BYU Football Produces Seven Players To 2024 Senior Bowl Watch List
Aug 23, 2023, 10:03 AM
(Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
PROVO, Utah – BYU football has seven players who have the attention of folks from the nation’s premier All-Star game, the Senior Bowl.
The Senior Bowl released its annual watchlist on Wednesday. Seven BYU players made the list. That’s three more than last season and an increase of six from their watchlist two years ago.
— Reese's Senior Bowl (@seniorbowl) August 23, 2023
As its name suggests, the Senior Bowl only places players potentially entering their senior year. Some are listed as juniors due to the free year of eligibility caused by the COVID-19 season in 2020.
The Senior Bowl is considered the nation’s most prestigious college all-star game. It’s one of the first significant steps in the NFL draft process each winter.
So, with it being seniors, that excludes BYU redshirt sophomore offensive tackle Kingsley Suamataia, who many projects as a potential first-round pick in next April’s NFL draft.
BYU football players on the 2024 Senior Bowl watch list
The seven BYU players are on the 2024 Senior Bowl watch list include:
- LB Ben Bywater
- OL Ian Fitzgerald
- LB Max Tooley
- OL Caleb Etienne
- TE Isaac Rex
- QB Kedon Slovis
- OL Connor Pay
Kedon Slovis is among 48 QBs the Senior Bowl is monitoring
Quarterback Kedon Slovis is the most notable of the group. The former USC and Pitt transfer had a Senior Bowl invite to attend Mobile, Alabama, last season before opting to play for BYU in his final collegiate season.
In June, Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy said Slovis is “one of the most naturally accurate passers in the 2024 class.” Nagy also said, “His NFL talent is obvious when you put on tape.”
Breaking down BYU’s watch list prospects
Linebackers Ben Bywater and Max Tooley are veteran players in the BYU program. Both have earned high praise from defensive coordinator Jay Hill during fall camp practices.
BYU’s offensive line is a strength entering its first season in the Big 12 Conference this fall. That strength is evidenced by the attention the Senior Bowl is giving to BYU’s big guys up front.
Oklahoma State transfer Caleb Etienne has been competing at the right tackle position for BYU after starting 13 games at left tackle last year for the Pokes.
“I feel like it will help me down the road for when I do, you know, enter the draft, I’ll have experience at left and right,” Etienne said on the switch to right tackle to KSL Sports earlier this month. “So, I think it will help me.”
Connor Pay is a lock to be a starter along BYU’s offensive line. The question is whether he lines up at center or guard.
Then Missouri State transfer Ian Fitzgerald has the flexibility to play at guard or offensive tackle. During media observation windows in spring and fall camp, Fitzgerald hasn’t taken many snaps with the first team. Still, offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick said on August 22, “he’s a transfer who’s done a really good job.”
Tight end Isaac Rex is back to full strength after a season where he tried to navigate playing through a devastating leg injury he suffered at the end of the 2021 season. Rex has 21 touchdown grabs during his BYU career.
Former Cougs are also on the list
A pair of former BYU players appeared on the Senior Bowl’s 2024 watch list. Those players are Tennessee linebacker Keenan Pili and cornerback Gabe Jeudy-Lally. Both were starters for BYU last season before bolting to play for the Vols in the SEC.
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 in the Big 12 Conference on Twitter/X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.
Take us with you wherever you go.
Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports.
BYU Cougars Scoreboard
BYU Cougars Team Leaders
BYU Cougars Standings