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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Brigham Young
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  Without anything else to do this offseason, sidelined by a shoulder injury, Kody Epps has made it a point to sit in on quarterback meetings. It is not something he has ever done before. The wide receiver used to only attend his mandatory meetings and get out. But without the ability to workout, and a new quarterback to mesh with, Epps has decided to go all-in on the scheme side of things. "I just want to hear that dialect. See what they're thinking, see what's going on in there," Epps said. "I want to be as locked in as possible. I definitely want to be someone you can rely on to understand the offense's ins and outs. I'm looking at what the running backs are doing, the linemen are doing, the quarterback is doing."

Epps was the breakout leader in the receivers room last year before he was injured, leading the team with 459 yards and 39 catches. Now, though, there is a fear that him missing spring practice will hinder his ability to jell with new quarterback Kedon Slovis. A lack of connection could bleed into a rocky 2023. And being fair, there is still that fear. But with Epps sitting with Slovis in the film room, there is at least the hope they will form a relationship without practice. "I mean, he's my quarterback, so of course I want to make sure we have a relationship," Epps said. "We got a bond, but it all comes naturally." - Salt Lake Tribune


rSo/2026 WR Kody EppsBrigham Young
News Source: Salt Lake Tribune
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  Almost three months to the day after his hiring, new USF coach Alex Golesh staged the first spring practice of his tenure on a clear, cloudless afternoon Monday on campus. And local reporters were granted a 20-minute peek behind the new regime's curtain. Veteran quarterback Gerry Bohanon, who was expected to be sidelined all of spring drills while rehabbing a shoulder injury sustained last fall, suited up and participated - to an extent. A touted Baylor transfer and the opening-night starter in 2022, Bohanon engaged in some agility work but didn't throw with the other five quarterbacks during positional drills. - Tampa Tribune

rSr/2025 QB Gerry BohanonBrigham Young
News Source: Tampa Tribune
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  BYU wide receiver Kody Epps isn't your typical sophomore. Thanks to things like the pandemic and a redshirt year, he is already a veteran in terms of his time as a Cougar since he is in his fourth year. That's one reason why BYU isn't going to rush him back from a shoulder injury, although Epps said with a grin Monday after practice at the indoor practice facility in Provo that if it was up to him he'd be out on the field right now. "My shoulder is doing a lot better than it could have been," Epps said. "It's been a slow process but they've been taking care of me. I've been staying on top of my rehab, nutrition,sleep and all that type of stuff. Those things have been the main emphasis to get my shoulder right." Epps - and many other Cougar players who are recovering from injuries and/or surgeries - aren't just sitting around waiting to heal up.

There are still physical things to be done to be ready to go. "Right now I'm able to do a lot of footwork stuff and work on my legs," Epps said. "I really want to get a lot a lot stronger, a lot heavier with my legs so I can be a lot more explosive and a lot more powerful." Perhaps more important than the conditioning work, however, is for those players to not lose their mental sharpness. "I'm just so locked in like when it comes to meetings and stuff," Epps said. "I just want to be as locked in as possible, and definitely someone that (wide receivers coach Fesi Sitake) can rely on to understand the offense. I look at what the running backs are doing, what the linemen are doing, the quarterbacks reads, everything. I sit in quarterbacks meetings from time to time just to hear that dialogue, see what they're thinking." - Daily Herald


rSo/2026 WR Kody EppsBrigham Young
News Source: Daily Herald
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  Kedon Slovis was late to church, which was the one thing he had hoped to avoid. The new BYU quarterback was nervous about attending the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint services in the first place, but he had been invited to listen to his teammate, Chase Roberts, give a lesson on Christ and hardship. Wearing a black tie and a tan sweater, tailor-made for blending in, Slovis planned to slink into a back seat, support his wide receiver, and leave without making a scene. A few years ago, when he was one of college football's rising stars, Slovis had said he'd found Provo to be a "weird" place, likening it to the artificial bubble of "The Truman Show." Now, on this Sunday, Slovis simply hoped to blend into the cast.

But when he and tight end Carter Wheat entered the room, every head in the congregation's elders quorum immediately turned back and locked eyes with the newcomer. "My family is not super religious, so I didn't grow up going to church," Slovis said, explaining his hesitancy. "But I definitely feel like the BYU quarterback now. Everyone in church knew who I was and I'd never been there before." This would have seemed a very odd marriage just a few years ago when Slovis was leading USC into LaVell Edwards Stadium and cracking jokes about the Cougars afterward, but much has changed since then. - Salt Lake Tribune


rSr/2024 QB Kedon SlovisBrigham Young
News Source: Salt Lake Tribune
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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 OG Paul MaileBrigham Young
News Source: Deseret News
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  Deion Smith, who led Colorado with 393 rushing yards this past season, is slated to return for his sixth season, as well. Smith has 653 yards and four touchdowns during his career. Sophomore Anthony Hankerson (274 yards, team-best three TDs last season), junior Jayle Stacks (114 yards, 1 TD) and freshman Victor Venn, who redshirted, are also slated to return for the Buffs. - Daily Camera

rSr/2024 RB Deion SmithBrigham Young
News Source: Daily Camera
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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 OG 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 OLB 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
News Source: Weber State Football
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