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BYU Produces Eight Players To Athlon’s Preseason All-Big 12 Teams

May 23, 2023, 11:00 AM

BYU Football, Preseason All-Big 12, Connor Pay...

BYU football OL Connor Pay is one of eight players on Athlon's preseason All-Big 12 Teams. (Ryan Sun, Deseret News)

(Ryan Sun, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football returning to a conference means players will have the opportunity to receive individual league recognitions again.

It’s a good barometer of the top players in a conference. Unfortunately, that has been missing for BYU for the past 12 seasons as an FBS Independent.

But that changes as they prepare to join the Big 12 Conference this fall. The Cougars join the league officially on July 1, 2023, but preseason prognostications are in full force.

Athlon Sports released its preseason magazine on Tuesday, and with it comes its preseason All-Conference teams. For the Big 12, they put out four teams.

Aidan Robbins is BYU’s highest-rated All-Big 12 pick

A total of eight BYU players made the four All-Big 12 teams. However, none of the BYU players were tabbed as first-team selections. The highest was UNLV running back transfer Aidan Robbins.

Robbins was selected as a second-team pick by Athlon. The first-team running backs for the Big 12 from Athlon’s preseason picks were Devin Neal from Kansas and Baylor’s Richard Reese.

BYU is one of four new schools in the Big 12 this season. They join UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston. Only three players from the four newcomers were selected for the All-Big 12 first-team. Those players were Houston WR Matthew Golden, Cincinnati DT Dontay Corleone, and Cincinnati punter Mason Fletcher.

BYU WR Kody Epps and OT Kingsley Suamataia were selected as Third-Team offensive picks. The fourth team featured OL Connor Pay, DE Tyler Batty, LB Ben Bywater, DB Micah Harper, and punt returner Hobbs Nyberg.

BYU was tied with UCF for the most All-Big 12 picks among newcomers. Cincinnati and Houston each produced five players.

Preseason Big 12 favorite Texas produced the most All-Big 12 picks with 20 selections.

BYU opens the 2023 football season against Sam Houston on September 2 in Provo. Then, the Cougars kick off Big 12 action on September 23 in Lawrence against the Kansas Jayhawks.

Athlon’s All-Big 12 Team Selections For BYU Football

  • RB Aidan Robbins, Second Team
  • WR Kody Epps, Third Team
  • OT Kingsley Suamataia, Third Team
  • OL Connor Pay, Fourth Team
  • DL Tyler Batty, Fourth Team
  • LB Ben Bywater, Fourth Team
  • DB Micah Harper, Fourth Team
  • PR Hobbs Nyberg, Fourth Team

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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.

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BYU Produces Eight Players To Athlon’s Preseason All-Big 12 Teams