Four BYU Cougars To Keep An Eye On As Fall Camp Begins
PROVO, Utah – The time is finally here. College football fall camps across the country started as teams prep for the upcoming season.
Nearly every team is faced with unknowns and inevitably there will be breakout players. Here are KSL’s UnRivaled’s predictions for the breakout players from BYU.
Scott Mitchell and Alex Kirry, co-hosts of UnRivaled, made their predictions based on which players they expect to take a leap in performance or players that will come out of nowhere and surprise everyone.
Offensive Breakout Players
Mitchell predicted BYU will a have a breakout at runningback but it may not be the runner you expect.
“It’s going to be a running back but it will not be one of the guys here for one year. The guy I believe that is the most poised to make something happen – it is all based on ‘please stay healthy’ – is Lopini Katoa,” Mitchell said.
Katoa has creativity and quickness in his style of play and he has size and speed to make things happen if he is healthy and gets the bulk of the carries.
“I don’t believe there is going to be a breakout at wide receiver, [Matt] Bushman is already a break out player at tight end, and Zach Wilson has already broken out,” Mitchell added. “This offense is built around run first and I believe Katoa is the guy who has the best opportunity.”
Fans will want to see the SEC transfer in Williams come in and take over the running game, but it would be smart for BYU to go with the guy who has been on the team and give him the opportunity to be the number one guy.
- Beau Hoge retires from BYU
- Five burning questions heading into BYU fall camp
- Why it’s a good idea for BYU to add UConn to its schedule
Kirry’s player to watch goes to the BYU receiving core. There are a lot of guys, but not one stands out heading into 2019.
”Wide receiver is a position group that people are saying, ‘please, be a break out somewhere.’ There are a lot of names out there. A guy who had some flashes last year was Gunner Romney,” Kirry said. ”Again, this is probably more of a desire that people will hope he ends up being a break out guy. Gunner Romney is a guy if Zach Wilson is going to have success he is going to need to have a target.”
This can go both ways. Wilson is on the verge of becoming a really good quarterback who can make wide receivers look great and that can go both ways with a productive wide receiver.
If Wilson has a solid wide receiver in Romney, or anyone else, it will help the offense be a better group overall.
Defensive Breakout Players
Zayne Anderson is Mitchell’s pick for a defensive player who will take the next step.
Anderson is not only coming off 2018 where he played in just four games but he is switching from defensive back to linebacker for his senior year. He is a very athletic player with a lot of speed, according to Mitchell.
“I look for these kids that are really athletic and that is what I think he is. I think this defense is built around these linebackers having success and if he is the guy that is healthy is a senior and that guy who can really do it,’ Mitchell said.
Taking advantage of Anderson’s speed and athleticism at linebacker is the right move for this BYU defense, according to the UnRivaled duo. With this being his last year in Provo it is now or never to become a star on this defense.
For Kirry, it is defensive back Troy Warner.
”This one is a bit more of him living up to what his recruiting and what his stars were, health has been part of an issue, the family name is there and I want him to have a huge year,” Kirry said.
Out of high school, Warner was a higher-rated recruit than his brother Fred who just had a great rookie year with the San Francisco 49ers, but so far in his career with the Cougars, the younger Warner brother has not lived up to the hype. According to Kirry, he has one more year to make a name for himself.
If these four players take the next step and reach their potential it could mean the difference from BYU having a good season or the Cougars having a great season.