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Five BYU Football Newcomers Who Could Make An Impact In 2020

Quarterback Tyler Huntley #1 of the Utah Utes hands off to running back Devonta'e Henry-Cole #7 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – As of right now, the college football season is still expected to take place. With roughly one month till the start of fall camp, how the 2020 season will look amid the COVID-19 pandemic is still up in the air.

But with the season still believed to be kicking off as scheduled, let’s take a much-needed pause from the COVID-19 case counts and talk some BYU football newcomers. Shall we?

Five BYU Football Newcomers 

Who could be the newcomers in 2020 that make an impact for BYU this fall? Head Coach Kalani Sitake has shown a willingness to play newcomers through his first four years as the Cougars head coach. Especially if it provides his team with the “Best 11” personnel on the field.

This year might be more challenging for young players to step in and immediately earn playing time with so much experience returning. But there are a few guys you need to know about who could make an impact in their first seasons with the Cougars.

Devonata’e Henry-Cole, Running Back

Pretty easy pick here. When you add a graduate transfer, you’re looking for an immediate impact player. Henry-Cole could provide just that to a BYU ground attack that was 68th nationally averaging 159 yards per game in 2019. The Utah transfer has the opportunity to become BYU’s starting running back this season. He will have to beat out returning starter Lopini Katoa, but it should make for one of the more intriguing battles during camp.

Bruce Garrett, Running Back

After Henry-Cole and Katoa and with Sione Finau still recovering from an ACL injury, BYU has some opportunities for young players to rise up the depth chart at running back. Maybe true freshman Bruce Garrett can be the third back? Garrett, a star in the state of Texas this past season, led Pleasant Grove High School to its second state championship in three years. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Garrett was lightly recruited out of high school, but that didn’t stop him from putting up 1,796 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns in his senior season. In his junior campaign, Garrett had a 2,000-yard campaign.

Micah Harper, Cornerback

BYU’s cornerback room is deep this season, especially with Isaiah Herron pulling his name out of the Transfer Portal. But look for true freshman Micah Harper to bring competitive depth to this experienced unit. Harper, the son to former Hawaii defensive back Kenny Harper (who beat BYU in 1990), is one of BYU’s highest-rated recruits in the class of 2020.

During his high school at Basha High in Arizona, Harper excelled on both offense and defense. Back in December on Signing Day, BYU coach Kalani Sitake drew comparisons to Dayan Ghanwoloku for Harper due to his versatility at either cornerback or safety.

Fisher Jackson, Defensive End

When Fisher Jackson committed to BYU out of Herriman High School in the class of 2019, he was listed as a wide receiver and defensive back. Now one year later with a greyshirt season in between, Jackson is a 6-foot-4, 252-pound defensive end that might have a shot to push Zac Dawe for the starting defensive end spot in 2020. Jackson was someone who stood out during spring football and has been highlighted by defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki as a player that he believes will contribute along the defensive front this season.

Kody Epps, Wide Receiver

The wide receivers at BYU bring back experience, but there isn’t much production attached to anyone’s name. Which lends itself to competition and an opportunity for a newcomer to make an immediate impact. Kody Epps will arrive at BYU this month for his first season after a decorated career at Mater Dei High School where he set school records for receptions and receiving yards with 93 and 1,735 respectively. Epps had the nation’s number one quarterback in Bryce Young, who’s now at Alabama, throwing him the ball. That connection led to 28 trips to the endzone last year for Epps and gave him a First-Team All-American selection by USA Today.

Epps will have every opportunity to see playing time this season.

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

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