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Two Freshmen Moving Up BYU’s Cornerback Depth Chart

#7 George Udo and #37 Austin Whetzel at BYU Fall Football Camp 2019 (Photo: BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – When Kalani Sitake took over as BYU’s head coach in 2016, one of the positions that have been a huge focus in recruiting has been the cornerback spot.

BYU has always wanted depth at that position to have the bodies necessary to play man-to-man pass coverage on defense.  A few months ago, the Cougars looked to have a lot of depth at corner, but some transfers and injuries have tested that theory.

Sitake himself said on the Cougar Tracks Podcast that cornerback depth was going to be an area that he would be monitoring in camp.

A pair of freshmen are rising up the depth chart according to BYU defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki.

“Obviously we have Dayan that we ended up moving to cornerback, “D’Lo” (D’Angelo) Mandell that’s another guy who’s been competing, but George Udo one of the new guys, I think has made leaps and bounds in this camp so far.  He’s a guy that’s competing and can be a guy for us.  Isaiah Herron was a guy that was doing really good early.  Dayan, Isaiah Herron, “D’Lo”, and George Udo are the guys that stick out as the main four right now,” said Tuiaki on KSL Newsradio’s Cougar Sports Saturday.

Those two freshmen are Isaiah Herron (redshirt from last season) and true freshman George Udo.  Herron isn’t much of a surprise but Udo is someone that wasn’t being looked upon to make an immediate impact in 2019.

Udo, a native of Walnut Creek, California, has only played one year of organized football prior to arriving at BYU and it’s the reason he primarily only received offers from FCS schools.

The Cougars are turning to youngsters in the second unit because of injuries to senior Chris Wilcox (injured last season) and sophomore Keenan Ellis, who suffered an injury earlier this past week in camp.  Wilcox, who is one of the top NFL Draft prospects on the 2019 team, could be a redshirt candidate this year if he doesn’t get close to 100 percent in his recovery.

Reinforcements on the way

BYU will see a new face added to the cornerback room this week as junior college transfer Dimitri Gallow is expected to be cleared to play this week.  Gallow, a transfer out of Mt. San Jacinto, was someone that Tuiaki highlighted back at Media Day as someone who could compete right away in the two-deep.

Rest of the cornerback unit

Others competing for playing time at cornerback include Weber State transfer Shamon Willis who is the son to BYU legend Jamal Willis, walk-on Jared Kapisi who is also a backup punter for the Cougars, and true freshmen Javelle Brown, Kimball Henstrom, and Tavita Gagnier.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.