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BYU Football Spring Roster Breakdown: Defensive Backs

The good, the bad, and the notes surrounding the wide receivers a few weeks into spring practices.

BYU football ranks dead last in returning production heading into spring practices. Over the next week, we will look at the blended roster of newcomers and returning players for a BYU team that is looking to prove that the 2020 season was not a flash in the pan. Today, let's talk about the defensive backs.

If you missed our earlier previews, you can check them out here:

Wide Receivers

Offensive Line

*Note: The list below only includes players on the official spring roster. More players will join the program this summer.

Defensive Backs

Returned Missionaries (Number, Name)

  • 25 - Talan Alfrey
  • 15 - Jaylon Vickers

Transfers (Number, Name)


Returning Players (Number, Name)

  • 3 - Chaz Ah You

  • 19 - Javelle Brown

  • 4 - Caleb Christensen

  • 2 - Keenan Ellis

  • 27 - Tavita Gagnier

  • 22 - Ammon Hannemann

  • 1 - Micah Harper

  • 11 - Isaiah Herron

  • 43 - Jared Kapisi

  • 28 - Hayden Livingston

  • 5 - D'Angelo Mandell

  • 24 - Jason Money

  • 12 - Malik Moore

  • 26 - Mitchell Price

  • 10 - Morgan Pyper

  • 35 - Ethan Slade

  • 7 - George Udo

  • 29 - Shamon Willis

  • 13 - Jacques Wilson

  • 16 - Wes Wright

2020 Grayshirts

  • 21 - Dean Jones

Other Newcomers

  • 32 - Conner Ebeling

  • 22 - Nick Nethercott

The Good – During the early years of Kalani Sitake's tenure, BYU landed players like Isaiah Herron, Chaz Ah You, Keenan Ellis, D'Angelo Mandell, and Malik Moore. Those players have seen a lot of playing time in the early parts of their careers. Now, they are experienced and should be the anchor of a defensive secondary that could exceed expectations.

BYU will welcome a few guys back from injury that missed either most or all of last season. Chaz Ah You, Jacques Wilson, and Malik Moore will be available after missing most of last season due to injury.

The Bad – Depth at safety might be the biggest concern on the 2021 roster. Behind Chaz Ah You, Malik Moore, and Hayden Livingston, there is a lot of younger guys with relatively little experience. BYU needs a young guy like Talan Alfrey or Dean Jones to be ready to play early in his career.

Injuries have already started to impact this group. Yesterday, Micah Harper underwent surgery. His timeline to return is still unclear. 

George Udo suffered an injury late last season and has not been able to participate this spring. His status for the 2021 season is uncertain.

The Notes – Javelle Brown is not listed as a defensive back on the roster. However, he has been running with the safeties. 

In an interview with the media, Chaz Ah You mentioned Keenan Ellis and D'Angelo Mandell as two guys that have stood out during spring practices.

Jakob Robinson committed to BYU in February. He is a transfer from Utah State with four years of eligibility remaining. Assuming the NCAA passes the one-time transfer waiver this year, Robinson will be eligible in 2021.