BYU Football Embraces New Era Of Roster Attrition

Mar 14, 2023, 12:22 PM

PROVO, Utah – BYU football is preparing for its first season as a Big 12 team. When you look around the Indoor Practice Facility, you might need some name tags for all the players because there are a lot of new faces.

On BYU’s spring roster are 37 newcomers plus a wave of walk-on tryout players trying to fulfill their dreams of suiting up for the Cougars. You might think that is a high number. It is. But then you realize it was necessary, as 47 players from last year’s roster are not participating in spring practices.

“That’s just kind of what college football is about now. There’s going to be a lot of attrition,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake. “When you have NIL and you have the Transfer Portal, it’s just part of the deal. That’s the rules and all of that stuff, and we just adapt to it and find ways to make it a strength for us.”

Part of the 47 players from last year’s roster that are no longer with the team includes the normal movement from seniors or players that declared for the NFL draft.

That 47 number also includes the tragic passing of offensive lineman Sione Veikoso. Veikoso passed away in a construction accident in Hawaii. BYU is honoring Veikoso this season with a helmet decal.

But there’s also a list of players that still had eligibility but battled numerous injuries in their careers, such as wide receiver Gunner Romney, running back Jackson McChesney, and defensive lineman Gabe Summers.

Then there were more transfers out of the program by BYU’s standards. Thirteen players entered the transfer portal. That’s still a low number compared to many Power Five programs, but a larger number than usual for BYU. Some likely faced difficult realities of where they stood on the depth chart. But there were notable losses, such as edge rusher Logan Fano, who landed at Utah.

BYU turned to the Transfer Portal to add 11 players, which includes quarterback Kedon Slovis from Pitt, Utah State offensive lineman Weylin Lapuaho, and Boise State edge rusher Isaiah Bagnah, among others.

After spring ball concludes, BYU will look to add more transfers. Potential positions to add new faces include wide receiver, kicker, linebacker, and offensive line. But in all reality, all positions are always open to portal additions if they can upgrade the talent.

“I’m really pleased with the way that the coaching staff and the support staff have been able to put this team together. We’re still working towards it. So there’s still some more room for us to add more talent and get our team better,” said Sitake.

BYU football spring practice runs until April 14. The Cougars will hold a spring scrimmage on March 31 at LaVell Edwards Stadium that will be open to the public.

BYU football players who exhausted their eligibility

  • Christopher Brooks, RB
  • Matthew Criddle, LB/DB
  • Lorenzo Fauatea, DL
  • Kaleb Hayes, CB
  • Houston Heimuli, FB
  • Chris Jackson, CB
  • Lopini Katoa, RB
  • Lane Lunt, TE
  • D’Angelo Mandell, CB
  • Pepe Tanuvasa, LB
  • Alden Tofa, DL
  • Earl Tuioti-Mariner, DL
  • Joe Tukuafu, OL

Players with remaining eligibility that moved on

  • Brayden Cosper, WR
  • Blake Freeland, OL
  • Tavita Gagnier, LB
  • Hunter Greer, DL
  • Jaren Hall, QB
  • Donovan Hanna, OL
  • Britton Hogan, LS
  • Jackson Kaufusi, LB
  • Carter Krupp, S
  • Harris LaChance, OL
  • Hayden Livingston, DB
  • Jackson McChesney, RB
  • Puka Nacua, WR
  • Jake Oldroyd, K
  • Samisoni Peaua, DL
  • Beau Robinson, RB
  • Gunner Romney, WR
  • Gabe Summers, DL
  • Carter Wheat, TE
  • Payton Wilgar, LB
  • Josh Wilson, LB

Former BYU players that entered the Transfer Portal

  • OL Campbell Barrington (Baylor)
  • OL Clark Barrington (Baylor)
  • QB Jacob Conover (Arizona State)
  • WR Terence Fall
  • DE Logan Fano (Utah)
  • DB Nathan Gillis (Northern Colorado)
  • CB Korbyn Green (Hutchinson CC)
  • CB Gabe Jeudy-Lally (Tennessee)
  • DL Isaiah Perez (Eastern Washington)
  • LB Keenan Pili (Tennessee)
  • LB Tate Romney (Arizona State)
  • OL Talin Togiai (Idaho State)

Additions to BYU Football from the Transfer Portal

  • DE Isaiah Bagnah (Boise State)
  • DL Jackson Cravens (Boise State)
  • DL Wyatt Dawe (Southern Utah)
  • K Will Ferrin (Boise State)
  • OL Ian Fitzgerald (Missouri State)
  • DB Eddie Heckard (Weber State)
  • OL Weylin Lapuaho (Utah State)
  • OL Paul Maile (Utah)
  • RB Aidan Robbins (UNLV)
  • QB Kedon Slovis (Pitt)
  • DB Crew Wakley (Utah State)

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.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for 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.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

BYU Cougars

BYU Football, LaVell Edwards Stadium...
Mitch Harper

Weather Forecast For BYU Spring Game From KSL’s Kevin Eubank

What is the weather looking like for Friday's BYU Spring Game?
2 days ago
Michelle Bodkin

How To Watch Utah’s Red Rocks At Regionals

Utah gymnastics is heading to Los Angeles to compete at Regionals with the hope of making their 47th consecutive appearance at Nationals.
2 days ago
Kaleb Hayes, BYU Football, NFL Draft...
Mitch Harper

BYU’s Kaleb Hayes Has Elite Athletic Profile Among Draft Hopefuls

Former BYU cornerback turned heads at Pro Day. It was a historic showing for cornerbacks.
3 days ago
BYU Football, Aidan Robbins, Transfer Portal...
Mitch Harper

BYU Football Boasts Top Transfers In Big 12 For 2023 Season

BYU has two of the top transfers in the Big 12 Conference for the 2023 season.
3 days ago
Jaren Hall, BYU Pro Day, NFL Draft...
Mitch Harper

Jaren Hall Runs 40-Yard Dash At BYU Pro Day

Former BYU QB Jaren Hall goes through the 40-yard dash at Pro Day in Provo.
6 days ago
BYU Pro Day, NFL Draft, Results...
Mitch Harper

BYU Pro Day 2023 Results: QB Jaren Hall Goes Through Drills

Live updates and results from inside the Indoor Practice Facility at BYU Pro Day.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

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.
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.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
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

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
BYU Football Embraces New Era Of Roster Attrition