BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall told media after the Cougars first spring practice Monday that he'll probably wait until fall camp to name a starting quarterback.
Junior Riley Nelson, sophomore James Lark and true freshman Jake Heaps all took the field Monday and the three were the focal point of the Cougars opening practice. Nelson, who backed up last year’s starter Max Hall, got the bulk of the first team reps because of his familiarity with the system. Lark and Heaps split time with the first and second team. All three had their ups and downs during practice, though that was expected on the first day.
Mendenhall's announcement might end up being a good thing for the quarterbacking trio because it takes a little pressure off Nelson, Lark and Heaps, who know that they’re being closely watched not only by the coaches, but by the media and the fan base. While it probably won't lessen the competition's intensity, there is no longer the stress of being perfect with only 15 practices for each guy to prove his worth.
If Mendenhall does decide to wait, it will help Lark and Heaps, who will have a whole summer to continue to get familiar with receivers and the scheme. It also will help them build a rapport with teammates that Nelson likely already had after being in the scheme for a year.