Kingsley Suamataia’s ‘Freakish Athleticism’ Standing Out At BYU Camp
PROVO, Utah – It’s full steam ahead for the Cougars as BYU enters week two of fall camp. Despite a large amount of returning production from last year’s 10-win squad, BYU will be relying on a number of new additions to make immediate impacts. One of those players is offensive lineman Kingsley Suamataia, whose making an early impression on the coaching staff.
Kingsley Suamataia Shows “Freakish Athleticism” In Fall Camp
Offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick spoke to the media after practice on Tuesday, noting Suamataia’s “freakish athleticism” and high potential. “I’ve never seen anything like it, ever. He’s the best athlete I’ve ever seen on the offensive line”, said Roderick.
— Mitch Harper (@Mitch_Harper) May 15, 2022
High praise from a guy who has coached some very athletic offensive lineman, like All-American Brady Christensen and Kingsley’s teammate Blake Freeland. But Suamataia is an impressive player with a mountain of potential. The former five-star recruit from Orem High School transferred to BYU from Oregon, announcing his commitment last November. He joins an already stacked group of offensive lineman with a lot of experience and high expectations.
Offensive Line Position Battles To Watch
Suamataia is battling at the tackle position in what offensive line coach Darrell Funk called a “three-four way battle at tackle”. Blake Freeland is the incumbent starter at left tackle and is poised to retain that position as one of the nation’s best lineman. Harris LaChance was the starter at right tackle to start the 2021 season, but played in just five games.
LaChance and Suamataia have rotated at right tackle with the first-team offense during media observation periods. LaChance has also seen snaps inside at right guard, although Suamataia seems set to remain strictly a tackle, according to Coach Funk. “I have not slid (Suamataia) inside, I’ve just kept him on the edges. I think that’s his natural position”, said Funk.
#BYU OL Kingsley Suamataia mentioned as a breakout candidate in 2022 by @PFF_Anthony. The Cougars offensive line will be loaded this season. #BYUFootball https://t.co/mVbZzDcmHK pic.twitter.com/6LQGY1xRs5
— Dallen Graff (@dallengraff) July 11, 2022
Funk noted the only player to have seemingly solidified his starting spot is left guard Clark Barrington, who he says is “the leader in our room”. BYU returns many players with experience at multiple positions. Joe Tukuafu is competing at both center and guard, as is Connor Pay. Campbell Barrington, who largely replaced LaChance at right tackle last season, will compete at tackle as well as guard. That versatility allows BYU to truly put out the best starting five for game one against South Florida in under a month.
Coaching Staff “Open” To Rotating Along Offensive Line
With returning experience all across the board, the biggest challenge for the coaching staff will be determining which combination of five players will be the strongest starting lineup. Coach Funk told the media on Tuesday that he hoped to be set on either the starting five or his rotation “within a week”.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) August 8, 2022
Regardless of what the starting lineup looks like up front, it seems more and more likely that BYU will employ a rotation of players along the offensive line. With a bevy of talent and experience at the position group, it’s something that Coach Roderick mentioned they are considering.
“We are open to playing more than five guys and there’s a good chance that we will. I wouldn’t just call it likely, I would call it probable”, Roderick told the media.
big boys gettin’ after it 😤 pic.twitter.com/Xq6qnxQvpp
— BYU FOOTBALL (@BYUfootball) August 6, 2022
On BYU football’s first official depth chart for the 2022 season, released at Media Day in June, eight players along the offensive line were listed as either starters or in a competition for the starting job. Coach Funk mentioned on Tuesday feeling comfortable with eight of his players being ready for action right now. With that many available guys Coach Funk also agreed with the inevitability of a rotation, saying: “If I was a betting man, that’s what I would say will happen”.
BYU Cougars Scoreboard
BYU Cougars Team Leaders
BYU Cougars Standings