PROVO — Riley Burt’s 41-yard run against the University of Cincinnati on Oct. 16, 2015, was memorable — but costly.
With the 2016 season two weeks away, Burt is healthy and one of a number of backs vying for carries.
“We need to get him more reps and it’s difficult to do that when you have Jamaal (Williams) and Squally (Canada) and Algie (Brown) … and Trey (Dye),” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said following practice Thursday.
Sitake described Burt as an “explosive runner” and said next week should provide Burt an opportunity to showcase himself.
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For Burt’s part, his focus is on simply helping the team.
“We’ve got a lot of talent this year,” Burt said. “We’ve got Taysom (Hill) coming back, Jamaal, we’ve got some receivers making plays. We’ve got a lot of talent, we just need to get it together as a team and I think we’ll have that by Sept. 3.”
In addition to vying for carries, Burt has also been involved in special teams — specifically, kickoff returns.
Burt had a 39-yard kickoff return against Utah State last year, then returned five kicks for 111 yards against Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Special teams coordinator and assistant head coach Ed Lamb said Burt can be relied on for his speed and that “he’s got good size and strength,” but the decision of who will be kickoff return specialist is “another week or so out.”
Both Lamb and offensive coordinator Ty Detmer praised Burt’s mindset.
“He’s one of those kids that just goes out and works, and so he’s got a great attitude and he’s doing great,” Detmer said.