COUGAR TRACKS

Four-Game Redshirt Rule Benefits BYU Seniors Chris Wilcox & Troy Warner

Nov 12, 2019, 11:29 AM | Updated: Nov 13, 2019, 1:20 am
Photos courtesy of Deseret News...
Photos courtesy of Deseret News

PROVO, Utah – Redshirt seasons used to mean a college football player wouldn’t see any playing time in a given season. Those days are over.

Now college football programs can give redshirt players game action in four games during the redshirt season. BYU football plans to take advantage of that four-game rule in their final four games of the 2019 season.

A Redshirt is a delay or suspension of an athlete’s participation to lengthen their period of eligibility.

Last year, the NCAA announced the four-game redshirt rule and it has opened new possibilities for programs in managing their roster. For BYU, two of the Cougars’ top defensive backs this season in Chris Wilcox and Troy Warner will be able to play the next four games and maintain their eligibility for next season.

“It’s actually getting to the point where we’re not able to use as many of the redshirts as we thought we were going to be able to use. The goal is still to win the game,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake. “…I think it probably helps out more on special teams than anything else and helps out for guys that get injured. For us, it’s helping us with Chris Wilcox and Troy Warner being able to come back and play this year.”

Wilcox and Warner are seniors this season but have redshirt years available to use. That means both plays can play in the Cougars final three regular-season games plus the postseason bowl and still have the opportunity to return as redshirt seniors next season.

Both Wilcox and Warner have NFL potential, so these will be big bosts to a BYU secondary that has been battling depth issues due to injuries all season.

Wilcox has appeared in 31 games in his first three years at BYU. Last season, suffered a season-ending leg injury. He then had a second surgery back in February that delayed his return until this weekend.

Warner, the younger brother to San Francisco 49ers and former BYU star Fred Warner, has also appeared in 31 games. Back in 2017, Warner suffered a lisfranc injury against East Carolina. Last season, he didn’t play at full strength, and then back in March, Warner had a setback with his foot that sidelined him from practice until a few weeks ago.

Both players have a ton of experience. Wilcox will play at cornerback and Warner is expected to be at safety.

Redshirt Players To Watch For In Final Four Games

Jackson McChesney, RB: Former Lone Peak High running back is one of the fastest players on the team. Fourth-string running back right now after Sione Finau, Lopini Katoa, and Emmanuel Esukpa.

Keanu Hill, WR: Appeared in two games already this season. Hill was one of the star performers in BYU’s first scrimmage back in fall camp. The nephew to former Texas Longhorn and Dallas Cowboys receiver Roy Williams BYU coaches like Hill’s upside.

Luc Andrada, WR: Former quarterback in high school. Andrada ran for numerous Colorado state records in track & field.

Isaac Rex, TE: Son to former BYU All-American Byron Rex, Isaac has a ton of upside but gaining weight has been the top priority for him since returning home from serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Carter Wheat, TE: After Hank Tuipulotu went down with a season-ending injury and Laulu-Pututau was going through his academic hurdles, Wheat a true freshman from Arizona was seeing second-team reps at tight end.

Freddy Livai, DL: Had interest from a handful of Pac-12 schools coming out of high school, Livai is a returned missionary.

Ben Bywater, LB: Has made the travel squad already for a few road games. A returned missionary who prepped at Olympus High is another young linebacker in a position budding with talent. Was a scout team player of the week leading up to Utah State game.

Ammon Hannemann, DB: Younger brother to former BYU defensive back Micah Hannemann. Like his older brother, Ammon is a good athlete. Prepped at Lone Peak High.

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.

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