BYU Athletics Blog | September 2008 | Officially Home of Cougar Club

BYU Athletics Blog | September 2008

Little League Visit

Sep 25, 2008 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 6:08 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Thursday's Hero

26-year-old Tyler Pulsipher was recognized by the team this afternoon as this week’s “Thursday’s Hero.” Pulsipher was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer a year ago and is living the three to five months he has to live watching his Cougars play an undefeated season.

A big fan of BYU football, when asked by head coach Bronco Mendenhall if he had anything to say to the team, Pulsipher said, “Keep on winning!”

Pulsipher was presented a jersey, t-shirts, hats and a flag by senior running back Fui Vakapuna, while senior wide receiver Michael Reed asked him to sign the team flag that is carried onto the field each game.

“We look up to you and you’re a hero to us,” said Reed. “Everyone who signs this flag makes a commitment to excellence and it would be an honor if you signed it for us.”

After presenting the gifts to Pulsipher, each team member had the opportunity to shake his hand.

Pulsipher served a mission to Cambodia and later earned his Bachelor degree at BYU, majoring in business.

Head coach Bronco Mendenhall greets Pulsipher and introduces him to the team

Running back Fui Vakapuna presents Pulsipher with gifts from the team

A Visit from Little League

Following the “Thursday’s Hero” presentation, the team was quickly surrounded by hundreds of little league football players who were at practice. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall headed over to speak with these young, ambitious athletes and explained the five things BYU focuses on and looks for in new recruits.


2.Positive contributions to your family

3.Grades above the average of 3.0

4.Good friends

5.Football skills

“Even though we have the longest win streak in the nation and are undefeated this season, football is still number five on the list,” Mendenhall said. “Do these five things in this order and you will always come out on top.”

After a pep-talk from coach Mendenhall, the kids were off to work on their specific positions with the individual players. Max Hall could be heard with the quarterbacks, yelling, “That’s 10 push-ups!” after a player missed his target.

Bronco Mendenhall addresses the crowd

The young players listen carefully as Mendenhall speaks

Assistant coach Paul Tidwell explains to the players where each position will meet

Junior Max Hall explains a drill to the young quarterbacks

Freshman defensive back Travis Uale performs a drill with some of the young players

Junior Scott Johnson

Junior Brandon Howard

Scott Johnson Chats With Fans

Sep 23, 2008 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 2:11 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Our first player chat of the season is in the books! This afternoon defensive back Scott Johnson participated in our first online chat of the 2008 season. Check out the transcript of the chat in our archive HERE.

Keep an eye out for more chats to come throughout the season every Tuesday afternoon.

Player Chats are Back!

Sep 22, 2008 - Posted by Lane Olson at 1:45 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up that Player Chats are back by popular demand. With the season beginning, things got a little hectic with scheduling, but we will now be having scheduled player chats every Tuesday.

This weeks chat will be with Defensive Back, Scott Johnson.

Visit the Player Chat page by clicking on the link below to submit your questions for Scott early, or tune into the chat page at 1:20 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 23 to submit your questions and participate in the chat.

Click Here to Submit Questions for Scott.

Pregame Fireside: Wyoming

Sep 19, 2008 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 9:43 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

The football team held its weekly fireside for members from Highland, American Fork and Pleasant Grove stakes on Friday night. The American Fork Tabernacle was packed on the eve of the Cougars’ Mountain West Conference opener against Wyoming, as people came to hear the team address its theme, “Being a Disciple of Christ”.

The night began with a talk by Spencer Hafoka. The freshman wide receiver recently returned home from a mission to Ventura, California. Hafoka shared his thoughts on what it truly means to be a “receiver”—as it relates to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He pinpointed four characteristics of a good receiver: fast, quick, strong and good hands. Hafoka read a poem entitled “It Depends Whose Hands It’s In”. A link to the poem can be found HERE.

Following Hafoka was a musical number presented by Max Hall, Fui Vakapuna, Matt Bauman, Bryan Kariya, Brenden Gaskins, Scott Johnson and Reed White. The group sang “How Firm A Foundation”.

Quarterback Stephen Covey also shared his thoughts on discipleship. The redshirt freshman from Provo, Utah focused on overcoming trials and hardships in life.

“Becoming a disciple of Christ requires a lot of stretching,” he said. “It’s during these times that we can truly become friends with God.”

White accompanied the team as it sang “Called to Serve,” before Holly Mendenhall, the wife of head coach Bronco Mendenhall, took the stand. Holly challenged those in attendance to realize the small decisions they make in their lives are what will impact future, bigger decisions.

“It’s the small things we do that show whether we are true disciples or not,” she said.

Coach Mendenhall closed the meeting with a few thoughts and experiences. He shared the message which was presented earlier this week in a team meeting by defensive back Brandon Howard about the “Pride Cycle”, and the dangers which lie ahead for those who do not humble themselves. Mendenhall also told of a powerful experience he witnessed last week when the team collectively sang, “Called to Serve” to a young man who signed a letter of intent with BYU, but decided to serve an LDS mission before entering the program. The team sang for that young man as he prepared to enter the Missionary Training Center the following day. Mendenhall said all of these experiences show that this team is focused on more than just football.

Quoting the words of Gordon B. Hinckley, the former president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mendenhall said, “The mission of the Church is to stand as an ensign to the nations and light to the world." He added by saying, "The greatest part of this job is what we get to represent.”

Max Hall visiting with fans and signing autographs following the fireside.

Defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen.

Fireside Tonight

Sep 19, 2008 - Posted by Lane Olson at 1:04 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Just a reminder to come check out the pre-game fireside happening tonight (Sept. 19, 2008). Players from the football team will focus their attention to spiritual matters in preparation for tomorrow's game against Wyoming. There will be music and spoken word. This week's featured speakers will be wide receiver, Spencer Hafoka and quarterback, Stephen Covey. Come enjoy and join in the spiritual mission of the BYU football program.

American Fork Tabernacle; 7 p.m. (MT)

110 E. Main Street

American Fork, Utah

From the Pressbox: September 18

Sep 18, 2008 - Posted by Carey Hoki at 5:59 pm | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

BYU recognized Evan Gardener, a 39-year-old from American Fork, as Thursday’s Hero earlier this evening. Up until a year ago, life was normal as Gardener was working as a tax accountant for BYU; but soon he and his family would undergo a life-changing event.

Gardener was diagnosed with a stage-four malignant brain tumor the size of a walnut in the middle of his brain, making it inoperable. The doctors gave him 11 months to live and 13 months later he’s standing on the sidelines watching the Cougar football team practice.

Gardener has gone through nine months of chemotherapy and for the past six weeks has been receiving radiation treatments every other week. He is unable to work and has vision, mobility and memory impairments.

Being Thursday’s Hero, Gardener was given a flag and poster signed by the team. Present with him were his wife and two children, who are just as big BYU fans as he is.

Following the presentation, the team held its traditional Thursday Night Football.

Weekly Fireside

Prior to its game against Wyoming, the team will hold a fireside at 7 p.m. Friday night. This week's fireside will be at the American Fork Tabernacle at 110 E. Main Street.

Player Chat

After a few weeks off, we have resumed player chats here on Every Wednesday throughout the remainder of the season a member of the team will be available to answer questions from the fans. Our first chat of the season will be with junior defensive back Scott Johnson. Scott's chat will take place at 1:20 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 23. Don't forget to submit your questions!

National Notice

Sep 16, 2008 - Posted by Bryce Porter at 11:31 am | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

This week BYU football has been the topic of many national news outlets. Among the media interviews granted this week include the following:


ESPN First Take, BYU quarterback Max Hall

– Aired at 9:35 a.m. MT

ESPN Radio, live with Doug Gottlieb and Joe Schad, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall

- Aired at 7 p.m. MT


ESPNews College Football Overdrive, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall

- Airs at 11:30 a.m. MT

SportingNews Radio, The Monty Show, syndicated nationally, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall

- Airs during Tuesday show, 2-5 MT (likely between 3-4 p.m. MT)

- Link to listen online ... SportingNews Radio


The Jim Rome Show, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall

- Airs at 11:05 a.m. MT

- Click to listen online


ESPN College GameDay, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall

Brandon Bradley: More Than Just Football

Sep 03, 2008 - Posted by Lane Olson at 11:07 am | Updated: May 2, 2011 3:35 pm | Permalink

Fall camp so far has been a lot better for me than it was last year for a lot of different reasons. One being that my knee has felt a lot better, I feel my confidence is better than it was because I can use my knee how I need to. I think the main reason this season has seemed so much different has been because I have done a lot better at allowing my Heavenly Farther to be a larger part in all aspects of my life. I’ve been doing a lot better with my own personal spiritual uplifting, and it has helped me to be more focused in my commitments to the religious aspects of my life as well as my commitments to football. I have been able to rely more on my Heavenly Farther in playing football and not just on my own gifts, and abilities. I know that those gifts and abilities come from him and I thank him for what he has blessed me with.

Visit Brandon's bio page here.