COUGAR TRACKS

BYU Football Returned Missionaries For 2024 Season

Dec 14, 2023, 2:08 PM | Updated: 2:14 pm

BYU Football, Cody Hagen, Returned Missionaries...

BYU football returned missionaries for the 2024 season include former Corner Canyon High star Cody Hagen. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – Players who serve missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are a core piece of roster construction each year for BYU football.

Serving missions is not required for athletes who play at BYU. It’s a personal and voluntary decision, with the mission lasting 18 to 24 months.

The 2023 BYU football team had 64 players on the 123-man roster that served Latter-day Saint missions.

It’s become more challenging for players returning home from missions to make an immediate impact in their first season back as college athletes. But there have been examples of players making a difference in the first year back.

Last season, only two players saw action in games less than a year removed from serving a mission. Those players were safety Raider Damuni and defensive end John Henry Daley. Daley has since left the program to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal. Damuni appeared in 11 games during his first year with the program.

BYU Football Returned Missionaries For 2024 Season

Here are the players who are expected to return from Latter-day Saint missions for the 2024 season.

Keep in mind that some players, upon returning home from a mission, will take a greyshirt year, leaving them off the roster for a year. That was the case this past fall for Jovesa Damuni, Sione Hingano. The year before that, linebacker Ace Kaufusi took a greyshirt year.

Sione Hingano – OL

Three-star offensive lineman from Chandler, Arizona.

Jovesa Damuni – RB

First Team wide receiver at Ridgeline High School in Providence, Utah. Damuni is a versatile athlete who can play a variety of positions. Running back would be a great starting spot, with that position being thin at the moment.

Ryker Keele – OL

Nephew to former BYU offensive lineman Eddie Keele.

Dominique McKenzie – WR/DB

Twin brother to BYU cornerback Marcus McKenzie. McKenzie played both sides of the ball in high school.

Cannon DeVries – DB

Hard-hitting safety from Weber High School. Jay Hill’s staff at Weber State recruited DeVries.

Cody Hagen – WR

Picked BYU over offers from USC, Arizona, Stanford, and Utah. Hagen was a heralded four-star wide receiver who will join his older brother, QB Cole Hagen, in the program.

Noah Moeaki – TE

Moeaki committed to BYU in the summer of 2019. Stayed loyal to the Cougars despite offers from Utah, San Diego State, and others.

Jarinn Kalama – WR

Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, Kalama finished his prep career at Wasatch High School in Utah.

Brooks Jones – DE

Jones is a 6-foot-6 edge rusher who prepped at American Leadership Academy in Arizona, coached by former BYU greats Ty Detmer and Max Hall.

Liutai Kinikini – LB

Kinikini prepped at West High School in Salt Lake City.

Notable preferred walk-on commits returning from missions

Kaden Cox – QB

Cox was the quarterback throwing passes to Jovesa Damuni at Ridgeline High School.

Joe Brown – OL

Former Lone Peak offensive lineman Joe Brown received scholarship offers from Virginia and Indiana before landing at BYU as a preferred walk-on.

Trevor Pay – OL

Pay is the son of former BYU offensive lineman Gary Pay, and the younger brother to current BYU player Connor Pay.

Carson Tujague – LB

The son of former BYU offensive lineman and assistant coach Garett Tujague. Carson Tujague prepped at Western Albemarle High School in Virginia.

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 X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Football Returned Missionaries For 2024 Season