Marcus Mathews: BYU's hybrid player

Marcus Mathews

At 6 feet 5 inches tall, Marcus Mathews has the height to match traditional Cougar tight ends like Dennis Pitta and Andrew George. Weighing in at 200 pounds, Mathews played the flexed tight end position last year rather than as a down tight end in a three-point stance. This year the role of the former four-star recruit out of Oregon continues to be modified within the Cougar offense.

During last spring camp, Marcus Mathews was slated as a tight end flexed out at the Y-position. Now it appears his role as a pass-catcher has gotten a little more complex.

"I've actually been moved and I'm working more with Coach Cahoon now," Mathews said. "I had the privilege to work with Coach Reynolds over this past spring with the tight ends. For me, having been mentored by Coach Reynolds and now Coach Cahoon has helped me make strides in leaps and bounds.

"[Two days ago] we came in for our team meetings and then we did a little team activity," Mathews continued. "Coach Doman pulled me aside and said that he had been thinking about it a lot. He said I'm one of the starting flex-Y [receivers], so every time we go out I'm not attached."

By "not attached," Mathews was referring to being split out wide.

"Anytime the tight end is not attached to the offensive line in a three-point stance, that's me," Mathews said. "I'm that guy that's flexed out at the Y-position."

However, Coach Doman now has something else in mind for Mathews.

"Now, Coach Doman wants to utilize me more at the X-position, so now it's me, McKay [Jacobson] and Cody [Hoffman] out at X," said Mathews. "Then on the other side [Z-position] you have Ross [Apo], Rhen Brown and Jordan [Smith]."

By moving the taller, more polished Mathews to the outside, that frees up the Y-position for tight ends like the rangy, 6-foot-6-inch, 245-pound Devin Mahina and speedy Richard Wilson and Kaneakua Friel. Mathews has always considered himself a receiver rather than a tight end.

"I'm a receiver and that's what I am," Mathews said. "I think we have a lot of good receivers out there and they tried to utilize me at the Y-position. I worked hard every day in the offseason. Man, I was out here two times a day throwing with whoever, and it's paying off now with the move to the outside."

Now under the tutelage of Coach Cahoon, Mathews still also learns from Coach Reynolds.

"I go to the receivers' meetings with Coach Cahoon and then meet with Coach Reynolds afterwards to go over stuff that I might have missed," Mathews said. "Coach Doman wants me to go with Coach Cahoon so I can get the receiver technique down. It's a weird kind of thing; I do receiver drills but I play the tight end and receiver's positions."

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