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Eight BYU Football Players Named To Phil Steele’s Preseason All-Independent First Team

Jul 14, 2020, 12:27 PM | Updated: 12:30 pm
Chaz Ah You - BYU...
Chaz Ah You intercepts a pass in BYU's loss to USF at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (Robert W. Grover, For the Deseret News)
(Robert W. Grover, For the Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – The Phil Steele College Football Preview is always JAMPACKED with information on all 130 FBS teams, including BYU.

One of the great aspects of Steele’s magazine for BYU fans is that he treats Independent programs as a conference. With the Big Ten and Pac-12 moving to Conference-Only schedules this fall, Independents might actually become a quasi-conference in 2020.

In the 2020 edition of Steele’s preview magazine, he ranks the best players on Independent programs to form an “All-Independent Team.” Eight BYU players made Steele’s All-Independent First Team.

FBS Independents in 2020 include BYU, Notre Dame, Liberty, Army, UMass, New Mexico State, and UConn.

BYU players on Phil Steele All-Independent First Team

Matt Bushman, Tight End

Bushman returns for his senior season and has the potential to end his BYU career as one of the school’s best tight ends ever.

Gunner Romney, Wide Receiver

Through two seasons Romney has hauled in 44 receptions for 539 yards and four touchdowns. A former four-star recruit, Romney has the opportunity in front of him for a big breakout season.

James Empey, Center

Empey has been a star a center the past two years and he still has two years remaining.

Brady Christensen, Left Tackle

Christensen heads into his junior season as one of BYU’s top NFL Draft eligible prospects in 2020.

Isaiah Kaufusi, Linebacker

Entering his senior year, Kaufusi’s rise through the program at times seemed improbable but now he has become one of the leaders of the defense. Last season, Kaufusi recorded 60 tackles but he would tell you his best football is still ahead of him.

Kavika Fonua, Linebacker

One of the players that Ed Lamb and Ilaisa Tuiaki trust the most on defense, Fonua will see time at linebacker and at nickel this season. A fantastic athlete, Fonua led BYU in tackles last year with 83.

Chaz Ah You, Defensive Back

Steele tabbed the former four-star recruit Chaz Ah You as a first-team selection at safety. Ah You saw time at strong safety during the six spring practices before camp shut down due to COVID-19. Last season Ah You recorded 31 tackles in 11 games played at outside linebacker.

Dax Milne, Punt Returner

Milne had five punt returns for 57 yards last year and he is in competition for the starting returner job this season. A junior out of Bingham High, Milne will also see time at the SLOT receiver spot in BYU’s offense.

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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Eight BYU Football Players Named To Phil Steele’s Preseason All-Independent First Team