Six Takeaways from BYU's 2024 Spring Camp

The BYU football program wrapped up Spring Camp on Saturday
Sep 23, 2023; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Darius Lassiter (5) runs
Sep 23, 2023; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Darius Lassiter (5) runs / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

BYU's 2024 Spring camp is in the books. On Saturday, BYU wrapped up the 15th and final practice of Spring camp. There were plenty of top storylines to follow during camp. Here are our top five takeaways.

1. No Decision on the QB Competition is No Surprise

Going into camp, all eyes were on the battle for the starting quarterback job. On the first day of camp, BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick announced that the competition was down to two: Jake Retzlaff and Gerry Bohanon. On the last day of camp, Roderick announced that the battle between Retzlaff and Bohanon would extend into Fall Camp.

Roderick's announcement comes as no surprise. The battle was never going to be decided during Spring camp. Retzlaff had the advantage going into the Spring with more familiarity with the offense. Bohanon came into camp rusty, having not played over the last 18 months while he recovers from a shoulder surgery.

Roderick said the winner of the quarterback battle will be the quarterback that best balances protecting the football and moving the chains. Before camp, we gave Retzlaff the best odds to win the job. We maintain that stance today.

2. The Emphasis was the Run Game

Even though all eyes have been on the quarterback during camp, the offense's priority has been establishing the run game. Aaron Roderick, in every interview with the media, made it clear that re-establishing the run game was the top priority on the offensive side of the ball. New offensive line coach TJ Woods was hired to improve the play of the offensive line and the run game in general.

BYU's run game, or lack thereof, crippled BYU's production last season. The run game wasn't effective, and the lack of a run game limited BYU's play-action pass game.

If BYU is going to improve on offense in 2024, it has to start with the run game. BYU's staff knows that, so the emphasis throughout Spring camp was to improve the run game.

3. Recruiting Efforts Paying Off on Defense

Ever since BYU's new defensive staff got on campus, they have prioritized recruiting. Those recruiting efforts have started to improve the on-field results.

Some of BYU's best players on defense are newcomers. Newcomers Jack Kelly and Danny Saili will likely be starters when the Cougars kick off the season against Southern Illinois. Other newcomers like true freshmen Ephraim Asiata, Tommy Prassas, and Therrian Alexander impressed in their first reps at BYU. And more talent is on the way.

After the final practice, BYU defensive coordinator Jay Hill met with the media to discuss the status of his defense coming out of Spring camp. When asked about the depth on defense, Hill explained that some of BYU's best players still haven't joined the program yet.

"The one thing right now with the way recruiting went last year, we feel some of our best players are still going to join us," Hill said. "It's going to create a lot more competition. If you're recruiting the right way, that's how it's always going to be. There's always going to be competition coming in. It's the starters' jobs to hold on their jobs and play great and it's the backups' jobs to beat them out. We're looking forward to some increased competition with those guys coming in."

Here are a few names from the 2024 class that are expected to join the program this Summer.

  • Jonathan Kabeya - Cornerback
  • Sani Tuala - Defensive end
  • Faletau Satuala - Safety
  • Sefo Akuila - Linebacker/Defensive End
  • Naki Tuakoi - Defensive End
  • Luke To'omalatai - Defensive tackle
  • Matthias Leach - Safety

It might take a year or even to fully develop these young players, but BYU's enhanced recruiting efforts will translate to better play on defense in the future.

4. Early Morning Film Study for the Defense

Throughout camp, defensive players mentioned early morning film studies with Jay Hill. The film studies, which have been well attended even though they are optional, start at 7 AM. The purpose of the film studies is for each player to master their responsibilities against different offensive sets.

Familiarity with Jay Hill's scheme was a common theme. In the second year under Jay Hill, it's reasonable to expect BYU's defense to take a step forward. That will start up front along the defensive line. In Jay Hill's own words, BYU "has to" generate more pressure against the quarterback.

Time will tell if more time spent in the film room translates to better defensive play in the Fall.

5. Wide Receivers Will Be a Strength

Of all the positions on the roster, the wide receivers have a case to be the best. BYU returns all contributors from 2023, and they have a talented group of young players in the developmental stage. Fesi Sitake named his top six at wide receiver:

  1. Darius Lassiter
  2. Chase Roberts
  3. Kody Epps
  4. Keelan Marion
  5. Jojo Phillips
  6. Parker Kingston

Those six are expected to start and contribute this season. There's another three wide receivers that will be on the roster that might not play much this year, but they are viewed as the future of the wide receiver position:

  1. Cody Hagen
  2. Dominique McKenzie
  3. Tei Nacua

Fesi Sitake has put on a masterclass of recruiting in a way that establishes high-level talent and depth for the current year, and stockpiles talent for the future. None of BYU's young guys will be thrown into the fire before they're ready.

6. Keanu Hill Will be Featured A Lot in BYU's Offense

Former BYU wide receiver Keanu Hill moved from wide receiver to tight end. Hill has added 25 pounds while maintaining a lot of the skills he possessed as a wide receiver. Hill brings a new dynamic to the BYU offense. We expect him to be featured a lot in BYU's offense in 2024.

Casey Lundquist


Casey Lundquist is the publisher and lead editor of Cougs Daily. He has covered BYU athletics for the last four years. During that time, he has published over 2,000 stories that have reached more than three million people.