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BYU WR Neil Pau’u Declares For NFL Draft

Dec 22, 2021, 7:06 PM
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BYU football wide receiver Neil Pau'u had two touchdown grabs in BYU's win over Arizona. (BYU Photo/Jaren WIlkey)
(BYU Photo/Jaren WIlkey)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football wide receiver Neil Pau’u is moving on to pursue a professional football career.

Pau’u just concluded his senior season at BYU this past fall, but he had the opportunity to return next year. The NCAA gave all student-athletes a free year of eligibility in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pau’u, who has been part of the BYU program since 2017, is opting to move on. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound receiver recently received an invite to play in the Hula Bowl All-Star Game.

“I’m excited for what lies ahead,” wrote Pau’u in his announcement post. “And with that being said I’m excited to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft. Thank you & God Bless!! #2Out”

During his four years on the field at BYU, Pau’u hauled in 123 receptions for 1,484 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Pau’u’s final season was cut short as he suffered a season-ending injury on Senior Day as he scored a touchdown against FCS foe Idaho State back on November 6.

In 10 game appearances, Pau’u had a career-high 46 receptions, 526 yards, and six touchdown grabs.

”I want to thank my coaches, the team support staff, training staff, and especially my teammates, both past and present, for pushing me to be better. You have changed my life in ways I couldn’t put into words. You have stuck with me through the hard times and supported whatever decision I’ve made.

”To coach Kalani, I want to say thank you for allowing me to be me and taking a chance on me. You are the man to lead BYU.

”To my position coach Fesi Sitake. I want to say thank you for never giving up on me. We had our ups and down for sure but you challenged me to be better in every aspect of life and for that I say – Thank You. You have always been open and honest with me and I wouldn’t be the player I am today without yah.”

Pau’u is the second “COVID Junior” to announce that he is moving on from BYU to pursue the NFL. The other was center James Empey, who, like Pau’u, suffered a season-ending injury during his final year at BYU.

BYU running back Lopini Katoa is the only player so far that has announced he will be returning for another year with the Cougars.

One of the big announcements that BYU is waiting on is from running back Tyler Allgeier. Allgeier, a fourth-year sophomore, set a single-rushing yards record at BYU with 1,601 yards on the ground in 2021.

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

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BYU WR Neil Pau’u Declares For NFL Draft