Pre-season accolades for BYU Cougars linebacker Alani Fua continue to roll in. Fua was recently named to the 2014 College Football Performance Awards Linebacker Trophy Watch List. The list features 40 linebackers across the country.
"Congratulations to Alani Fua on earning a spot on the 2014 CFPA Watch List," Brad Smith, Executive Director of the CFPA, said. "Fua has the potential to become the third CFPA winner at BYU."
Dennis Pitta earned the CFPA Elite Tight End Trophy back in 2009. Kyle Van Noy, recently drafted in the second round by the Detroit Lions, was awarded the 2012 CFPA Linebacker Trophy and was named the 2012 CFPA National Defensive Performer of the Year.
"Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams," according to the BYU press release. "The CFPA is in its seventh season of player and team performance recognition, broken down by offense, defense, and special teams."
Back in June, Fua was named to the Phil Steele Preseason All-Independent First Team.
Fua, who’s been described as "215 pounds of versatile fury" and "a super athlete" who "knows exactly what to do," will continue to be a key player for the BYU defense.
Last year, Fua had 63 tackles, five tackles for loss and three sacks. He also tied a team-high two interceptions.
Those who know Fua shouldn’t be surprised by the preseason hype. Just over a year ago, Bronco Mendenhall said "Alani Fua has been, if not the brightest spot of spring, one of the brightest spots. Not only with how hard he’s playing, but with his knowledge."
And if BYU fans were excited about Van Noy, all last season, from as early as September, Van Noy deemed Fua the better BYU linebacker.
Prior to the Houston game last fall, Van Noy told the Daily Herald about Fua, "I think very highly of him. He’s my cousin and he’s awesome. He’s going to be a great player here. He just has to keep working."
To see the list of linebackers on the CFPA Linebacker Trophy Watch list, click here.