BYU Football To Honor 15 Seniors In Final Home Game Of 2020
PROVO, Utah – Barring a late addition to the schedule, Saturday’s game between BYU football and San Diego State will be the final home game at LaVell Edwards Stadium for the 2020 season. An opportunity to highlight the senior class that helped put together BYU’s best season in decades.
This year is interesting as all seniors have the opportunity to return to BYU for another season if they wish. The NCAA implemented legislation that this would be a free year of eligibility due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Class of 2020 – BYU Football Seniors
For seniors who do return, BYU would have to take care of those players’ costs being part of the program, but they wouldn’t count against the 85 scholarship limit.
Here’s a list of the 15 seniors that will be publicly recognized and honored before No. 14/16 hosts San Diego State on Saturday night.
Zayne Anderson, Safety
The Stansbury Park native signed with BYU in 2015 when Bronco Mendenhall was the head coach. Injuries have plagued Anderson during his career. He’s not ruling the opportunity of returning next season.
“At the end of the day, my plan is to go to the NFL. What I told my coaches, at the end of the season, I’ll kind of determine what my case is if coming back next year. So I’m going to take it game-by-game, and I’m really trying to lock in these last few games and give it everything I have.”
Matt Bushman, Tight End
A star tight end, Bushman missed the 2020 season due to an Achilles injury back in August. Since that injury, Bushman has become a first-time father and earlier this month signed with EXOS Sports to participate in their 2021 NFL Combine program. He’s preparing for a career in the NFL.
— EXOS Sports (@EXOSsports) December 2, 2020
Zac Dawe, Defensive End
Dawe has been one of the top defensive linemen in the program in 2020. From being a scholarship offensive lineman to potentially being out of football to walk-on and now starting defensive end, it’s been a wild ride for Dawe, who said last month he would decide after the season.
“I haven’t done that evaluation yet. I’m just going to wait and play the rest of the season and come back and address that later,” Dawe said on November 16.
Bracken El-Bakri, Defensive Line
El-Bakri has become a mainstay along BYU’s defensive front after originally joining the program as a walk-on. On Tuesday night, he said that he’s not sure what he will do yet in regards to 2021. El-Bakri’s brother, former BYU football fullback Brayden El-Bakri, has told Bracken to take another year with the Cougars.
Kavika Fonua, Linebacker/Safety/Running Back
Fonua has been a jack of all trades for the Cougars. This season alone, Fonua has recorded 16 tackles and two pass breakups while also finding the endzone twice on the offensive side.
Kyle Griffitts, Tight End/Fullback
Griffitts is one of the players in the program that many look up to. He’s worked his way from walk-on tryout player to receiving a scholarship on Tuesday night.
My life dream was to play football @ BYU and to earn a scholarship. After going through tryouts and making the team as a walk on, and now 5 years of grinding odd jobs, working weekends construction in st George and waiting tables I’ve been put on scholarship!!! Dreams come true!
— Kyle Griffitts (@kgee42) December 8, 2020
Chandon Herring, Offensive Line
At 6-foot-7, 310-pounds, Herring runs a 4.9-40. Earlier this year, he said on the Cougar Tracks Podcast that he hadn’t decided on his future yet. Could be an intriguing NFL prospect if he tests well in the Combine setting.
Tristen Hoge, Guard
A former four-star recruit, Hoge transferred to BYU from Notre Dame and has become a three-year starter for the Cougars. Earlier this season, Hoge battled COVID-19 and experienced pneumonia. He was named to the Reese’s Senior Bowl Watchlist before the season.
Jared Kapisi, Safety
Kapisi walked on to the BYU program and has stuck around becoming a backup at safety this season. Earlier in his career, he competed at kicker for the Cougars. Against Texas State in October, Kapisi recorded his first career interception.
Isaiah Kaufusi, Linebacker
From being told by Ed Lamb, he wasn’t good enough for playing time on the field to becoming a captain and a leader of the program, Isaiah Kaufusi is one of the better stories to come out of BYU in awhile. It’s been quite the ride for Isaiah Kaufusi. Like others, Kaufusi hasn’t formally decided on what he intends to do for next season.
The former Brighton High standout leads BYU in tackles this season with 66 and is also No. 1 on the team with four sacks.
"I love my team. I love these guys. I love what we stand for, who we stand for.
"I would say, the pandemic has taught us to not take things for granted. It's just a blessing to be out there with guys, my brothers." – @isaiah_kaufusi 💙#BYUFootball #BYU #GoCougs pic.twitter.com/etiJ3WUutf
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) December 6, 2020
Kieffer Longson, Offensive Line
A former four-star recruit, Longson has battled through a lot of injuries in his career. One of BYU’s top offensive linemen at getting to the second level, he stepped in for injured Clark Barrington during the Cougars loss at Coastal Carolina this past Saturday.
Khyiris Tonga, Nose Tackle
Tonga surprised many last winter by returning to the BYU football team for his senior year. Once the pandemic hit, Tonga later said to KSL Sports he was grateful to have returned to BYU after Pro Days were canceled this past spring.
95 BYU DT Khyiris Tonga with some ultra quickness to off the snap. Draws a blatant hold pic.twitter.com/JuqSxaxxq2
— Billy M (@BillyM_91) December 5, 2020
When asked on November 17 if he would return next year, Tonga replied, “I’m not sure. I don’t know; I’m not really thinking about it right now … what happens, happens. But as of right now, just focusing on the upcoming game.”
Tonga has 33 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, three quarterback hurries, and 11 pass breakups in nine games played.
Jeddy Tuiloma, Defensive Lineman
Younger brother to former BYU lineman Travis Tuiloma. Jeddy transferred in from Butler Community College in 2017. He played in five games during his BYU career.
Troy Warner, Defensive Back
Warner has been a versatile player for BYU playing both cornerback and safety during his career. He said earlier this season that he wasn’t ready to make any decisions on returning for 2021 or not. A former four-star recruit, Warner, has played his best football during his senior season, recording 24 tackles and two interceptions this year.
Chris Wilcox, Cornerback
Wilcox has announced that he will not be returning next season and that he plans to pursue a career in the NFL. The Fontana, California native hopes to run a low 4.4 or high 4.3 40 at the Pro Day leading up to the NFL Draft next spring. Wilcox graduated from BYU this past summer.
#BYU senior cornerback Chris Wilcox, who graduated this past summer, said to the media tonight that this will be his last year and that he plans to pursue an NFL career after this season.
Wilcox said his best skill set for the NFL is his speed. He's shooting for a low 4.4-40.
— Mitch Harper (@Mitch_Harper) November 18, 2020
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 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.
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