Three Mid-Year Newcomers To Watch For BYU Football In 2020

Jan 8, 2020, 4:23 PM | Updated: 4:24 pm
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Courtesy of BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey

PROVO, Utah – Class is back in session after the holiday break. With classes rolling again, it means new football student-athletes matriculating into campus in preparation for a new football season.

BYU had nine new players enroll this week for the winter semester. These players will be able to participate in winter conditioning, spring football, summer workouts, and then the 2020 football season.

Of the nine new faces, there are three that I believe could make an impact for BYU football in 2020.

Whenever you project potential impact from a newcomer, you have to look at a couple of different things. One, does that player have the elite athleticism and production that warrants immediate playing time? Two, does the team they are joining have a pressing need at that position, and then three, physically, do they have the body necessary to make an impact right away?

Tyler Batty, Defensive Lineman

A returned missionary out of Payson High School, Batty turned down Power 5 offers including one from Utah, to sign with BYU out of high school. Batty served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and returned home from his mission last July. Batty greyshirted during the fall semester before enrolling this week.

At 6-5, 235 pounds, one of Batty’s strengths is creating pressure in the backfield from the defensive end spot. Last season, BYU ranked 117th nationally in total sacks. The Cougars need guys that can create havoc as one of the top edge rushers in JJ Nwigwe graduated this past season.

Ryan Rehkow, Kicker/Punter

It’s surprising to see how BYU’s kicking game evolved in 2019. Now with Jake Oldroyd having some inconsistencies and Skyler Southam entering the transfer portal, it’s created an opportunity for Rehkow to compete right away for the starting kicker spot.

Rehkow returned home from a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission to England back in September. The younger brother to former All-American punter Austin Rehkow, Ryan can both kick and punt.

Caleb Christensen, Defensive Back/Returner

An under-the-radar prospect from the Cache Valley, BYU coaches love Christensen’s speed and upside. A former Sky View High School standout, Christensen greyshirted in 2019 and joined the program this week.

Christensen comes into BYU’s program at a time where there are openings at the positions he thrived at in high school.

With Aleva Hifo graduated and pursuing a career in the NFL, Christensen steps in with a chance to compete right away as one of the top returners on special teams for BYU. In high school, Christensen had 10 kickoff & punt returns taken back to the house for touchdowns.

Along with being a standout on special teams, Christensen excelled at cornerback. The cornerback spot was an area of need for BYU during the early signing period as they look to replace the huge shoes left behind by Dayan Ghanwoloku.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for 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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