Defensive scout team standouts

Devin Unga

Total Blue Sports takes a look at who has been standing out and raising a few eyebrows on the scout team. This feature focuses on the defensive side of the ball, and next week the focus will turn to the offense. Apparently, there have been a few defenders that have caught the attention of players and even Coach Doman, who prepares his offense against the scout team defense weekly.

Regarding to Buck linebacker Devin Unga, Coach Mendenhall said, "He's coming along really well. He was the scout player [two weeks] ago and will play for us next year, and we're just waiting for him to be eligible. You know, it just takes a year with the transfer."

To hear that statement from his head coach makes Unga very happy for the future.

"Oh, I'm surprised he would say that," Unga said smiling. "I think our two Buck linebackers right now are doing really good right now. Brandon Ogletree is doing a really good job and Spencer Hadley is one heck of an athlete and is making plays, so it's kind of surprising Coach Mendenhall would say those nice things about me."

So what was it that garnered Unga with scout team honors two weeks ago?

"Oh, I don't know, I guess I was making plays," said the ever-humble Unga. "I guess I was doing something right."

At Oregon State, Unga learned the complexities and nuances of the 4-3 defense under Mark Banker, but now is being groomed in the 3-4 under Coach Mendenhall.

"I had a hard time with the defensive scheme at Oregon State," said Unga, who played outside linebacker for the Beavers. "Then when I came to BYU, I had to change it up. Now I have to learn a whole new defensive scheme. I don't know, being a Buck linebacker, it's kind of the same and it's actually a little easier than being an outside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme."

"Well, just like Uona [Kaveinga] last year, Uani is a veteran guy who's been around at other schools," said Coach Doman. "One top of that he's good. He's big, fast and very physical. He's going to be a good football player for our football team."

Having been on BYU's scout team and played in all 13 games in the 2009 season and 12 games during the 2010 season for Oregon State, Unga has had quite a bit of defensive experience. While he waits to become eligible to play for BYU, Unga has put that experience to work on BYU's scout team.

"I think being on the scout team has really helped with learning the basics of defense," Unga said. "When you're on the scout team you learn the basics of different teams' defenses, and when you learn different types of defenses it really helps you to understand more what you need to work on. It's helped me to really come a long way. It's almost like football 101."

Along with Unga, Teu Kautai has also done well from the Buck linebacker position.

"Teu Kautai has been rotating in with me at the Buck linebacker position," Unga said. "He's pretty athletic and has been making a lot of plays from that backer position. He's been looking good for someone sort of new to the team."

Along with Unga and Kautai, another scout team player that is generating buzz is 6-foot-1-inch, 204-pound defensive back Chase Pendley, who walked on from Skyline High School. While at Skyline, Pendley played halfback and linebacker.

"One guy who's really done well is Chase Pendley," Unga said. "He's looking good and plays safety and has been coming along really well in the defensive backfield."

"Chase is doing a good job at safety for us," Coach Doman said. "He has some work to do and just has to continue learning his assignments, but he is a really good athlete and flies around out there."

Coach Doman also likes how some members of the defensive line have been progressing on the scout team with a return missionary and former starter that BYU fans are quite familiar with.

"The defensive line is great," said Coach Doman. "Probably one of our best players over there is Ian Dulan. He's a three-year starter, so he's just redshirting this year. He's a legitimate football player.

"The other guys up front are doing great also. Lene Lesatele is a good player and is doing a great job up front. So is Baker Pritchard at the d-tackle spot and Moses Kaumatule. Basically all the Polynesian boys on that scout team are doing a fantastic job on that scout team. They're doing a great job."

Next week Total Blue Sports will take a look at who's been making some buzz and raising the eyebrows on the scout team offense. Stay tuned!

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