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Early Projections for BYU's 2022 Depth Chart

Wednesday was a busy day for the BYU football program. The Cougars welcomed two PAC-12 transfers in Christopher Brooks and Houston Heimuli into the program. They also announced six previously signed mid-year enrollees, and they lost wide receiver Chris Jackson to the transfer portal. That wasn't all, veteran wide receiver Gunner Romney announced that he would return to BYU for one final season.

After Wednesday, BYU's 2022 roster began to take shape. Today, we take a way-too-early look at BYU's 2022 depth chart.

Quarterback

Jaren Hall vs Baylor
  1. Jaren Hall
  2. Jacob Conover

Jaren Hall will be BYU's undisputed starting quarterback for the 2022 season. Multi-year backup Baylor Romney announced after Christmas that he was moving on from the program, sliding Jacob Conover into the backup quarterback role.

Running Back

BYU vs Idaho State Jackson McChesney

1. Christopher Brooks
2. Lopini Katoa OR Miles Davis OR Jackson McChesney OR Hinckley Ropati

Last week, star running back Tyler Allgeier declared for the NFL Draft leaving the starting running back job up for grabs. It took BYU only a few weeks to find a potential replacement in the transfer portal in Cal transfer Christopher Brooks.

BYU typically operates under one philosophy when it recruits from the transfer portal: only bring in players that can contribute right away. So far, that has been true for players like Ty'Son Williams, Puka Nacua, Samson Nacua, and Kaleb Hayes among others. Therefore, the coaching staff wouldn't have pushed for Christopher Brooks unless they felt like he could push for the starting job right away.

Long-time contributor and veteran Lopini Katoa will be in the mix. Miles Davis, a speedy youngster out of Las Vegas, was making waves in Fall camp before he suffered an injury that limited his 2021 availability. Jackson McChensey has performed well in limited opportunities - he suffered an injury in 2020 that kept him out for that season and part of the 2021 season. Then there is Hinckley Ropati who sufered an ACL injury during his first Fall camp with BYU. 

Wide Receiver

  1. Gunner Romney
  2. Chase Roberts
  1. Keanu Hill
  2. Kody Epps
  1. Puka Nacua
  2. Hobbs Nyberg OR Brayden Cosper

2021 starters Samson Nacua and Neil Pau'u will test the NFL waters this Spring leaving two vacant roles. Both Gunner Romney and Puka Nacua will return to their starting roles next season. Keanu Hill looks like a player that could slide into the third starting spot. However, BYU has multiple talented wide receivers that could become household names next season. Among them are highly-touted recruits Chase Roberts and Kody Epps. Hobbs Nyberg, Brayden Cosper, and Terence Fall are also names to watch.

Tight End

  1. Isaac Rex
  2. Dallin Holker

Fullback

  1. Masen Wake OR Houston Heimuli

Isaac Rex suffered an ankle injury against USC. Assuming he is healthy, he will assume his starting role. I expect both Masen Wake and Houston Heimuli to find important roles in BYU's offense next season.

Offensive Line

Left Tackle
1. Blake Freeland
2. Brayden Keim

Left Guard
1. Clark Barrington
2. Seth Willis

Center
1. Connor Pay
2. Joe Tukuafu

Right Guard
1. Joe Tukuafu
2. Campbell Barrington

Right Tackle
1. Harris LaChance OR Kingsley Suamataia

BYU returns most of its offensive line production in 2022 - veteran offensive lineman Joe Tukuafu announced that he will return to BYU for one more season. BYU also adds former five-star recruit Kingsley Suamataia into the mix.  Suamataia will immediately compete for a starting tackle spot. BYU's offensive line is arguably the strongest position group heading into next season.

Defensive Backs

Left Cornerback
1. D'Angelo Mandell OR Keenan Ellis
2. Shamon Willis

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Strong Safety
1. Jakob Robinson
2. Ammon Hannemann
3. Javelle Brown

Free Safety
1. Malik Moore
2. Hayden Livingston

Right Cornerback
1. Kaleb Hayes
2. Isaiah Herron

Frodo
1. George Udo
2. Caleb Christensen

Nickel
1. Micah Harper
3. Jacob Boren

In addition to returning nearly all of its 2021 production, the BYU defensive backfield will welcome back multiple contributors back from injury. Keenan Ellis missed the entire season after leaving the Arizona game with an injury. 2020 freshman standout Micah Harper also missed the entire season after suffering an injury during spring ball. Both players are capable of competing for starting jobs next season.

Linebackers

Jack
1. Pepe Tanuvasa
2. Logan Fano

Mike

1. Keenan Pili
2. Ben Bywater

Rover
1. Max Tooley OR Ben Bywater
2. Josh Wilson

Cinco
1. Chaz Ah You
2. George Udo OR Ammon Hannemann

Flash
1. Payton Wilgar
2. Jackson Kaufusi

BYU's linebackers were decimated by injuries last season. The Cougars lost star linebackers in Payton Wilgar and Keenan Pili to season-ending injuries. In addition, Chaz Ah You moved from safety to linebacker, but he missed several weeks with an injury as well.

Defensive Line

Split End
1. Gabe Summers
2. Lorenzo Fauataea

Defensive End
1. Tyler Batty
2. Blake Mangelson OR Aisea Moa

Defensive Tackle
1. Earl Tuioti-Mariner
2. Gabe Summers
3. John Nelson

Nose Tackle
1. Atunaisa Mahe
2. Caden Haws
3. John Nelson

Outside End
1. Pepe Tanuvasa
2. Logan Fano
3. Fisher Jackson

BYU will welcome multiple newcomers to the defensive line. Aisea Moa, Logan Fano, Bruce Mitchell, Brooks Maile, and Victory Vaka to name a few. I expect a few of them to find their way on the depth chart next season.

Specialists

Place Kicker
1. Jake Oldroyd
2. Justen Smith
3. Cash Peterman

Kickoff
1. Jake Oldroyd
2. Justen Smith OR Cash Peterman

Holder
1. Ryan Rehkow
2. Hayden Livingston OR Talmage Gunther

Long Snapper - PK
1. Britton Hogan OR Austin Riggs

Long Snapper - P
1. Austin Riggs OR Britton Hogan

Punter
1. Ryan Rehkow
2. Cash Peterman

Kick Return

1. Caleb Christensen
2. Javelle Brown

Punt Return

1. Hobbs Nyberg
2. Talmage Gunther
3. Kody Epps