Four Takeaways From BYU’s Depth Chart For Notre Dame Week
PROVO, Utah – It’s always amusing when opposing beat writers see the BYU football depth chart for the first time. Since the beginning of last season, BYU has listed an insane amount of defensive positions.
What’s crazy is that the 15 positions listed this year are down from the 18 positions on the depth chart a season ago.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) May 26, 2022
One Notre Dame beat writer caught a glimpse of the BYU depth chart and said, “It’s a strange depth chart.” Yes, it is. But every week, there are always a few nuggets of info that BYU reveals to begin a new game week.
Here are my four takeaways from BYU’s depth chart heading into the Las Vegas showdown with Notre Dame.
#1 Competition at kicker
Jake Oldroyd’s struggles go beyond one game and one hug. He’s missed five of his last six field goals over the past four weeks. In the win over Wyoming, BYU’s lone field goal attempt went to backup Justen Smith. But Oldroyd returned as the starting placekicker in last week’s Wagon Wheel victory against Utah State.
The depth chart this week has Oldroyd -OR- Smith at placekicker. BYU still lists Oldroyd as the top guy on kickoffs despite some struggles this season, including a kick out of bounds against Wyoming.
Outside of Oldroyd and Smith, BYU’s next option at placekicker is Cash Peterman. KSL Sports asked BYU coach Kalani Sitake if punter Ryan Rehkow could also be an option, but Sitake said that Rehkow is the team’s best holder on the field goal unit. The star punter is listed as the starter at holder on the depth chart.
#2 Co-starters remain at running back
For the second consecutive week, BYU has three co-starters at the running back position. Grad transfer Chris Brooks sits atop the list, followed by Lopini Katoa, then redshirt freshman Miles Davis.
For the fourth time this season, Chris Brooks scores a TD. pic.twitter.com/C8loYMGap7
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) September 30, 2022
Davis left last week’s win against Utah State due to an injury that saw him receive attention in the team medical tent. However, BYU coach Kalani Sitake said, “no has been counted out” entering Saturday’s game against the Irish.
With Davis sidelined last week, Chris Brooks shined, rushing for 90 yards on 11 carries.
Lopini Katoa wasn’t much of a factor last week, rushing the ball four times for zero yards, which also included a fumble. Luckily for Katoa, BYU was still able to maintain possession.
#3 Gabe Jeudy-Lally listed as a starter at cornerback
For the first time this season, Vanderbilt transfer Gabe Jeudy-Lally is listed as a starting cornerback above D’Angelo Mandell. Jeudy-Lally, who was granted an appeal for his targeting penalty in the win over Utah State, will be starting along with his roommate Kaleb Hayes.
Jeudy-Lally provided what BYU expected from him after he transferred out of the Transfer Portal as an immediate impact performer. What’s intriguing about Jeudy-Lally is that he could still play another two seasons if he wanted. So he has some time to establish himself as a star cornerback in the BYU football program for years to come.
#4 Micah Harper is a backup, but he’s playing a ton of snaps
Over the past two weeks, BYU safety Micah Harper has been a star on the backend of BYU’s defense. He remains the second-string strong safety behind Ammon Hannemann, but at the end of games, he played more snaps than Hannemann.
Top-Graded @PFF Safeties thru Week 5
83.5—Jaxen Turner, Arizona
83.0—Micah Harper, BYU
80.7—Stephan Blaylock, UCLA
79.2—Evan Williams, Fresno St
79.2—Jaydon Grant, Ore St
77.0—Kendall Williamson, Stanford
75.5—Khoury Bethley, ASU
74.8—Bryan Addison, Oregon
— SuperWest Sports (@SuperWestSports) October 3, 2022
Harper finished with 62 snaps to Hannemann’s 22. The same goes for Talan Alfrey, who ended up with 63 snaps.
Pro Football Focus graded Harper as BYU’s highest-graded defensive player in the Utah State win. After recovering from a season-ending ACL injury last year, then an ankle setback this year in fall camp, Harper is finding his groove at safety.
Two years ago, as a true freshman, he was a rotational starter at cornerback. When he signed with BYU out of Basha High School in Arizona, Kalani Sitake compared him to former BYU football standout Dayan Lake. Harper is well on his way to having a similar career as Lake, with how versatile he is in BYU’s secondary.
BYU Football Depth Chart for Notre Dame week
Quarterback: Jaren Hall / Jacob Conover
Running Back: Chris Brooks -OR- Lopini Katoa -OR- Miles Davis
Wide Receiver: Gunner Romney / Kody Epps
WR: Puka Nacua / Chase Roberts
Wide Receiver: Keanu Hill / Brayden Cosper
Tight End: Isaac Rex / Masen Wake
Left Tackle: Blake Freeland / Brayden Keim
Left Guard: Clark Barrington / Campbell Barrington
Center: Connor Pay / Joe Tukuafu
Right Guard: Harris LaChance / Joe Tukuafu
Right Tackle: Kingsley Suamataia -OR- Campbell Barrington
SE: Earl Tuioti-Mariner -OR- John Nelson / Blake Mangelson / Alden Tofa
DE: Tyler Batty / Fisher Jackson -OR- Logan Lutui / Alden Tofa
Tackle: Gabe Summers -OR- Lorenzo Fauatea / Bruce Mitchell -OR- Hunter Greer
Nose: Caden Haws / Josh Larsen -OR- Atunaisa Mahe
OE: Tyler Batty / Alden Tofa -OR- Fisher Jackson
WILL: Ben Bywater / Jackson Kaufusi / Josh Wilson
FLASH: Max Tooley / Tavita Gagnier / Morgan Pyper
MIKE: Keenan Pili / Pepe Tanuvasa / Bodie Schoonover
ROVER: Payton Wilgar / Jackson Kaufusi / Tate Romney
CINCO: George Udo / Matt Criddle
NICKEL: Jakob Robinson / Jacob Boren
Strong Safety: Ammon Hannemann / Micah Harper / Ethan Slade
Free Safety: Malik Moore / Hayden Livingston
Cornerback: Gabe Jeudy-Lally / D’Angelo Mandell / Jacob Boren
Cornerback: Kaleb Hayes / Jakob Robinson / Mory Bamba
Kickoffs: Jake Oldroyd / Justen Smith / Cash Peterman
Placekicking: Jake Oldroyd -OR- Justen Smith / Cash Peterman
Holder: Ryan Rehkow / Talmage Gunther / Hayden Livingston
Long Snapper: Britton Hogan / Dalton Riggs
Punter: Ryan Rehkow / Cash Peterman
Kick Returner: Hobbs Nyberg / Talmage Gunther
Punt Returner: Hobbs Nyberg / Talmage Gunther
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.
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