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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Brigham Young
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  Utah offensive lineman Paul Maile has a new home after entering the transfer portal. Maile will be moving just 45 miles away, trading in his Ute red for Cougar blue in 2023, which will be the inaugural Big 12 season for BYU. The 6-foot-2, 304-pound Maile has been at Utah since 2018. He saw an increased role in Utah's 2022 Pac-12 championship season, starting 12 games at center for the Utes. He played in five games in 2021, starting four contests. Maile, an East High product, has one year of eligibility left. - Deseret News

rSr/2024 C Paul MaileBrigham Young
News Source: Deseret News
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  For the second time Thursday, multiple reports have emerged that a Utah Utes football player is entering the transfer portal. While running back Ricky Parks is reportedly entering the portal after having never played a down for the Utes, the second one of the day is a very experienced player, as starting center Paul Maile is reportedly entering.

Maile, a Utahn who prepped at East High just minutes away from the Utes' campus, developed in his years at Utah into a starting caliber player after being part of the program's 2018 recruiting class. Listed by the Utes at 6-foot-2 and 304 pounds, Maile ended up starting 16 games over two seasons (four in 2021 with one of those coming at right guard and three at center and 12 in 2022, all at center) after playing sparingly his first three seasons on the hill. - Deseret News


rSr/2024 C Paul MaileBrigham Young
News Source: Deseret News
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  BYU wide receiver Puka Nacua will enter the NFL draft, the Timpview product announced Wednesday. Nacua, who started his collegiate career at Washington before coming home to Provo, had another year of eligibility remaining. He will play in the Senior Bowl, the top college showcase before the NFL combine, in February. "I am excited to start this new journey and fulfill this dream of mine," Nacua wrote in a message to fans he posted on social media. Nacua transferred to BYU in 2021 and since became a team captain and the program's best player. In two years, he finished with 91 catches for 1,430 yards and 11 touchdowns. In his career, including his time at Washington, he totaled more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage and 19 scores. - Salt Lake Tribune

rJr/2023 WR Puka NacuaBrigham Young
News Source: Salt Lake Tribune
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  BYU junior quarterback Jaren Hall celebrates after the game against Boise State at Albertsons Stadium in Boise on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. After nearly a week of silence following BYU football's 24-23 win over SMU in the New Mexico Bowl, it's understandable if Cougar fans got their hopes up about the possibility of junior quarterback Jaren Hall deciding to return for one more year at the helm. It wasn't to be - but BYU did get some potentially good news. Hall, who spent five years in Provo, finally made his intentions known with a social media announcement on Friday evening.

Hall's career stats are solid: 468-of-718 passing for 6,174 yards with 52 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also had 181 rushes for 798 yards with nine TDs on the ground as well as four receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown. While his focus turns toward preparing for pro day and the upcoming draft, BYU wasted little time in adding a quarterback from the transfer portal. BYU announced Saturday that it had signed former USC and University of Pittsburgh quarterback Kedon Slovis as a graduate transfer for the 2023 season. - Daily Herald


rJr/2023 QB Jaren HallBrigham Young
News Source: Daily Herald
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  Jaren Hall's BYU career is over. The fifth-year quarterback will forgo his final year of college eligibility and enter the NFL draft, he announced on Friday evening. His departure formally means BYU will enter the Big 12 with a new leader and ends one of the more successful quarterback eras in program history - where BYU produced back-to-back draftable quarterbacks in Zach Wilson and Hall. "This has been an amazing ride. Words can't explain the joy I had playing in LES for my hometown," Hall said. "Looking forward to the next stage of my football career by officially declaring for the 2023 NFL Draft." Hall arrived in 2018 out of Maple Mountain High School as a two-way star in football and baseball.

He eventually gave up baseball to become BYU's starting quarterback the last two seasons. He finished his career with 6,174 passing yards and 52 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions. He also ran for nine touchdowns and 798 yards. In picking up the mantle from Wilson, he led BYU to 10 wins in 2021 and eight this last season. Between Wilson's final year and Hall's two-year run, the team won 29 games in three years - one of the winningest stretches for the Cougars in a decade. It was accented by Hall winning eight games against Power Five teams. - Salt Lake Tribune


rJr/2023 QB Jaren HallBrigham Young
News Source: Salt Lake Tribune
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  Slovis spent the first three seasons of his career at USC before transferring to Pitt in 2022. He tallied 9,973 yards, 68 touchdowns and 33 interceptions in those four seasons. I will always be grateful for Coach Narduzzi and the time I got to spend with all of my teammates at the University of Pittsburgh. Slovis became a nationally recognized name in 2019 after he beat out highly touted recruit JT Daniels for the starting job as a freshman. He threw for 3,502 yards and 30 touchdowns to just nine interceptions that year. He also played against BYU during that season, finishing with 281 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in a loss at LaVell Edwards Stadium. "Kedon is an effortless passer, great leader and one of the most accurate quarterbacks in college football," BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick said. "I've enjoyed watching his calm demeanor. He is always poised, never too high or too low. I have been so impressed with his methodical approach to this decision to come to BYU. I can't wait for him to join us in January."

By the end of 2019, Slovis was on the radar as a potential first-round draft pick and a Heisman Trophy contender. But, from there, his career slowed. In 2020, he did not surpass the 2,000-yard threshold and never again threw for 2,400 yards. In his final year at USC, Slovis nearly lost his starting job to now-Ole Miss quarterback, and Corner Canyon alum, Jaxson Dart. By the time Lincoln Riley took over the USC program, Slovis entered the transfer portal. At the time, the expectation was he would spend one more year in college before entering the NFL draft. At Pitt, though, Slovis completed a career-low 58% of his passes. He threw for 10 touchdowns to nine interceptions as the Panthers went 8-4 in the regular season. - Salt Lake Tribune


rSr/2024 QB Kedon SlovisBrigham Young
News Source: Salt Lake Tribune
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  Quarterback Kedon Slovis is transferring from Pittsburgh to BYU, he announced Saturday on social media. Slovis, who had transferred from USC to Pitt, has one year of eligibility remaining. He will compete for the starting job at BYU in its first season in the Big 12 Conference, which the Cougars join after playing as an independent since the 2011 season. Slovis struggled in his only season with the Panthers.

He completed just 59% of his passes with 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions, his numbers dipping in the second half of the season as Pitt became a more run-first team. "I will always be grateful for Coach (Pat) Narduzzi and the time I got to spend with all of my teammates at the University of Pittsburgh," Slovis wrote in a tweet showing him pictured in a BYU uniform. "I'm excited for this new chapter and can't wait to get to work." Pitt (8-4) takes on No. 18 UCLA (9-3) in the Sun Bowl on Friday. Narduzzi has not said whether senior quarterback Nick Patti or freshman Nate Yarnell will start. BYU beat SMU 24-23 last weekend in the New Mexico Bowl, stopping a late comeback by the Mustangs. With three inexperienced quarterbacks on the Cougars' roster, redshirt freshman Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters got the nod. - AP College Football


rSr/2024 QB Kedon SlovisBrigham Young
News Source: AP College Football
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  Cornerback Jakon Robinson stopped SMU quarterback Tanner Mordecai on a 2-point conversion try with eight seconds left in the game, and BYU beat the Mustangs 24-23 Saturday night in the New Mexico Bowl. Mordecai, who finished with 218 passing yards and two touchdowns, tried to cut up the middle on a designed run and was dropped by Robinson, shutting down SMU’s comeback attempt from a 24-10 third-quarter deficit. The 2-point try came after Jordan Kerley caught a 12-yard TD pass from Mordecai. Taking his first snaps in a college game, BYU redshirt freshman Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters ran for a game-leading 96 yards with a touchdown, and Christopher Brooks added 88 yards and a score for the Cougars (8-5). Maiava-Peters was 7 of 12 passing for 47 yards and an interception. After an apparent fumble recovery in the third quarter was overturned, the Cougars got a 64-yard interception return for a touchdown from linebacker Ben Bywater, breaking a 10-all tie.

Bywater added a game-high 11 tackles as part of a surprisingly stout performance by a BYU defense that had been allowing 30 points per game. The Cougars defense also turned in a big play on fourth-and-2 at the BYU 24 with five minutes left in the game as Alden Tofa sacked Mordecai for a 17-yard loss. SMU (7-5) raced to an early lead, getting a 35-yard field goal from Collin Rogers and 9-yard scoring pass from Mordecai to Roderick Daniels Jr., around a 1-yard scoring run by Maiava-Peters in the first quarter. Jake Oldroyd booted a 31-yard field goal in the second quarter for BYU, and the team were tied at 10-all at halftime. After Bywater scored on the interception, BYU added a 22-yard scoring run by Brooks in the third quarter. SMU closed within seven points at 24-17 in the fourth quarter when Tyler Lavine scored on a 3-yard run. Lavine finished with 91 yards on 23 carries. - BYU/AP College Football


rJr/2025 ILB Ben BywaterBrigham Young
News Source: BYU/AP College Football
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  2022 PHIL STEEL ALL-INDEPENDENT CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM: OT Blake Freeland,...Led by left tackle Blake Freeland, who was also named to the Phil Steele All-American Honorable Mention Team, five BYU offensive standouts were named Independent All-Conference First Team. Joining Freeland on the first team was quarterback Jaren Hall, tight end Isaac Rex, running back Chris Brooks and wide receiver Puka Nacua. The 6-8, 305-pound junior from Herriman, started every game for the Cougars in 2022. He has played a key role in an offense that rolled-up 5,286 yards of total offense—3,199 passing and 2,087 rushing. - BYU Football

rJr/2023 OT Blake FreelandBrigham Young
News Source: BYU Football
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  2022 ALL-BIG SKY FIRST TEAM: DB Eddie Heckard (WSU),...Eddie Heckard and Noah Atagi both earned first-team honors for the third time in their careers. Only nine players in Weber State history have earned first-team honors three times in a career. Atagi started all 11 games on the offensive line for the Wildcats and Heckard had 56 tackles, two interceptions and seven pass breakups during the regular season. This is the fourth-straight season for Heckard earning all-conference honors, with three first-team selections. - Weber State Football

rSr/2024 CB Eddie HeckardBrigham Young
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  Jaren Hall threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score before leaving with an ankle injury to lead BYU to a 35-26 victory over Stanford on Saturday night, and Cardinal coach David Shaw announced his resignation after the game. After arriving unusually late for his postgame news conference, Shaw said he told his team in the locker room he was stepping down. "It's been a great run," Shaw said. "But it's time for me to step aside. It's time for the next group to come in." The Cougars (7-5) scored touchdowns on their first four possessions to take control in their regular-season finale and assure themselves of a winning record for a fifth straight season. Hall threw two TD passes to Isaac Rex before getting hurt. Coach Kalani Satake said he expected Hall to be able to play in the bowl game.

BYU did much of its damage on the ground with 358 yards rushing against a depleted defense for the Cardinal (3-9). Chris Brooks ran for 164 yards a year after gaining 131 against Stanford in the Big Game for rival California. Hinckley Ropati added a 43-yard touchdown run and Puka Nacua scored on a 25-yard run. Tanner McKee threw for 313 yards and a TD, and Mitch Leigber and Ashton Daniels scored on 1-yard runs for Stanford. But it wasn't enough to prevent the Cardinal from posting back-to-back seasons with at least nine losses for the first time in school history. The Cougars took control early with Hall capping a 75-yard game-opening drive with a 19-yard keeper. - BYU/AP College Football


rJr/2023 QB Jaren HallBrigham Young
News Source: BYU/AP College Football
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  Kedon Slovis threw three touchdown passes, all to Jared Wayne, and Israel Abanikanda rushed for two touchdowns as Pittsburgh rolled past Miami 42-16 on Saturday night and eliminated the Hurricanes from bowl contention. Miami (5-7, 3-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) matched its worst season in the last 45 years. Abanikanda now has 20 touchdown rushes this season and finished with 111 yards on the ground, his sixth consecutive 100-yard game for the Panthers (8-4, 5-3). Wayne had first-half TD catches for 26 and 66 yards as Pitt took a 28-0 lead into the break, then caught a 7-yarder late in the third. Wayne finished with a career-high 199 yards receiving, and it was the first multi-TD catch game of his career. It was Pitt's biggest win ever over Miami; the previous was a 17-point victory in 1976 - a year when the Panthers won the national title. Jake Garcia threw two touchdown passes for Miami; Xavier Restrepo caught one, and tight end Will Mallory also got one in his final game for the Hurricanes.

Pitt beat Miami for just the fourth time in the last 26 meetings between the teams, plus went 4-0 in November for a second consecutive season. It also grabbed a small sliver of history - the contest was the last Coastal Division game to be played, with the ACC abandoning the two-division format starting next season. It also was the 61st win for Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi, giving him outright possession of second on the Panthers' all-time list. He was tied with Pop Warner. For Miami, it was a terrible end to a terrible season. The Hurricanes used three quarterbacks Saturday, which was fitting, since they had a revolving door at that position all season. Starter Tyler Van Dyke was back for the opening series but reaggravated the shoulder injury that kept him out for much of the last month. Jacurri Brown left in the third quarter after getting hurt, and Garcia played the rest of the way. It was a season that began with such promise; Miami was the preseason pick to win the Coastal and started ranked No. 16 in the AP Top 25. But the Hurricanes lost their final five home games, making this the first season where that happened to Miami since 1963. Van Dyke finished the season 160-for-253 passing, for 1,835 yards with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions. - Pittsburgh/AP College Football


rSr/2024 QB Kedon SlovisBrigham Young
News Source: Pittsburgh/AP College Football
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  Jaren Hall threw for a career-best 456 yards and accounted for six touchdowns as BYU pulled away from Utah Tech in the second half to take a 52-26 victory in the regular season finale Saturday. The victory made the Cougars (6-5) bowl eligible. Hall completed 23 of 35 passes with five touchdowns and an interception. He also ran for a touchdown. Keanu Hill had six catches for 137 yards and three touchdowns. Chris Brooks rushed for 102 yards. BYU finished with 676 yards of offense.

Utah Tech (4-7), from the FCS Western Athletic Conference, kept the game close and trailed 28-20 at the half. The Trailblazers took the lead three times in the first half, but the BYU defense forced them to punt six straight times in the second half. Victor Gabalis threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns with an interception to lead Utah Tech. Deven Osborne had three catches for 138 yards and a touchdown and Joey Hobert had 11 catches for 100 yards and two scores. - BYU/AP College Football


rJr/2023 QB Jaren HallBrigham Young
News Source: BYU/AP College Football
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  Puka Nacua caught 14 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns, including an acrobatic catch for the go-ahead score with 1:46 remaining, Jaren Hall passed for 377 yards and BYU defeated Boise State 31-28 on Saturday night. BYU (5-5) snapped a four-game losing streak in the final match-up of a 12-game series with neighboring Boise State. It was only the second time the Cougars won on the Broncos' famed blue turf. Boise State (6-3) saw its four-game winning streak snapped as the Broncos' nationally second-ranked defense surrendered 532 yards, a season high. Trailing 28-24 with 6:28 remaining, Hall cobbled together a nine-play, 75-yard drive that ended when Nacua made a juggling 6-yard touchdown reception on fourth down. He twisted in the air while securing control of the ball and then tapped his feet down.

BYU dominated the first half on the stat sheet, but not the scoreboard as the half finished with the score knotted at 7. The Cougars passed up a chip-shot field goal on fourth-and-goal from the half-foot line with one second remaining in the half. But after four combined timeouts in a game of cat-and-mouse, Lopini Katoa's dive off right tackle was stuffed by Boise State's Ezekiel Noa at the goal line. But that was a decision BYU coach Kalani Sitake won't be scrutinized for too much after the Cougars escaped with a victory. Boise State, which mustered only 76 yards of offense in the first half, found its rhythm in the second half and turned the game into a see-saw affair. There were six lead changes in the second half as neither defense had much of an answer for the offensive explosion. - BYU/AP College Football


rJr/2023 WR Puka NacuaBrigham Young
News Source: BYU/AP College Football
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  As the weeks passed by and the doctor visits mounted, those closest to Gunner Romney worried the BYU wide receiver's season may be over before it began. Watching her husband lay in a hospital bed with a pain pulsating through his stomach, Sadie Romney knew his injury wasn't routine: a lacerated kidney that would ultimately require two months to heal before he would be cleared to play again. "It has been super sad, super hard," Sadie Romney said last week as she waited for her husband to make his season debut. "... When they kept pushing it back, I thought maybe he would come back next year. He still has the redshirt year. I know he would hate to do that but if it came down to it he would." Romney, a fifth-year senior, returned last Thursday after lacerating his kidney at the start of training camp in August.

For most of the last month, BYU's coaches have said Romney was close to returning and listed him as a "game-time decision." But for a while, the Romneys worried the injury was severe enough that it could have derailed his entire 2022 season. "It was a really serious injury," Gunner said on BYUtv. "It wasn't something we were taking lightly at all...Luckily we have had a lot of medical help and medical opinions on this." The injury itself happened on the second day of training camp. Romney caught a ball and fell to the ground. During the catch, he cradled the ball squarely on his kidney and the blunt force of the fall was absorbed by his stomach. During the play, a defensive back also fell onto him and pushed an added body weight onto the kidney. - Salt Lake Tribune


rSr/2023 WR Gunner RomneyBrigham Young
News Source: Salt Lake Tribune
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