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Projecting BYU Football’s Post-Spring 2024 Depth Chart: Offense

Mar 31, 2024, 1:15 AM | Updated: Apr 1, 2024, 5:06 pm

BYU Football, LJ Martin, Depth Chart, Post-Spring...

Projecting the BYU football depth chart after the conclusion of spring camp. Running back LJ Martin is among the projected starters. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

(Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah — We’ve passed another phase in the BYU football offseason.

The 15 practices from spring camp are in the rearview mirror as the focus shifts to summer conditioning and, ultimately, fall camp at the end of July.

There was a lot to digest from BYU football spring camp with a quarterback battle, young newcomers looking to make a splash in their first season, and a program hungry to return to respectability after a disappointing 5-7 debut in the Big 12.

It’s a perfect time to dive into projections for the upcoming year.

Let’s start by forecasting the three-deep on the 2024 BYU football depth. We will roll it out in three installments: offense, defense, and special teams.

Remember that these projections do not include the players that BYU will add in the summer. So, individuals such as returning missionary wide receiver Cody Hagen are not included in this depth chart.

Also, I won’t list “ORs” on this depth chart. What’s the fun in that? So, at a position like quarterback, where the battle will continue into the fall, I’ll still call my shot and make a projection.

Quarterback

Jake Retzlaff

Gerry Bohanon

Treyson Bourguet

I’m going to give the nod to Retzlaff at this point.

Retzlaff would be the ideal candidate to emerge as QB1 out of the candidates vying for the starting job. The former junior college standout has two years of eligibility remaining. Retzlaff has previous experience as BYU’s starting quarterback from last season.

The downside from that experience is Retzlaff was 0-4 in his four starts. Those losses created the quarterback competition that BYU is going through in the buildup to the 2024 season.

Retzlaff finished spring practices with zero interceptions. Taking care of the football will be critical for either quarterback to emerge as QB1 against Southern Illinois in five months.

Gerry Bohanon started spring ball slow. He acknowledged that there were days in camp when his shoulder was sore, which he had surgery on. But in the final two weeks of camp, he settled in, showing his arm strength on a handful of throws in media observation windows.

BYU hasn’t had a fall camp quarterback battle since 2021. That season, it was clear early in camp that Jaren Hall was the guy. Bohanon versus Retzlaff has the potential to stretch until kickoff against the Salukis.

Another battle is the third-string quarterback spot. I’m giving the nod to Western Michigan transfer Treyson Bourguet over Cade Fennegan, Ryder Burton, and others.

Coming out of spring practice, offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick said no when asked if he would pursue another quarterback in the post-spring transfer portal window. So, barring any changes, the signal-callers on the roster right now will be the ones looking to get BYU’s offense back on track this season.

Running Back

LJ Martin

Miles Davis

Hinckley Folau Ropati

Aaron Roderick’s top priority in spring ball was re-establishing the run game. It might feel like a distant memory, but it wasn’t too long ago that Tyler Allgeier became the school’s single-season rushing leader in a Roderick offense.

Who is going to re-establish the ground attack?

My projected starter is sophomore LJ Martin. The former El Paso, Texas, standout added 20 pounds to his frame and still has maintained his speed despite adding the weight.

Martin was BYU’s leading rusher last season at 518 yards.

He has star potential in his BYU career, but can Martin emerge among the top running backs in the Big 12? That’s a tall order, as the Big 12 has some of the best running backs in college football this fall.

Martin seems on his way to getting the first crack at being that featured ball carrier.

Following Martin, I’ll go with Miles Davis, who Aaron Roderick said will be “more than a role player” this season for BYU’s offense.

Davis enters his fifth year in the program after a brief stint in the Transfer Portal. Following him, I’ve got Hinckley Folau Ropati as the third running back.

Ropati was cleared for practice midway through spring camp and has returned from an ACL injury that sidelined him last season.

Wide Receiver

Chase Roberts / Darius Lassiter / Kody Epps

Jojo Phillips / Keelan Marion / Parker Kingston

Dominique McKenzie / Devin Downing / Weston Covey

BYU’s top five wide receivers in yards from last season are back in 2024.

Passing Game Coordinator Fesi Sitake feels the receiver unit is the deepest it has been since he arrived in 2018. The big storyline for this group is who will emerge as the star.

Chase Roberts and Darius Lassiter are two potential candidates to rise to All-Big 12 status this season. Both players had excellent spring camps and look ready to take steps forward this season.

I have Kody Epps as the third starting receiver.

It’s wild to think that Epps is entering his fifth year at BYU. Yet despite all of those years in the program, he’s navigated a lot of injuries. Epps was plagued by injuries last season. However, against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, he reminded everyone of the playmaking ability he brings to the receiver unit.

Jojo Phillips seems poised for a breakout season in his redshirt freshman campaign. Then, the Cougars bring back Keelan Marion and Parker Kingston.

Out of all the position units on BYU’s offense, the receivers are in the best spot heading into the summer. They will only improve when they add Cody Hagen and Tei Nacua in June.

Tight End

Keanu Hill

Ryner Swanson

Ray Paulo

Keanu Hill is making the switch from wide receiver to tight end. He is currently 235 pounds and says he feels quicker than he did last season.

Last year, as a wide receiver, Hill dealt with multiple injuries that limited his availability.

Aaron Roderick approached Hill about switching to tight end. Hill embraced the change and was a standout performer during spring practice.

The sixth-year player acknowledged that blocking defensive ends and defensive tackles has been one of the most challenging aspects of the transition from receiver to tight end. However, Hill and BYU’s offensive coaches feel the 6-foot-4 pass catcher can create mismatches this season.

After Hill, I’m going with 17-year-old freshman Ryner Swanson as the backup.

From the first practice, Swanson showed a relentless physicality in how he plays the game.

Offensive Tackle

Brayden Keim (LT) / Caleb Etienne (RT)

Trevin Ostler / Jake Eichorn

Jake Griffin / Kaden Chidester

Brayden Keim didn’t participate in spring practice due to a thumb injury. He’s expected to be ready for fall camp, which kicks off in July.

Keim’s absence allowed other players to make their case for being in the two-deep at offensive tackle. One of the players who shined in the spring was Oklahoma State transfer Caleb Etienne.

Etienne struggled last season in his first year at BYU. But he’s stuck it out in Provo and has the potential to be one of the most improved players in the program in 2024.

Etienne shed some weight and appears to be in the best shape of his career.

Behind Keim and Etienne, Trevin Ostler earned many first-team reps during spring practice. It was the second year in a row that Ostler has been a factor in the two-deep in spring practice. The former Bountiful High signee has put himself in a position to earn playing time this season.

Jake Griffin might be one of the most improved players in the offensive line room coming out of spring. But he still has room to climb this projected depth chart exiting spring.

Offensive Guard

Weylin Lapuaho (LG) / Sonny Makasini (RG)

Jake Eichorn / Joe Brown

Weston Jones / Bruce Mitchell

Weylin Lapuaho can potentially be an All-Big 12 guard for BYU this season. He will be one of the standouts along the line at guard. But there should be a heated battle to see who rises to win the right guard position.

For right now, I’m going with Sonny Makasini.

He is a former Timpview High product who signed with Utah State out of high school. In his third year at BYU, he has competed along the offensive line in all three years, with a brief cameo on the defensive line in 2022.

Aaron Roderick said he would like to add some depth to the offensive line during the post-spring transfer portal window. They would be well-served to find a potential impact player in the portal at the guard position.

Returned missionary Joe Brown has a lot of potential to contend with Makasini for the starting role. The former Lone Peak High signee took a chance on BYU, committing as a Preferred Walk-on over scholarship offers to Virginia and other Power Conference programs. He now has a scholarship after serving his two-year mission. Brown dealt with an injury that kept him sidelined midway through spring ball, but he returned to action in the final week.

Center

Connor Pay

Peter Falaniko

Sam Dawe

Connor Pay runs it back for one more year. The veteran center wasn’t planning on taking advantage of the COVID year available to him, but he’s using it after he saw the “writing on the wall” regarding his NFL draft stock.

Pay said a big reason for his return to BYU was the hire of TJ Woods as the new offensive line coach.

I’ve got Peter Falaniko and Sam Dawe backing up Pay. Both players are entering their third year in the program.

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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Projecting BYU Football’s Post-Spring 2024 Depth Chart: Offense