COUGAR TRACKS

Kyle Van Noy Impressed With BYU Football’s Culture Under Kalani Sitake

May 10, 2022, 3:55 PM | Updated: 4:05 pm

SANDY, Utah – Kyle Van Noy is one of the greatest defensive players to ever come through the BYU football program. So when the newest Los Angeles Charger and Super Bowl champion shares his thoughts on his alma mater, people listen.

Van Noy opened up on the current state of BYU football in an exclusive interview with KSL Sports’ Sam Farnsworth. The ninth-year NFL veteran was back in town for the American Cornhole League’s stop in Utah.

Van Noy competed in a charity event against former NFL tight end Vernon Davis at the Mountain America Expo Center.

Kyle Van Noy is ‘very supportive’ of Kalani Sitake

But when the topic of recent success for BYU football came up, Van Noy praised head coach Kalani Sitake.

“His environment, his culture that he has built is impressive,” said Van Noy to KSL Sports. “I’m very, very supportive of him –and only him (laughter) as many people know how I feel about the rest of the place– and I’m supportive of the kids because they work so hard.”

Van Noy played at BYU under former head coach Bronco Mendenhall from 2010-13, racking up 222 tackles, 26 sacks, 61.5 tackles for loss, seven interceptions, and 12 forced fumbles in his All-American career.

The comment about “the rest of the place” at BYU might surprise some. Van Noy has not held back on his feelings about how BYU handles the honor code.

In 2019 following allegations that BYU police officers used police databases to find information later given to the Honor Code Office, Van Noy called out BYU administrator Vernon Heperi in a since-deleted tweet. Heperi, who is currently an Assistant to the President, was the dean of students when Van Noy was a student at BYU.

In Jeff Benedict’s 2014 book, “The System,” Heperi was heavily involved in admitting Van Noy into BYU after the star linebacker dealt with an arrest as a juvenile.

KVN sees BYU being capable of more in 2022

Van Noy continues to support BYU football despite the frustrations with the administration side. He likes where the program is trending but feels there is still room to grow after a pair of double-digit-win seasons.

“Defensively, they were kind of depleted last year. Hopefully, they get the guys healthy from whatever injuries that they had. And offensively, we need Jaren Hall to stay healthy. He’s been kind of injury-prone and you know, I’m sure he’s tired of hearing that. He’s going to probably see this and be tired of hearing it, but as a fan now, I want him to be healthy, take care of his body and get us over the hump.”

Hall is just one of many stars on a BYU team that looks poised to be a preseason Top 25 team this fall. According to ESPN’s Bill Connelly, BYU enters the 2022 season with the second-most returning production in college football. Van Noy, one of the great playmakers in BYU’s history, likes the personnel that BYU has on the roster.

“[Kalani]’s brought the talent here and the talent is going to continue to come because Kalani is a great recruiter and he has great coaches intact. And I hope they get it done.”

The BYU-Utah rivalry

But there is one thing that Van Noy wants from BYU football in the future, wins over rival Utah.

“They’ve got to beat Utah. We’re 1-0; I can talk trash. I know I’m 0-4, but we’re 1-0, and that’s all that matters.”

Van Noy doesn’t have to worry about relinquishing those bragging rights from last year’s 26-17 BYU win, as the two rivals won’t meet again until 2024.

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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