Jeffrey D. Allred,
Brigham Young Cougars running back Riley Burt (34) runs from Brigham Young Cougars defensive back Hiva Lee (22) during practice in Provo on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
PROVO — As a freshman in 2015, running back Riley Burt showed flashes of his potential.
Burt ran 14 times for 86 yards, including a 41-yard run against Cincinnati. Then, last season, he redshirted.
“The decision was a group effort, talking to my parents and coaches and prayer,” Burt said of redshirting. “It was the right decision.”
Burt said he benefited from his redshirt year and, as a sophomore, he’s hoping to make up for lost time this season by being part of the running back rotation.
“I’m definitely excited. I’ll do whatever I can to help the team,” said the 6-foot-1, 205-pound sophomore from Mantua. “Whatever the coach needs. I gained a lot of weight, about 10-15 pounds, I got faster. I’ve been working hard to get bigger, faster, stronger. It was hard not playing football for a whole year, at least in games, but I learned a lot from Jamaal Williams and I learned the offense.”
While redshirting, Burt ran indoor track for BYU.
Burt is one of several vying for playing time this fall along with Squally Canada, Ula Tolutau, KJ Hall, Trey Dye and Kavika Fonua.
How will the carries be divided up among the running backs?
“I’m not worried about that. I’m going to do my part to help the team out. I’m here for the team and I want whatever’s best for the team,” Burt said. “All the running backs bring something different. We all have different running styles and different body types. We have variety. It’s good. We’re all working hard and we’re all trying to get better.”
Burt is looking to become an all-around running back.
“I’m working really hard on pass-blocking and catching balls,” he said. “I’m trying to make those my strengths.”
CLOSED AND OPEN SCRIMMAGES: BYU held a scrimmage last Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium that…