It’s already that time of year — spring football! BYU has traditionally been one of the first teams in the country to start its spring practices, and this year is no different. Spring ball is one of the best times for newcomers to acclimate to the program and give themselves a leg up to contribute for the upcoming season. BYU will be welcoming more new players come fall camp, but these are five newcomers (and redshirt players) to watch that will be participating in this year’s spring ball:
Ula Tolutau (RB)- The recently returned missionary was a Wisconsin commit prior to his mission. The East High School product’s stats are absolutely bonkers from his senior year; Tolutau ran for 2,465 and 31 touchdown on 195 carries — that’s an average of 12.5 yards per attempt. Tolutau’s mix of power and burst have coaches extremely high on his potential. He will compete for carries with junior Squally Canada and sophomore Riley Burt, who is coming off a redshirt season. With all-time leading rusher Jamaal Williams now gone, Tolutau will get an opportunity to be a focal point of BYU’s offense.
Austin Lee (S)- The sophomore safety is a University of Utah Transfer. After playing at Utah in 7 games as a freshman, Lee comes to BYU looking to fill Kai Nacua’s vacant safety position. Utah defensive coordinator and safeties coach Morgan Scalley called Lee the fastest safety on the team when he was at Utah.
I wonder if Utah entertains using Alta product, Austin Lee. Scalley said he is the fastest of all safeties. Lee loves being physical.— Brett Borg (@BrettBorgScout) November 9, 2015
Kody Wilstead (QB)- The 6’6” St. George product is fresh off his mission, and will be battling Beau Hoge for the backup QB spot. Wilstead appears to be the heir apparent at quarterback once Mangum leaves, and looks to be a good fit for Detmer’s pro-style offense. In addition to his size, Wilstead has an absolute cannon for an arm; he can make just about every throw on the football field. He will need to work on his accuracy to perform the precise throws that will be required of him, but Wilstead has the physical tools to be a very productive quarterback during his time at BYU.
Inoke Lotulelei (WR)- Lotulelei redshirted last season after coming home from his LDS mission. Although he stands at only 5’9”, Lotulelei is a quick receiver who could provide a big threat for BYU in the slot. With the wide receiver struggles last season and the departure of slot receiver Mitchell Juergens, Lotulelei will be counted on to make an impact this season and press for immediate playing time.
Kieffer Longson (OL)- Longson is another guy that redshirted last season after returning from an LDS mission. The 6’7” 300 lbs OL also received scholarship offers from Florida State and Ohio State when he came out of high school in 2015. Longson is unlikely to start this year due to BYU returning 4 starters along the OL and Ului Lapuaho off injury, but he will surely push for time at the two-deep.