Here is the second part of my Q&A with new BYU offensive coordinator Brandon Doman. You can read Part I here.
What are the challenges not only as a new coordinator, but playing an independent schedule against teams unfamiliar to BYU?
BD: I am so excited for our football program to go independent and the prospects of the future are exciting for me. It’s quite a daunting task when you don’t know your opponents as well as you did for the last few years. It poses a unique challenge and every year, we have to be smart about who we’re scheduling to have a strong strength of schedule, but also able to put together a schedule that allows us to be very successful and have a great football season. With that said, we’re going to have to be better than we’ve ever been with the schedule we have.
Our coaching is going to have to be at its peak. We’re going to have to play physical. Our offensive line is going to have to be the best it’s ever been. We’re going to have to have depth at that position -- be able to run block, be able to pass protect. The D-ends an defensive linemen are more athletic and faster week to week than what we’ve faced. If we’re able to do that on the offensive line, our quarterbacks are already very talented and will be very good. We’ll be able to run the ball effectively and efficiently enough that we’ll be a very difficult offense to defend for anybody. But if you have a tough time keeping your offensive line healthy and a tough time in the trenches, then BYU will struggle. Right now we’ve done a fantastic job over the last five years. We’re poised and ready up front to be able to take on this schedule that we have and be very successful with it.
With that said, it must be a relief that Matt Reynolds is coming back for his senior season.
BD: We have a left tackle that’s as good as any offensive lineman in the country. He’ll be a senior and a leader. That will create all sorts of opportunities for us in our first season as an independent. We’re not going to have to figure out who’s going to be our left tackle. We also have four returning starters on the offensive line along with Matt. It’s the perfect year. We have experienced quarterbacks coming back, an experienced offensive line, a running back corps that’s experienced with one of most physically talented receiver corps in years. It’s on us to coach these guys well because we have plenty of talent.
How much can we expect with highly touted receiver Ross Apo returning for 2011?
BD: He was out there practicing for our last three games and getting back into things. We haven’t had receivers that run around and look like him very often in our program. To have a guy run around like him is very fun and quite exciting for the future. He’s raw and he has a lot to learn in regard to running routes and creating separation, but I’m confident our coaching staff will put him in positions to succeed. He has the potential to be good as any receiver in college football by the time he’s done. That’s how talented he is physically. But potential doesn’t mean anything until you get it done. We also have Cody Hoffman. Their bodies look the same. To have 6 foot 3, long lanky strong receivers at Brigham Young University – we’re used to having shorter and not quite as fast wide receivers. But this is the first time we’ve had that here, and we’d be crazy not to be excited.