BYU Adds JUCO Running Back Hinckley Ropati For 2020 Season
PROVO, Utah – BYU added another running back to the mix for the upcoming 2020 season in junior college ball carrier Hinckley Ropati.
After losing signee Devonta’e Henry-Cole to Utah State, BYU moved forward and made the necessary moves to keep their backfield equipped with talent.
When asked about the impact of losing Henry-Cole will have on BYU’s backfield earlier this week, head coach Kalani Sitake wasn’t worried.
“We’re gonna be fine. He was here during our PRP’s and he was here during our workouts and stuff. He knows how good we are in our running back corps,” said Sitake.
Originally expected to join the BYU football program in January of 2021, Ropati was able to join the Cougars earlier than expected after junior college football was canceled to the springtime.
Ropati ran for 647 yards in 11 games played during his freshman season at Cerritos College in 2019. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound running back rushed for 10 touchdowns last season, including a four-touchdown performance against Fullerton College. The four TD performance tied a Cerritos College record for most touchdowns in a single game.
On his Cerritos College bio, Ropati stated his goal was to transfer to BYU, West Virginia, or Stanford. Now he’s achieving that dream by enrolling at BYU.
A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ropati has an opportunity to compete for immediate playing time in a backfield that boasts a lot of scholarship running backs. The Cerritos standout will wear No. 3 with the Cougars and has four years to play three in his collegiate career.
Ropati will compete with returning starter Lopini Katoa, Sione Finau (who participated in drills on Tuesday), Jackson McChesney, Tyler Allgeier, and others for playing time in a crowded backfield.
BYU opens the 2020 season on the road at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland on Labor Day night in front of a nationally-televised ESPN broadcast.
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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