COUGAR TRACKS

Under-The-Radar BYU Players To Watch For During Spring Practice

Feb 14, 2023, 1:54 PM

PROVO, Utah – BYU football spring practices are always a proving ground for young players to emerge. The 2023 season will have a lot of new faces in key places, so expect a lot of competition during BYU’s first spring as a Big 12 member.

Most of the attention during BYU’s spring practices will be centered around the quarterback position. Pitt transfer Kedon Slovis enters his final year of college football, looking to become the third consecutive BYU QB to go to the NFL (Zach Wilson, Jaren Hall).

Slovis is a headline player. What about the under-the-radar players? Guys with talent that the die-hard fans know about but are ready to become household names to all Cougar fans.

Spring ball is a perfect opportunity for those players to begin making strides and establish themselves in the BYU football program.

These are some under-the-radar players that I will be keeping an eye on when spring practices kick off on March 6 and run through April 15.

Under-the-radar BYU football players to watch for in spring practice

Listed in alphabetical order

Michael Daley, EDGE

Former Lone Peak High standout Michael Daley is projected to become an edge rusher with assistant coach Kelly Poppinga this season. Last year, Daley was taking snaps at linebacker. Early in fall camp, he made plays, including an interception on day one of fall camp. But he was sidelined after the first week due to a muscle injury that kept him out for the year.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Michael Daley (@michaeldaley45)

BYU needs to create pressure from the defensive line in 2023. Daley was one of the best in the nation when he was in high school. During his senior year at Lone Peak, he had 24 sacks that season.

Peter Falaniko, OL

The former Pine View High standout was only 17 years old when he arrived at BYU last season. Yet, despite his youth, he arrived at BYU with the physical makeup of an FBS lineman at 6-foot-3 and 307 pounds.

Falaniko has one of the biggest shoes on the team, a size 18.

After a year inside the BYU football program, seeing how big of a jump he makes in his game will be interesting to watch. In addition, BYU needs to sure up depth along the offensive line in 2023. Falaniko is a prime candidate to be in that two-deep as an interior lineman.

Will Ferrin, Kicker

Jake Oldroyd had his ups and downs at BYU but became the all-time leading scorer in BYU football history. That’s a lot of production to replace—the next man in line to fill that void projects to be Boise State transfer Will Ferrin.

Ferrin arrived at BYU as a walk-on transfer in January. He primarily handled the kickoff responsibilities at Boise State.

Isaiah Glasker, Linebacker

One thing that stands out about Isaiah Glasker is his size. At 6-foot-5, 205 pounds, Glasker has the measurables to potentially contribute. At Bingham High School, Glasker primarily played wide receiver.

Last season was Glasker’s first year with the BYU football program after serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Glasker started his career at safety in spring practice. Then a week into fall camp in August, he was switched over to linebacker, where he made an acrobatic interception grab.

BYU’s stars at linebackers in 2023 will be Ben Bywater and Max Tooley. But after those two, the depth chart poses many opportunities for young players to emerge.

Kyson Hall/Parker Kingston, WR

Who emerges in the second unit at wide receiver will be an interesting area to monitor in spring. Plus, Kelly Poppinga wants to identify a speedster in the return game. Two redshirt freshmen in Kyson Hall and Parker Kingston could fit the billing for both areas.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Parker Kingston (@parker_kingston2)

Both Hall and Kingston bring a ton of speed to Fesi Sitake’s wide receiver room. There are opportunities for both to earn a role in 2023 this spring, especially if Kody Epps continues to be limited as he recovers from a shoulder injury suffered last October.

Brooks Maile, DL

After signing in the 2019 recruiting class out of Pine View High School, Brooks Maile is preparing for his first healthy season in the BYU football program. Heading into last year, he was viewed as a potential player along the defensive line, but an injury took away his season.

All positions are up for grabs for a defense that has a complete reset under the direction of Jay Hill. That’s good for a player in Maile to contend for a two-deep spot among the interior linemen potentially.

Entering spring ball last year, Maile was listed at 6-foot-4, 320-pounds.

Aisea Moa, EDGE

Aisea “Ice” Moa has the potential to be the most improved player in the BYU program in 2023. A former four-star prospect out of Weber High, Moa started tapping into his high ceiling during bowl practices in December.

Last season served as a redshirt year. So now he gets Kelly Poppinga, a coach who has developed Fred Warner and Sione Takitaki, working with him.

Anthony Olsen, TE

There will be competition in spring for the TE2 spot behind Isaac Rex. Could redshirt freshman Anthony Olsen emerge as a candidate? He will have to compete against Ethan Erickson, who potentially has the inside track, Masen Wake, and others.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Anthony Olsen (@anthonykolsen)

But Olsen’s athleticism is intriguing. A former Utah commit out of Olympus High, Olsen arrived at BYU as a preferred walk-on last season. He only played one year of high school football after primarily playing basketball during his prep career.

With four-star Jackson Bowers arriving in the tight end room this summer, spring is a great chance for Olsen to make a case for playing time this fall.

Bodie Schoonover, DL

A redshirt freshman out of American Fork High School, Schoonover was one of the top prospects in BYU’s 2020 recruiting class. Schoonover turned down scholarship offers from UCLA and Nebraska to sign with BYU. The Cougars were the school that first identified him during a summer camp before his recruitment took off.

He came to BYU as an outside linebacker, and now he projects as a traditional defensive end along the defensive line.

Schoonover’s prep career at American Fork High totaled 147 tackles, nine sacks, one interception, and five pass deflections.

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 Mitch’s coverage of BYU moving to the Big 12 Conference on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

Cougar Tracks

BYU Football, Zach Wilson, Kalani Sitake, Signing Day...

Mitch Harper

Ranking BYU Football’s Best Players To Sign During The Kalani Sitake Era

The best players to sign with BYU football for Kalani Sitake from high school and the Transfer Portal.

6 months ago

Foster Pavilion, Baylor Bears, BYU Basketball, Big 12...

Mitch Harper

Foster Pavilion Was Great Stage For BYU’s First Big 12 Road Game

Baylor's new $212 million home was a great setting for a Big 12 basketball game.

7 months ago

BYU Football, 12-Team Playoff, LJ Martin...

Mitch Harper

Three Things BYU Football Needs To One Day Reach 12-Team Playoff

The 12-team Playoff is coming in college football. What does BYU need to do to one day play in the bracket?

7 months ago

Big 12 Basketball, BYU, Dallin Hall...

Mitch Harper

How Will BYU Basketball Fare In Big 12? Projecting 2024 Order Of Finish

Where will BYU finish in their first season of Big 12 Conference play? Time to make predictions.

7 months ago

BYU Basketball, Mark Pope, Big 12...

Mitch Harper

Mark Pope Lays Out BYU’s Expectations For Inaugural Big 12 Schedule

Big 12 play has arrived for No. 12 BYU Basketball. Mark Pope shares his expectations for conference play.

7 months ago

BYU Basketball, Trevin Knell, Three-Point Shooting...

Mitch Harper

What We Learned About BYU Basketball During Nonconference Play

BYU basketball turns its attention to Big 12 play. But first we take a step back at look at what we learned about the Cougars in nonconference.

7 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...

KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Under-The-Radar BYU Players To Watch For During Spring Practice