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5 Current BYU Football Commits Who Can Make an Immediate Impact In 2022

These five BYU football recruits won't need much time to get comfortable.

Heading into the 2022 football season, BYU doesn’t have as many question marks as it did coming into 2021. That may seem strange to say after star running back Tyler Allgeier declared for the NFL draft, but the Cougars actually rank second in the nation in terms of returning production out of all of college football. That includes 80 percent of offensive experience, and 97 percent of production on the defensive side of the ball.

High levels of returning production should bode well for BYU after posting a 10-3 record in 2021. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for newcomers to make an impact — even if many players in this year's signing class (like most of BYU’s recruiting classes) are planning to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before enrolling at the school.

BYU actually has several commits in the class of 2022 who have the potential to make an immediate impact.

1. Christopher Brooks

The grad transfer from Cal has some big shoes to fill — but there’s little doubt as to why the coaches pursued this productive running back. Though injuries limited his workload in 2020, Brooks was the leading rusher for the Golden Bears in both the 2019 and 2021 seasons, averaging over 5 yards per carry in 2021.

Brooks has rushed for 1,734 yards and 14 touchdowns in his collegiate career, while also adding over 300 yards as a receiver (he has also nabbed seven touchdown catches). Another worthwhile stat: he hasn’t lost a fumble in four seasons of play. BYU has prized ball security over the last several seasons; this, combined with Brooks’ consistent production should make him a solid candidate to take over the role of starting running back.

2. Houston Heimuli

Houston Heimuli is another grad transfer with only a single year of eligibility remaining, so you can be sure he will be trying to make it count. A transfer fullback from Stanford, Heimuli primarily made his contribution as a blocking back. While that may not sound so exciting, attentive fans know how big of an impact Masen Wake (previously the only fullback on the roster) made as a blocker in addition to his hurdling highlights.

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Heimuli also brings valuable leadership to the team. In addition to being named an All-Pac 12 honorable mention in 2020, Heimuli was a captain at Stanford during the 2021 season and was given the team’s Outstanding Senior Award. Heimuli’s experience and leadership should be a welcome asset to a team that is still relatively young.

3. Kingsley Suamataia

Kingsley Suamataia comes in as one of BYU’s most highly touted recruits ever. A quick look at his recruiting profile shows why Kingsley is such a big get, even if he is joining an already deep offensive line. Originally part of the 2021 recruiting class (when he committed to Oregon), he was a five-star recruit who was ranked as one of the top offensive linemen in the country after helping Orem High School win four straight Utah 5A state championships.

In addition to Oregon, he was recruited by Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, USC, and other big-name programs. Even though the Cougars have plenty of returning experience on the offensive line, analysis that projects him as an elite, multi-year starter and future high-round NFL draft pick shows why he should get plenty of playing time in 2022.

4. Aisea Moa

The defensive side of the ball is also going to be getting some help from the class of 2022, particularly from 4-star DL Aisea Moa. Despite being committed to rival Utah for most of 2021, Moa flipped to BYU in October before signing his letter of intent with the Cougars. Moa primarily played as an edge rusher at Weber High School, recording 75 total tackles and 12 sacks, as well as two interceptions during his senior season.

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While many of BYU’s recruits choose to serve a mission straight out of high school, Moa actually graduated early so he could enroll at BYU in time for spring ball, which further increases his potential to become an immediate contributor as a defensive end. Injuries made depth a liability on the defensive front in 2021, so the addition of Moa should help the Cougars generate more consistent pressure in the coming years.

5. Lisala Tai

Lisala Tai is another experienced player with the potential to further beef up an already-strong offensive front. A 3-star JUCO transfer from Snow College, Tai was originally part of BYU’s 2016 recruiting class prior to serving a mission and going to Snow College instead of BYU. Tai was part of a Snow College team that posted an 8-1 record and finished as the NJCAA national runner-up in a COVID-disrupted JUCO season.

Coming out of Snow College, Tai also received offers from Maryland, West Virginia, UCF and Boise State. Despite originally being part of BYU’s 2016 signing class, Tai has four years of eligibility remaining. Expect him to get some rotational play this season in preparation for a larger role as other offensive line starters move on over the next few years.

BYU’s head coaches aren’t afraid to let everyone fight to earn a spot on the field. Time will tell as to who will step up and take the field in 2022, but these current commits are likely to be a great addition to the Cougars’ wealth of returning talent.