BYU COUGARS

BYU Senior Kavika Fonua Could Switch From Defense To Running Back If Needed

Sep 21, 2020, 1:43 PM | Updated: 1:44 pm
Kavika Fonua - BYU...
BYU linebacker Kavika Fonua poses for a photo at the Indoor Training Facility at BYU in Provo on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – Kavika Fonua has been a jack of all trades during his career at BYU. A Syracuse, Utah native, Fonua has played linebacker, safety, nickel, and running back since he joined the Cougars in 2014.

Fonua currently plays in a hybrid safety who also can play in the box at linebacker one year after leading BYU in tackles last season. But that could change if needed soon.

In the last two seasons, BYU has been hit hard by injuries at the running back, and 2020 is no different. BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes was on Coordinators Corner on BYUtv and said Fonua could switch to the offensive side if needed.

“We find ourselves early in the season in a position that we’ve been in the past years with running backs banged up,” said Grimes when asked about the running back personnel. “So, you know, we feel really good about the first two guys obviously.

“We do have some other guys on the team that we feel like can play there. Kavika (Fonua) is a guy that’s played running back before, and we feel he can do that.”

Fonua played at running back during the 2017 season, appearing in the first four games before suffering a season-ending injury. In high school, Fonua excelled on the defensive side but also played running back for the Titans.

More running backs are on the way for BYU

BYU’s leading rusher from the 2019 season was Sione Finau before he suffered a season-ending ACL injury leading up to the UMass game. Finau is nearing a return to the playing field.

“Sione (Finau) will be coming back from injury in another two or three weeks, if not sooner,” Grimes said on Coordinators’ Corner. “So once he’s back, then we’ll feel like we got another guy that has the experience and game-breaking ability.”

Last season Finau rushed for 359 yards highlighted by an 89-yard, one-touchdown performance in an upset win over undefeated Boise State.

Along with Finau, Grimes also mentioned true freshman Miles Davis who he referred to as “kind of an all-around athlete,” could be developed at running back as well.

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, KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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