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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Matt Reynolds to return

Good news from BYU's standout offensive lineman: he's coming back. Deseret News is reporting that the two-time all MWC tackle will return for his senior year at BYU.

Big Bro's thoughts: Next year the Cougar offense will still be relatively young, so Reynolds's maturity and leadership will be much appreciated. A skilled left tackle will be a necessary component in the offense to give Jake Heaps the time to make his throws. Of course, that is assuming Heaps wins the contest for the starting job next spring (tongue in cheek).

At the beginning of the season Reynolds was high on scouts' lists, but the disappointing BYU season resulted in a drop in his stock. Much of that is thanks to the dual quarterback system, wherein Reynolds had to switch back and forth from left to right tackle to protect Riley Nelson (lefty) and Heaps (righty). Along with switching sides, a lack of consistency also rattled the O-line, protecting a mobile quarterback one series and a pocket passer the next.

I expect that next year Reynolds will have a standout season and his NFL stock will skyrocket. He will also have a chance to be a part of BYU's inaugural independent team and to to show himself to scouts in multiple time zones and on ESPN.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Why Doman hire is great for BYU

Brandon Doman is BYU'S OC. Was this the best choice for BYU?

Like his predecessor, Doman has been a polarizing figure. In anticipation of his hiring, bloggers, commentators, and message boarders have been split on the prospect of the young coach taking over the reigns of the offense. Nay-sayers say he's too young and inexperienced and cite rumors that he favors Riley Nelson over Jake Heaps. Band wagoners point to Bronco's praise for Doman and cite rumors that Doman is a hot commodity in the coaching market.

Big Bro's thoughts: While Doman's experience is minimal, his upside is demonstrable. As QB coach he proved his worth as a coach. He churned out two NFL players in Max Hall and John Beck, both of whom displayed great play-making and leadership ability. He played a huge role in BYU's ability to land Heaps, the top quarterback blue chip in the nation, and Heaps has been vocal about his love for Doman.

But the best reason why Doman is a great pick for OC is his commitment to BYU and its mission. One of the biggest reasons for Bronco's success has been his ability to embrace BYU's culture and history and use it to his advantage. It started with bringing back a modern version of the old logo and has recently been evidenced by his players lifting him on their shoulders after a 7-6 season. His signature "Band Of Brothers" tee-shirt sells like hotcakes. He has earned the respect of fans, players, writers, recruits, and boosters. Doman has bought into his scheme, and I think it will be a symbiotic relationship that can flourish for years to come.

Perhaps Doman's youth can be an asset. As BYU blazes the independence trail, a new OC who could be there for a long time (a la Norm Chow) could be valuable. Hiring from within means the learning curve of losing your OC will be minimal.

So, nay-sayers beware. Like Bronco said, Doman was probably the best QB coach in the country, and if he is nearly as good of a OC, the offense could be dangerous next year. Combined with Bronco's signature defense and bring young stars like Heaps, Hoffman, Van Noy, and Quezada, and the next few years could be special.

Doman gets a chance

It's official. Brandon Doman is BYU's new offensive coordinator. BYU's official athletic website announced today that Doman would take over after Robert Anae resigned last week. Also announced today, Kelly Poppinga will take over as outside linebackers coach.

Read The Sports Bros' thoughts and opinions here.