BYU’s Keanu Hill Makes Position Change For 2024 Season

Dec 20, 2023, 1:07 PM

BYU Football, Keanu Hill, Position Change...

Keanu Hill will be returning to the BYU football program in 2024 and he will compete at tight end. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football veteran Keanu Hill is returning to the Cougars in 2024.

But he won’t be lining up with the wide receivers.

Keanu Hill will compete at tight end in 2024

Hill is going to be a tight end for BYU in 2024.

The move was announced during BYU’s Signing Day press conference. BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick noted that the “most important recruiting thing” the offense did was retain players.

Part of that retention includes Keanu Hill, who will be part of the BYU program for a sixth season.

The Bedford, Texas native has been in the BYU program since 2019. He could return in 2024 due to the extra year of eligibility given by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hill played eight games during the 2023 season, finishing with 12 receptions for 187 yards and one touchdown grab.

When Roderick was asked a follow-up on why Hill was switched to tight end, Roderick replied, “Just playmaking ability at that position. Keanu has been a great playmaker for us in his career.”

Hill dealt with injuries during the 2023 BYU football season

Hill’s availability was limited during the 2023 season. He dealt with an injury that kept him out during the final weeks of fall camp. Then, he was out for a month when BYU faced the thick of its inaugural Big 12 schedule.

“He struggled a little bit with an injury to his shin, dealing with sort of a stress fracture type of injury in his shin that slowed him down all season. The guy’s so tough. He kept trying to play every week and never really fully got going the way he has in the past.”

Hill steps into a tight end unit with an opportunity to earn immediate playing time. Veteran Isaac Rex has moved on to pursue a career in the NFL.

The Cougars also return heralded redshirt freshman Jackson Bowers. Mata’ava Ta’ase and Ray Paulo also return but were primarily used in run plays last year.

On Wednesday, BYU got an official signature from heralded four-star recruit Ryner Swanson out of Laguna Beach, California. Swanson, who is only 17 years old, will enroll at BYU next month and compete for playing time at tight end, then leave for a Latter-day Saint mission in 2025.

Along with all of the player activity, BYU still needs to hire a tight ends coach after dismissing longtime assistant Steve Clark last month.

Roderick continued on Hill, “He’s 6-4, 225 to 230 pounds on any given day. And he has to fight to keep his weight down. We just felt like, with our depth at wide receiver, why fight it? Just let yourself get up to 235 to 240, and he’s already one of our best blockers on the whole team at any position. So we feel like moving him to tight end just makes perfect sense.”

Hill has appeared in 45 games and started in 16 during his five seasons at BYU. So far in his career, he’s hauled in 73 receptions for 1,212 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Brayden Keim returning for one more year

Along with Keanu Hill, BYU is getting offensive tackle Brayden Keim back for one more season, Roderick confirmed. Keim started nine games at offensive tackle for BYU during the 2023 season.

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 in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU’s Keanu Hill Makes Position Change For 2024 Season