Recapping the Preseason Recognition for the BYU Football Team: Late July

Casey Lundquist

Lopini Katoa
Credit: BYU Athletics

It's that time of year - watch list season. Here are all BYU football players that have earned preseason recognition as of July 19th. We will update this article as more players receive recognition.

Phil Steele's Preseason Independent Team

BYU led all independent schools with "14 citations among 13 players named to the Phil Steele 2020 Preseason Independent Team." (BYU Athletics)

First Team:

  • Matt Bushman - TE
  • Brady Christensen - OL
  • James Empey - OL
  • Gunner Romney - WR
  • Dax Milne - PR
  • Isaiah Kaufusi - LB
  • Kavika Fonua - DB
  • Chaz Ah You - DB/LB

Second Team:

  • Zach Wilson - QB
  • Lopini Katoa - RB
  • Khyiris Tonga - DL
  • Chris Wilcox - DB
  • Jake Oldroyd - K

Doak Walker Award

BYU junior RB, Lopini Katoa, was named a preseason candidate for the 2020 Doak Walker Award. The Doak Walker Award is given to the best Running Back in college football.

"A junior, Katoa has been one of the Cougars’ most versatile weapons over the past two seasons. The American Fork, Utah, product has accounted for 1,390 all-purpose yards and 14 total touchdowns over the past two seasons. In 2020, Katoa ran for 358 yards and four touchdowns, had 288 receiving yards and one score and added 207 kick return yards." (BYU Athletics)

John Mackey Award

Matt Bushman was named to the John Mackey award watch list. The John Mackey award is given to the most outstanding Tight End in college football.

"The former Freshman All-American has led the Cougars in receiving yards each of the last three years. Bushman has posted more than 500 receiving yards in each season, joining BYU consensus All-Americans Dennis Pitta and Gordon Hudson as the only tight ends in school history to do so. Pitta was a finalist for the Mackey Award in 2009.

Bushman caught 47 balls for 688 yards and four touchdowns last season. He ranks tied for No. 4 among BYU tight ends with 125 career receptions and No. 6 in receiving yards with 1,719." (BYU Athletics)

Maxwell Award

BYU QB Zach Wilson was named to the 2020 Maxwell Award watchlist. The Maxwell Award is presented to the best college player of the year dating back to 1937.

Outland Trophy Watchlist

The Outland Trophy is awarded to the best interior lineman in college football. Both James Empey and Khyiris Tonga were named to the Outland trophy watchlist.

Paul Honung Watchlist

Awarded to the most versatile player in college football. Lopini Katoa was named on the Paul Hornung watchlist.

Wuerffel Trophy Watchlist

The Wuerffel Tophy is "known as "College Football's Premier Award for Community Service," is presented each February in Fort Walton Beach. Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from the University of Florida, Danny Wuerffel, the Wuerffel Trophy exists to honor college football players who serve others, celebrate their positive impact on society, and inspire greater service in the world." (BYU Athletics) 

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