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Connor Pay Announces Return To BYU Football For 2024 Season

Dec 14, 2023, 1:15 PM | Updated: Dec 18, 2023, 1:34 pm

PROVO, Utah – BYU starting center Connor Pay is returning for one final season.

Pay announced on Thursday on X, “Senior Season Loading.”

Connor Pay is taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility

He joins defensive end Tyler Batty in the group of BYU football players who are taking advantage of their extra year of eligibility caused by the COVID-19 season in 2020.

Others, such as RB Aidan Robbins and TE Isaac Rex, have announced they are moving on to pursue NFL careers.

Pay has appeared in 42 games and started in 32 over the past four seasons for the Cougars. He entered the 2023 season viewing that as his final season in college football. But as he told the KSL Sports Zone’s JJ & Alex after the season, “plans change.”

“My goal was for this to be my final season at BYU. But sometimes, you know, plans change, and that’s life,” said Pay to the KSL Sports Zone’s JJ & Alex.

Pay also discussed what was running through his mind in this decision process.

“Is it the wisest decision for me to go this year? Or could I really benefit from returning for my final season and trying to improve upon what I had done this season? Obviously, the season didn’t go the way we wanted it to go.”

Looking to help BYU football win more games

The decision by Pay to return to BYU helps an offensive line and an offense that underachieved in their first season in the Big 12 Conference finishing with a 5-7 record, no bowl game, and offensive line coach Darrell Funk getting fired.

Pay began the year at guard, then, after the bye week, beginning with a road loss at TCU, switched over to his usual role as the starting center.

“In terms of NFL stuff, I think a lot of people don’t realize how important the success of the team overall is for your personal goals when it comes to the NFL. Because it’s tried and true that the teams that win the most games get the most guys drafted. For me as an individual, if we’d won 10 games this year, my stock would be much higher than it is right now.”

Pay gives BYU two returning starters along the offensive line. The other is guard Weylin Lapuaho. It’s three with starter experience if you also count Caleb Etienne, who was the week one starter at right tackle this past season.

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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Connor Pay Announces Return To BYU Football For 2024 Season