"He already has [opened eyes], just in special teams and catching balls, and in his confidence," Mendenhall said. "He doesn't believe or play like he's a freshman. He already has a good understanding of the playbook. He runs good routes, he catches the ball, and he knows what to do. That's the best way to earn trust."
Mendenhall said Collie will be in the mix to return kicks, although Hoffman and Falslev certainly have the inside track after outstanding performances last year.
Quarterback on target
Four quarterbacks Riley Nelson, Taysom Hill, James Lark and Ammon Olsen got reps on Friday, but Nelson was clearly the most efficient. The Cougar starter was 7-for-10 in the 11-on-11 session. He completed passes to Iona Pritchard, Dallin Cutler, Austin Holt, Zed Mendenhall and Mike Alisa.
Olsen threw a swing pass to freshman running back Jamaal Williams that Williams turned into a nice gain, using his speed.
Offensive lineman Brock Stringham sprained his ankle Thursday and skipped Friday's practice, watching from the sidelines with a protective boot on his foot. Defensive tackle Russell Tialavea also sat out Friday with a bum ankle.
Offensive coordinator Brandon Doman confirmed that he was recently called to be an LDS Church bishop. ... Receiver Cody Hoffman and safety Joe Sampson spent practice in the weight room, lifting weights due to a "team discipline issue," according to Mendenhall. Both are expected back Saturday. ... Former Mountain Crest quarterback Alex Kuresa is working out with the receivers in camp, and Mendenhall said Kuresa will be a "receiver, slot, quarterback, football player this year."
What we learned • Alex Kuresa was signed as a quarterback out of Mountain Crest High, but he's playing slot receiver, for the time being
Who looked good • Backup receiver Dallin Cutler hauled in some long passes and QB Taysom Hill completed both his pass attempts
Who is missing • Offensive lineman Brock Stringham (sprained ankle) missed practice, while receiver Cody Hoffman and safety Joe Sampson were held out for disciplinary reasons