Provo • Kyle Van Noy is deservedly receiving all kinds of preseason accolades and honors this summer after putting together one of the best junior seasons for a defender in BYU history in 2012.
But there is another Cougar senior who also plays outside linebacker that deserves some attention as well, coach Bronco Mendenhall said.
That would be Spencer Hadley, the mustachioed strongside linebacker from the tiny farming community of Connell, Wash.
"Based on the NFL traffic coming in already, they love Spencer, how hard he plays, and how productive he is," Mendenhall said. "And so if Kyle is ranked [highly], Spencer is not far behind him. Certainly, the accolades and attention are quite different. But there are a lot of folks that really like Spencer."
One of those is outside linebackers coach Kelly Poppinga, who says Hadley does some things better than Van Noy.
"It is nice to hear those things, but I don't pay much attention to it," said Hadley, a 6-foot-1, 227-pounder who liberally takes advantage of a little-known BYU grooming rule that allows mustaches, but not beards (with a few execeptions). "I still have to go out and get the job done, and the team comes first. But I will be honest, it is nice to hear that, kind of cool, and nice to get the recognition."
Hadley is one of those proven commodities, like Van Noy and star receiver Cody Hoffman, who isn't doing much in terms of contact and live action in preseason camp. Mendenhall said Monday that Hadley is nursing a minor hamstring tweak, but Hadley said he is sitting out more for precautionary reasons than anything else.
"It is a matter of me being more valuable to the team, I guess, healthy at the end of the month instead of being on the field right now and risking a worse injury and not being healthy later," he said.
Fabuluje to return
Remember Tayo Fabuluje, the 6-foot-7 phenom from Texas who was part of BYU's famed 2010 signing class? Fabuluje left BYU after one season and transferred to TCU, where he was an All-Big 12 honorable mention offensive tackle last season.
Well, he's back.
Fabuluje left TCU "for personal reasons" two weeks ago, and on Wednesday he was admitted back into BYU. He will not be able to play this season unless he is granted a waiver by the NCAA, which is unlikely.
BYU released Fabuluje to TCU two years ago so he could be put on scholarship, talk to coaches and receive other perks that athletes with grant-in-aid get, but apparently TCU will not afford BYU the same favor.
TCU coach Gary Patterson refused to release him, according to Fabuluje. That means Fabuluje has had to go through the admission process on his own much like Hawaii transfer Michael Wadsworth had to do last summer when Hawaii refused his request for a release. After sitting out this year, Fabuluje will have one year of eligibility left to play one season (2014) at BYU, barring an NCAA waiver.
The Cougars went on their annual team excursion that traditionally marks the midpoint of preseason camp on Wednesday afternoon, floating down the Provo River on rafts and inner tubes. They returned to practice Thursday, but the there was no media access. ... How did BYU quarterback Taysom Hill get his unique first name? Hill said there is a Taysom Park in his hometown of Pocatello, Idaho, as well as a Taysom Construction Company. "My parents just liked the name," he said.