COUGAR TRACKS

10 Under-The-Radar BYU Football Players Who Have Future Potential

Nov 3, 2021, 7:15 AM | Updated: 11:19 am
BYU Football - Quenton Rice...
BYU football cornerback Quenton Rice during a fall camp practice. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
(Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – We’ve reached the point of the BYU football season where the Cougars line up against an annual FCS team. This year it’s Idaho State. The Bengals are always more than willing to take a paycheck against the Cougars.

Historically, games against FCS teams have posed opportunities to play some young players that are seldomly used.

Here’s a list of 10 under-the-radar BYU football players this year that could have the potential to contribute at a high level in the future. Some of these guys might have the chance to play against Idaho State, or their moments will come in future seasons.

Listed in alphabetical order.

Miles Davis, Running Back

Davis was set to make contributions this season before suffering an injury that has kept him sidelined to this point of the 2021 season. A former wide receiver out of Las Vegas High School, Davis has transformed his body to play the running back position.

BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick praised Davis for his ability to make plays in practice consistently.

He arrived at BYU at 190-pounds. Now he’s listed at 210-pounds. What’s exciting about the potential of Davis is that he still maintained the speed during fall camp. If BYU has to experience life without Tyler Allgeier after this season, Davis could be the next big thing at running back for the Cougars.

Kody Epps, Wide Receiver

A nagging foot injury has sidelined Epps this season. However, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound High School All-American from Mater Dei will still have four years to play four after this season.

Epps picked BYU over late recruiting interest from Oklahoma. He also held an offer from Oregon. The talent is there. Once he gets healthy, he will be a contributor. Epps told me in the spring that he’s made it a point of emphasis to know the playbook inside and out this season. If he takes advantage of this year from the mental side, he will be set up for success in the future.

Mason Fakahua, Running Back

When Fakahua signed with BYU out of high school, he came from a prep career where he was a quarterback. He was given a brief opportunity with the QBs, but Fakahua’s best attribute on the field is his athleticism. As a result, BYU coaches switched Fakahua last season in the running back room.

 

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He’s now got a whole second year in the RB room with Harvey Unga coaching him up. It’s a busy unit that features Jackson McChesney, Hinckley “Folau” Ropati, and Davis. Any one of those guys will be ready to pounce on reps if Allgeier and Lopini Katoa are both gone in 2022, but don’t sleep completely on Fakahua, who’s garnered some praise from head coach Kalani Sitake for his play in practices this year.

Bentley Hanshaw, Tight End

Hanshaw has gone kind of under-the-radar because there are two stars at the top of BYU’s tight end depth chart this year in Isaac Rex and Dallin Holker. A legacy recruit, Hanshaw is in his third year with the BYU program, and he will still have three years to play three after 2021.

BYU tight ends coach Steve Clark praised Hanshaw this past off-season for physically making the most significant leaps during the offseason conditioning program with Nu’u Tafisi.

Tyler Little, Offensive Line

BYU signed Little to a scholarship this past June after spending a spring with Butte College earlier this year. The 6-foot-7, 260-pound Little never played a down of football during high school or in JUCO. But BYU’s Darrell Funk loved the combination of size and athleticism from Little.

Despite the limited experience, Little has been on BYU’s travel roster for all four of their road games so far this season. He has yet to appear in a game, but he’s making a lot of progress in his development this season.

Isaac Matua, Linebacker

Coming out of Kearns High School, Matua was a do-it-all athlete for the Cougars. He played quarterback, running back, defensive back, and linebacker. At BYU, he’s settled in at linebacker. When he signed with BYU in the class of 2018, he was under 200 pounds. Now he’s at 6-foot-3, 220-pounds.

 

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Matua’s versatility as an athlete makes him an intriguing prospect in the future. He’s raw, but his upside is intriguing.

Kade Moore, Wide Receiver

Moore joined the BYU program last season. He’s arrived at a time when the wide receiver room is deeper than it has ever been under Kalani Sitake. But he’s still found a way to make the travel roster for a few games this season.

During his prep career at Lehi High School, Moore loaded up the stat sheet with Cammon Cooper, throwing him the football before making his way to BYU as a preferred walk-on.

At a minimum, Moore right now has earned some praise for having some of the best “drip” on the team. For those not familiar with “drip,” that cool gear or accessories. Glad we could clear that up.

Moore was named a Scout Team player of the week for Arizona State week.

Quenton Rice, Cornerback

A name to watch for in the secondary is a legacy prospect to the BYU football program. Quenton Rice, son to former BYU great Rodney Rice, has the makings to be a good player at cornerback. He prepped at Faith Lutheran High School in Las Vegas, where he was a wide receiver.

 

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This year has been an opportunity for Rice to learn the cornerback position. During fall camp, he showed flashes of playmaking ability. At 6-foot-1, 200-pounds, he’s got the size, measurables to be a difference-maker in the future.

Viliami Tausinga, Linebacker

Viliami Tausinga was a signee in the same recruiting class as former BYU QB Zach Wilson. Wilson is already in the NFL with the New York Jets, while Tausinga is going through his first year in the BYU program. When you throw in a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints plus a grey shirt year, it can cause those mind-blowing situations within a BYU recruiting class.

 

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The former East High linebacker is a tackling machine. This year has been an opportunity to get acclimated to an FBS training program. Down the road, look for Tausinga to be a contributor at linebacker.

One area he’s already contributing in the BYU locker room is in the laughs. Tausinga is viewed as one of the funny guys on the 2021 roster that can always bring a smile to everyone.

Tanner Wall, Wide Receiver

Wall has made the travel roster a couple of times this season during his first full year as a walk-on in the BYU program. He’s a good athlete with a 38-inch vertical leap and was the 6A Liberty Conference Player of the Year in Virginia.

 

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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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