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Provo • Comfortable almost always was a word that came up when people talked about former BYU football coach LaVell Edwards, who died last December at the age of 86. Edwards was "comfortable in his own skin," it often was said, and "made everyone around him feel comfortable and at ease."

It was fitting then that during BYU's seventh annual football media day at the BYU Broadcasting Building on campus Friday that players and coaches alike used the word comfortable a lot to describe their outlook in coach Kalani Sitake's second year. BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe announced players will wear LAVELL patches on their jerseys this fall to honor the legendary coach.

"I feel a lot more comfortable going into it this season," said Sitake, who guided the Cougars to a 9-4 record last year and a 24-21 win over Wyoming in the Poinsettia Bowl. "Last year, all we had was spring ball and not really a full offseason. So this year, we have a full season, another spring and then an offseason where we actually tested our guys and saw our guys get bigger and stronger and faster. So I have a lot more confidence going into it."

Second-year coordinators Ty Detmer and Ilaisa Tuiaki echoed their boss' sentiments. Detmer said he actually can play a round of golf or return to his ranch in Texas for a couple of days without spending the entire time worrying about getting ready for the season.

"You feel settled in," the former Heisman Trophy winner said. "You know the timeline and what needs to get done."

Starting quarterback Tanner Mangum, a rising junior, also is more at ease, relaxed and prepared to be a leader, he said.

"We want this year to be a special year, and we feel like it can be," Mangum said. "There is pressure, but I like it."

Mangum isn't quite ready to pronounce this season his final one in Provo, although he's hinted on social media with references to his age, 23, that he could enter the NFL draft in April despite having a year of eligibility remaining.

"I can't answer that right now," Mangum said. "This season is a big season for our program, and we've got big goals for ourselves. I do have the goal of playing in the NFL, but I can't [say] when or at what point I am going to try to make that a reality. It is just too hard to tell right now."

Mangum did say the Cougars will throw the ball "a little bit more" this year because the personnel is different than last year with the loss of running back Jamaal Williams to the Green Bay Packers.

"I think we are on a good path," Mangum said. "A lot of guys are stepping up in the offseason and making sure they hold themselves and other guys accountable. … We can do some big things. We have a lot of talent that can step up. I am really comfortable with the talent we have."

There's that word again. The Cougars are comfortable and confident.

"I really feel good about our coaches," Sitake said. "They are all back, so there is a lot of consistency there. I feel great about our players, too, and where our offense, our defense and our special teams are headed, and where we are sitting. We have a lot of experience returning, and we have a lot of talent. It is a different feel now than it was last year. Last year was a little bit unknown, not being a head coach before. Now going through a season and having to overcome a little bit of adversity at different times, we feel better-suited now and I feel confident in the people all around me. That's where I feel more comfortable right now."

There weren't a lot of new revelations regarding personnel. Tuiaki and several players acknowledged that defensive end Sione Takitaki, a standout in 2015 who had to skip the 2016 season for personal reasons, is back and ready to play.

"Last year he was always telling us, 'I'm coming back, I'm coming back,' " defensive tackle Kesni Tausinga said. "And by darn, he did it. Much respect."

Senior Matt Hadley is back at safety after giving running back a try in spring camp.

Tight ends coach Steve Clark said tight end Joe Tukuafu, who transferred to BYU in the offseason after signing with Utah State before a church mission, most likely will not be eligible in 2017. Offensive line coach Mike Empey said standout tackle Ului Lapuaho probably won't be ready to play this season after suffering a knee injury last year but has not ruled out a return to the game in 2018.

Running back Squally Canada said he's added 10 to 15 pounds and plans to replace Williams as the every-down back.

"I am approaching this season like this is my year," Canada said.

Twitter: @drewjay —

Highlights from BYU football media day

• ESPN has exercised its contract option to extend broadcast rights of BYU football through the 2019 season.

• BYU will retire the No. 6 jersey — worn by All-Americans Robbie Bosco, Marc Wilson and Luke Staley — during the Sept. 16 home game against Wisconsin.

• BYU's jerseys this season will feature a patch on the chest with the block letters LAVELL to honor former coach LaVell Edwards, who died last December at age 86.

• Starting quarterback Tanner Mangum, a junior who turns 24 this fall, has not decided yet whether this season will be his final one at BYU.