BYU Football’s Potential Sleepers At Wide Receiver

Jun 15, 2020, 1:58 PM
Neil Pau'u - BYU Cougars...
Wide receiver Dax Milne #82 and wide receiver Neil Pau'u #84 of the BYU Cougars celebrate a touchdown during second half action against the Western Michigan Broncos at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on December 21, 2018 at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho. BYU won the game 49-18. (Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – It’s not easy replacing three productive senior wide receivers, but that is exactly what BYU receivers coach Fesi Sitake is aiming to do this fall.

Micah Simon, Talon Shumway, and Aleva Hivo have all graduated. They were very productive throughout their careers with a combined 301 receptions and 19 touchdowns. Although it’s hard to replace that kind of production, it helps that the next wave of Cougar receivers in juniors Neil Pau’u, Dax Milne, and Gunner Romney all have meaningful game experience.

Neil Pau’u

Pau’u returns after missing last season due to suspension. He was the go-to WR from what I saw during six spring practices prior to the shutdown caused by COVID-19.

“I’m so proud of the way he’s bounced back,” Sitake told Matt Baiamonte and Mitch Harper recently on Cougar Sports Saturday. “Unfortunate that we were only able to see a little bit of him in spring ball, but we saw enough to get some excitement going.”

Pau’u made multiple plays and difficult catches during the media portion of the team drills back in March.

“He’s one of the experienced guys even though he missed a year,” said Sitake. “He brings that experience that we need. He’s such a well all-around receiver. It’s hard to find guys that can do so many different things.”

Gunner Romney

Romney enters his junior season after finishing strong in 2019 – 31 receptions and 2 touchdowns show that Romney can realize his potential after being a highly recruited receiver out of Arizona.

“I think the reason he wasn’t able to take off on his own last season was really just because of the play that the seniors had,” said Sitake. “I’m really excited for guys like Gunner, Dax, and Neil to step into that role and be able to provide that same production and hopefully more than those guys gave us last year.”

Dax Milne

Milne had some of the best receptions of 2019. His touchdown receptions versus USC and USF were highlight-reel stuff. He will have a chance to fill the void left by Hifo in the slot.

“He comes off as a slot receiver type because he’s quicker than he is fast,” said Sitake. “Dax is a guy with enough top-end speed that you can play him anywhere, that’s my plan. I envision using Dax all across the board because I think he has the skillset and the tools to do so.”

The three guys mentioned above will have prominent roles in the offense, but there’s ample opportunity for newcomers to come in and crack the rotation.

Each week on Cougar Sports Saturday beginning at Noon MST on KSLNewsradio Mitch Harper and Matt Baiamonte will be selecting players from each position group who are being slept on to make a name for themselves this season.

Matt Baiamonte’s Sleeper Pick: Redshirt Freshman Luc Andrada

“I think he has that elite speed. You mentioned this Mitch, not a lot of experience at that position. He played quarterback in high school. But if he can take that step forward, I think his elite skill could be utilized,” said Baiamonte on Cougar Sports Saturday.

Mitch Harper’s sleeper pick: Incoming freshman Miles Davis

“He is someone that no one knows really anything about. They will tell you that they have a hidden gem in Miles Davis. He’s the definition of what Kalani Sitake recruiting has been where maybe the star rating isn’t there, but the measurables, potential, and upside is there. If it clicks for that guy, you might suddenly have this diamond in the rough player that becomes a stud,” Harper said.

Listen to Cougar Sports Saturday each week leading up to the first game for position previews and sleeper picks each and every week.

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