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BYU Football Newcomer Emerging As Strongest Player On The Team

Feb 9, 2024, 2:04 PM

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BYU football defensive coordinator Jay Hill said transfer linebacker Jack Kelly is already one of the strongest players on the team. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

(Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – One BYU football newcomer is already turning heads inside the weight room.

Weber State transfer linebacker/edge rusher Jack Kelly is emerging as one of the strongest players in the program.

BYU defensive coordinator Jay Hill, who coached Kelly at Weber State for two seasons, talked about Kelly in a recent interview on the KSL Sports Zone’s “JJ & Alex.”

“The other day in the weight room, [Kelly] ‘s been here for, like, a month or so. And he’s already the strongest guy we have on our football team with cleans,” Hill said to the KSL Sports Zone.

BYU Football’s official social media account shared the video of Kelly power-cleaning close to 400 pounds during winter conditioning workouts.

“He could probably do it multiple times,” said Hill on Kelly. “That’s a tribute to him and how he works and who he’s been.”

Jack Kelly is the top Transfer Portal addition for BYU football in 2024

Beyond being one of the top players in the weight room, Kelly will be looked upon to provide an instant impact to BYU’s defense in 2024.

Last year at Weber State, Kelly led the Big Sky Conference in sacks with 10.5 during his redshirt sophomore season. BYU’s entire defense last season had 11 total sacks.

The former Kearns High Cougar was tabbed as a four-star transfer portal prospect by 247Sports. He’s the highest-rated addition BYU landed in the portal so far this offseason.

“[Kelly] is a player that I’m super familiar with,” said Hill to JJ & Alex on the KSL Sports Zone. “You guys saw Eddie Heckard and Kamden Garrett, and the success those two had last year, being All-Big 12 players. There’s a comfort level that I have in those guys and who they are and what their skill sets are and getting them in the right places. We really expect Jack to kind of be the exact same thing.”

Kelly will join a busy linebacker unit featuring senior Ben Bywater, returning from a shoulder injury. Then young underclassmen Ace Kaufusi, Siale Esera, Harrison Taggart, and Isaiah Glasker all are back to provide competition for playing time.

“It’s going to be a battle. He’s got phenomenal players around him, and he’s gonna have to come in here and earn everything he gets,” Hill said. “That’s no different for anybody.”

BYU football opens up spring practices on February 29.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s’ coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Football Newcomer Emerging As Strongest Player On The Team