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6-foot-7, 397-pound BYU OL Motekiai Langi gets stuck in foam pit, needs teammates to pull him out

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Okay, so here’s a wild one.

BYU gymnastics coach Guard Young likes to test his team’s mental strength by having other Cougars teams come to practice and heckle his gymnasts. The balance beam can (apparently) be an especially tough competition in road gyms, so Young urges the other BYU athletes to really lay it on thick in heckling the gymnasts.

The football team took a turn jeering the gymnastics team earlier this spring, and afterward the Cougars helped themselves to the open foam pit in the gym. The group that jumped in included freshman offensive lineman Motekiai Langi, who is listed at 6-foot-7, 397 pounds.

Young will take it from here.

“We all thought it was pretty funny until we realized we couldn’t get him out,” Young told the Provo Daily Herald. “Then I was like, seriously, how do you get someone like that out of the foam pit? We got him out, but it took some effort and some football players to help. Thankfully I didn’t get a phone call from (head football coach Kalani Sitake) about it. We kept him safe.”

“It sucked me down,” Langi told the paper. “It took me a couple of minutes before I was finally able to get out.”

Langi did suffer one casualty, however. Both of his socks were claimed to the black abyss of the pit, never to be seen again.

Virginia promotes Kelly Poppinga to co-defensive coordinator

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When Virginia opens its 2018 season, Kelly Poppinga will have some new responsibilities.

UVa. announced Thursday that Bronco Mendenhall has promoted Poppinga to co-defensive coordinator. The school stated in its release that Poppinga will “share defensive oversight” with Nick Howell, who’ll retain his title of defensive coordinator.

Poppinga spent the past two seasons as the Cavaliers’ special teams coordinator; Ricky Brumfield, hired as Mendenhall’s 10th assistant earlier this offseason, will assume those duties for the Hoos.

“Nick will continue to be our lead on the defensive side and will concentrate on the secondary,” Mendenhall explained in a statement. “Kelly will focus on our defensive front. He has a comprehensive understanding of our scheme and approach on defense having matriculated from player to graduate assistant to assistant coach in this system.

“With coach Brumfield taking over as the lead for our special teams, this provides an excellent chance to realign our coaching resources on the defense.”

Poppinga played his college football at BYU under Mendenhall in the mid-aughts. He has been on Mendenhall-led staffs since 2009 when he began his coaching career as a defensive intern at his alma mater.

One of BYU’s eight QBs decides to transfer

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With eight quarterbacks on its roster, it was nearly a given that there would be some attrition at the position. Monday, that expectation became a reality.

Kalani Sitake, the Deseret News reported, has confirmed that Kody Wilstead has asked for, and been granted a release from his BYU scholarship. Wilstead is leaving the program with the intention of transferring.

“We want him to have success and we’ll support him any way that we can,” the head coach said according to the News. “I talked to him as a head coach and I’ve been able to sit down with him and have a really positive conversation.

“He wants to get on the field and play as soon as possible. I think he’s looking for a different place to do that. He loves football. He’s been a great support to us and a he’s a great teammate. I wish him the best.”

Wilstead, a three-star 2015 signee, took a redshirt as a true freshman last season after serving an LDS mission the previous two years.

With Wilstead’s departure, the seven remaining Cougar signal-callers are, in alphabetical order, Stacy Conner, Joe Critchlow, Hayden Griffitts, Beau Hoge, Tanner Mangum, Baylor Romney and Zach Wilson. Mangum, last year’s starter, is recovering from an Achilles tendon injury he suffered in November of last year but remains on track to return for the start of summer camp in August.

Dylan Collie, Hawaii’s leading receiver, confirms move back to BYU

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In the end, Dylan Collie‘s collegiate playing career will conclude where it began.

In mid-January, Collie announced that he would be transferring from Hawaii; two weeks later, he confirmed that his transfer destinations had been whittled down to BYU and Vanderbilt.  Friday night, the wide receiver confirmed on his personal Twitter account that he has decided to transfer back to BYU.

The move to the football independent serves as a homecoming for Collie as he signed with BYU in 2012 coming out of high school.  After redshirting as a true freshman and then completing a two-year LDS Church mission after that, however, he opted to transfer to Hawaii.

In addition to getting his collegiate start in Provo, there’s also a deep family connection to BYU for the player as two of Collie’s brothers, Austin and Zac, played receiver at BYU. Their father, Scott Collie, also played his college football for the Cougars.

Collie will be eligible to play immediately as he’s coming to BYU as a graduate transfer.  This will be his final season of eligibility.

This past season, Collie led the Rainbow Warriors in receptions with 56, and was second in receiving yards (636) and receiving touchdowns (four). In three years at the Mountain West school, Collie totaled 118 catches for 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns.

Nation’s top-rated unsigned QB to play for Stanford… eventually

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It will take a bit for Stanford to realize the benefits of it, but the Cardinal landed a fairly significant Herbie Hancock Wednesday morning.

Entering National Signing Day, Tanner McKee was the highest-rated unsigned recruit at the quarterback position.  The California high schooler was rated as the No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 46 prospect overall.

While Alabama, BYU, Texas, Texas A&M and Washington were viewed as potential landing spots, Stanford was viewed as the overwhelming favorite to land the signal-caller.  In the end, McKee did the expected and projected, confirming that he will, eventually, head down to The Farm.

As has previously been reported, McKee will serve a two-year LDS mission before enrolling in college.  That means he won’t be available to the Cardinal until the 2020 season — provided he doesn’t change his mind in the interim and moves on to another program, of course.