Could BYU Football See Exodus Of Players This Offseason?
Nov 9, 2022, 11:44 AM
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
PROVO, Utah – BYU’s move to the Big 12 is going to be a whole new world, especially when it comes to football. The Cougars’ 2022 season hasn’t entirely gone to plan with a 5-4 record after a much-needed win over Boise State.
Going into the 2023 season, the Cougars could face some turnover on the roster.
There have been injuries and some players already transferred; the big name being tight end Dallin Holker who announced back in September he was entering the transfer portal.
Some players may just want to hang it up and not use their extra year of eligibility and then include that a vast majority have served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, so some are just a bit older and are ready to move on. That job might be playing professional football or not in some cases.
Head coach Kalani Sitake spoke to the media during the bye week and explained how he is using this week to re-recruit and educate players on their future options which include the transfer portal.
“During this week a lot of those conversations are happening. I think there are a good number of players that we have who already have their degree in hand,” Sitake said. “Some will have another year of eligibility and some will want to go onto the next level in the NFL, possibly, and others already have job offers and can move onto there.
“It is a matter of talking to the right people and allowing NFL personnel to give feedback to our guys and they can make a decision on what they want to do. More than anything communicating this week… but when it’s a bye week it is a good time to do it.”
Sitake mentioned there are 13 players who are out of eligibility.
BYU Football Players To Transfer Portal?
BYU has not historically been a team that gets a lot of players out of the transfer portal. Sitake is selective in who he brings in. Also, the Cougs don’t have a lot of players leaving, but this Big 12 move could see a shift on both fronts, especially with outgoing players.
Matt Baiamonte, co-host of Cougar Sports Saturday on KSL NewsRadio, suggested that there will be a lot of player movement. The reasons include the move to the Big 12, the season not going extremely well, pro prospects, and the ease of the portal.
“I think there will be more than ever before,” Baiamonte said. “In Kalani’s program up to this point, they have not lost a lot of guys. Guys have wanted to stay at BYU; they love the culture. This is the first year where I think we are starting to see cracks in the foundation. I would point to the Dallin Holker situation that has never happened before under Kalani Sitake.
“When you have a season like this where expectations are high and you don’t meet those expectations, and then individually speaking there are a lot of expectations. Gunner Romney is a great example of this, high expectations for him, but unfortunately [he had] injuries. I think this will be the first year under Kalani Sitake there will be some people leaving. This is a byproduct of when you’re winning it’s OK to have a lesser role because it’s fun.”
Winning does solve a lot of problems and compared to the past two seasons, this year’s team has not done as much winning.
There will be some hard conversations with some of the players who want to keep playing football with this BYU team. The Big 12 move will be exciting but it will also be heard playing a more difficult schedule and if players are sitting as a backup role they may not want to stick it out.
This offseason will be interesting for this BYU football program with a lot of excitement and some unknowns that will no doubt come the Cougars’ way.
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