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Predicting Winners From BYU’s Position Battles In Camp

Aug 20, 2022, 5:42 PM
BYU Football, Jakob Robinson...
BYU football defensive back Jakob Robinson could emerge as the top guy at nickel. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
(Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – The BYU football team will be in Tampa, Florida, in less than two weeks.

So the season is almost here.

Fall camp will wrap up on Tuesday and depth charts are getting put into place as BYU ramps up its preparation for the USF Bulls.

Let’s predict who will win BYU’s remaining position battles with the season almost here.

Starting five along the offensive line

If BYU offensive line coach Darrell Funk were a betting man, he would tell you that BYU will likely play more than five guys along the offensive front against USF.

But, that starting five is a notable starting point.

Here’s how I see that starting five playing out from left to right.

The left side is easy to predict with Blake Freeland at left tackle and Clark Barrington at left guard. Those two players give QB Jaren Hall a pair of potential NFL draft picks on the left side of the line.

At center, Connor Pay continues to handle that spot, where he’s been a rising star since his impromptu performance in the Boca Raton Bowl two seasons ago.

Then on the right side is where things get interesting.

At right tackle, I’m going with heralded Oregon transfer Kingsley Suamataia. The athleticism that Suamataia has for a man of his size is uncanny. In addition, he plays with a mean streak and he’s shown why he was once one of the nation’s best offensive line recruits in the 2021 recruiting cycle.

Then at right guard, I’m going to predict Campbell Barrington. Barrington is interesting because he could play any of the five spots along BYU’s offensive line. He was a Freshman All-American at offensive tackle last year.

Offensive linemen off the bench to watch for include Harris LaChance, Joe Tukuafu, Sione Veikoso, Tyler Little, and Brayden Keim.

Strong Safety

The strong safety spot has been a competition throughout fall camp, but one guy appears to have a “leg up” on the competition. That would be fourth-year sophomore Ammon Hannemann.

Hannemann started in four games last season and appeared in 10 games. He’s a good athlete and seems ready to step into that spot alongside Malik Moore, who will handle the free safety spot.

“I feel like the second and third safeties right now there is a big battle going on right there,” said Ed Lamb to KSL Sports. “Ammon Hannemann at strong and Malik Moore at free, they’ve got a lot of experience and probably a leg up, but a lot of guys should play at that safety position.”

Other options behind Hannemann could include Micah Harper, Talan Alfrey, and Matt Criddle.

WR3 for BYU football

Coming into fall camp, Keanu Hill was the projected third starter at wide receiver. As camp winds down, that continues to be the case.

BYU football Passing Game Coordinator Fesi Sitake said to KSL Sports, “It’s still him naturally because he has that experience.”

Sitake also noted, “But by no means is that going to be a concrete deal.”

Chase Roberts will be hard to keep off the field and expect Brayden Cosper to play as well. But right now, Keanu Hill holds down the third receiver spot after Puka Nacua and Gunner Romney.

Nickel

Kalani Sitake pointed out three players on Saturday that could play at the nickel spot: George Udo, Jakob Robinson, and Micah Harper.

My prediction will go to Jakob Robinson, who gives BYU football the best 11 on the field. He’s one of the top four cornerbacks on the team right now as well, but Robinson performed as a Freshman All-American last season at the nickel spot, keep having him succeed there.

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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