken.>>It is important we go through our process and do everything the right way. I think there are a lot of great candidates that can fill the spot. Right now we have a great candidate that is running the room with Harvey Unga, with Steve Clark and the rest of the group, A-Rod and Mateos and grimey. Hopefully soon, how about that?>>I will take that.>>Speaking of grimey, how is he holding up?>>Yeah, unfortunately, when you get to our age, things start breaking down. I think it got to the point of no return for him, get surgery or I don’t know chop it off. I have no idea. I would like him to keep his arm. So he’s in a sling. He is a tough guy. He’ll be able to handle it. I think he can yell and cheer, but just can’t do chest bumps right now.>>Your pass catchers, hard not to be impressed watching the depth of your tight ends. What can you tell us about the growth of that group?>>It helps getting Matt bushman back. Seeing Isaac Rex and Carter — and hank. Pili, I’m going to forget something. You see guys starting to emerge, Hanshaw is back from his mission. Mason wigs playing tight end. I feel like I’m forgetting somebody. They are the kind of group that would remind me of who I forgot.>>We will list them all on TV. There might be more, who knows. Steve Clark has done an aing job. The receivers are looking really good with Dax and gunner and with Neal. There is going to be a good grurp, a good battle. There is going to be a lot of fun.>>Aing tiktok videos as well.>>I don’t have a lot of time to do that. I’m hardly on social media. I apologize if people are following me expecting something. If there is more food involved I would probably tweet more, tiktok with eating. All different forms of cookies, that will go really big, right? We have to ask the younger people. My daughters are like, dad, shut up, stop talking. I just keep working on my dance