In 2022, BYU will return a lot of production from a 2021 team that went 10-3 including six victories over P5 teams. Today, we look at the 10 highest-graded players (according to Pro Football Focus) that return in 2022.
Author note: minimum of 50 snaps played
1. QB Jaren Hall - 89.2 Grade
Jaren Hall's 2021 grades were second only to Tyler Allgeier. The sophomore quarterback threw for 2,583 yards, 20 touchdowns, and only 5 interceptions. Returning production at quarterback is a recipe for success in college football, and that's exactly what BYU will have in 2022.
2. OL Clark Barrington - 84.6 Grade
Clark Barrington has been one of BYU's best players over the last two seasons. In 2021, Barrington was named to the Action Network All-America Second Team. He was also a Third Team All-American according to Pro Football Focus. Barrington has NFL potential as an interior offensive lineman.
3. WR Puka Nacua - 84.2 Grade
It took Puka Nacua a few games to get healthy and settle into his role last season. Through the first three games, Nacua had four receptions for 37 yards. Once he was healthy, he became one of BYU's top weapons on offense. In the final 10 games of the season, Nacua racked up 914 total yards and 6 touchdowns.
He has the potential to be a 1,000+ yard receiver in 2022.
4. OL Blake Freeland - 81.7 Grade
Another offensive lineman makes the list. Blake Freeland has become an NFL prospect at tackle after playing tight end and quarterback in high school.
BYU's 2022 offensive line has the potential to be very good. Especially when you factor in former five-star recruit Kingsley Suamataia.
BONUS: RB Christopher Brooks - 80.9 Grade
We bent the rules to add Cal transfer running back Christopher Brooks to our list. Brooks, who transferred to BYU earlier this month and is already enrolled in classes, was Cal's third highest-graded player on offense in 2021. Brooks ran for 607 yards on 5.2 yards per carry last season.
5. DB Hayden Livingston - 79.5 Grade
The first defensive player to make the list. Hayden Livingston was BYU's highest-graded player on defense last season. Livingston had a pair of interceptions in 2021 and a pass breakup.
6. OL Joe Tukuafu - 78.8 Grade
Another offensive lineman makes the list. Tukuafu announced that he will return to BYU for one final season - he played 701 snaps for BYU last season.
7. OL Brayden Keim - 76.2 Grade
Walk-on Brayden Keim played 168 snaps at tackle for BYU this season. Keim was impressive in his first real FBS action at tackle.
8. OL Campbell Barrington - 73.8 Grade
Another tackle that came in after starter Harris LaChance suffered an injury. Campbell Barrington, the younger brother of Clark Barrington, has the potential to be a staple on BYU's offensive line in the future.
9. OL Connor Pay - 73.1 Grade
Connor Pay started the season at guard, but he ended up playing most of the season at center after starter James Empey suffered an injury. Pay has locked down the starting center job for the next few years.
10. WR Gunner Romney - 73.1 Grade
Gunner Romney announced that he will return to BYU for one final season in 2022. Through four years at BYU, Romney has exactly 1,900 receiving yards.
Just Missed the Cut
- DB Kaleb Hayes (72.2)
- FB Masen Wake (72.0)
- LB Max Tooley (72.0)
- LB Payton Wilgar (71.7)
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