BYU Football has its last home game Saturday night against the Aggies of New Mexico State. The Cougars will play Utah in the season finale next week, and then hopefully a bowl game, but this will be the last outing at LaVell Edwards Stadium for 25 guys on BYU Football’s roster, and there are certainly some notable names who are on their way out.
Below is the full list of seniors who will be honored, plus an errant thought or memory or two about some of them. What will you remember about these guys? Who will have NFL careers? Leave thoughts in the comments!
- Rhett Almond (Punter/Kicker) — You couldn’t ask for much more solid or steady punter than Rhett. We loved getting to know him better through his sister Kara on Cougs on Cougs. Also, we can never forget his legendary cameo in this here music video:
2. Joshua Buhler (Defensive Back)
3. Squally Canada (Running Back) — SQUALLY!! Guy looked like he had the makings of a monster year this year. Darn injuries. We will miss this absolute team player and rapper extraordinaire.
4. Dylan Collie (Wide Receiver) — It is ALWAYS good to have a Collie on the squad. Dylan made some clutch catches, and we’re glad he transferred on back to BYU from Hawaii.
5. Trey Dye (Wide Receiver) — We missed Trey on the field this year and are grateful for all he’s given to the BYU Football program. He was a great sideline general this season.
6. Brayden El-Bakri (Running Back) — Our favorite El-Bakri memory has gotta be that one hit he made last year against SJSU where he practically took a guy’s head off. El-Bakri is like a mack truck and he’s been a great role player in several positions for the Cougars.
7. Matt Foley (Deep Snapper) — Twitter’s favorite player! We also love his parents. The Foley’s have contributed so much to the BYU community and we are forever grateful. Check out our Cougs on Cougs interview with them.
One final game in LaVell Edwards Stadium https://t.co/zn3Lgfs0VU— Matt Foley (@THE_LongSnapper) November 15, 2018
8. Gavin Fowler (Defensive Back) — Thanks for all the holds, Gavin!
9. Matt Hadley (Running Back, Linebacker) — Matt Hadley has STEPPED UP in the presence of some running back injuries. And we’re so glad he finally got a career TD (or two). And also we will dearly miss the Mangum/Hadley bromance. Hadley was willing to play wherever he was needed, is a great athlete, and we’ll miss that speed of his.
10. Austin Hoyt (Offensive Tackle) — A steady presence on the right side of BYU’s offensive line, Hoyt is the lone player that will graduate from BYU’s starting offensive line.
11. Tanner Jacobson (Defensive Back) — A Texas Tech transfer, Jacobson has made an impact at safety on special teams during his senior year.
12. Kamalani Kaluhiokalani (Defensive Line)
13. Corbin Kaufusi (Defensive Line) — Any day you lose a Kaufusi is a dark day. Even though we will still have at least three on the squad, Corbin has certainly made himself irreplaceable. This is a guy that we should see playing on Sundays. Seventeen career sacks to date, and each one is better than the one before it.
14. Ului Lapuaho (Offensive Line) — Yeah, yeah, the nut punch. Ului’s career was ruined by injuries, but he was an NFL-caliber lineman when healthy.
15. Tanner Mangum (Quarterback) — I am extremely biased and cannot write much about Tanner on account of the fact that I will burst into tears if I do. Tanner is one of my personal favorite BYU players, ever. His freshman year and the Miracle at Memorial will never, ever be forgotten among Cougar faithful, and my heart is broken that his senior year shook out the way that it did. But in the fashion of a true pro, Tanner has handled the ‘getting benched’ situation with grace and I’m certain that he’s been an inspiration to many through his bravery in sharing his mental health experiences, and just in his general, as a person and a leader. Thank you, Tanner.
16. Andrew Mikkelsen (Kicker) — BYU’s kickoff man, Mikkelsen has been solid on kickoff duties.
17. Butch Pau’u (Linebacker) — That’s my senior captain! We’ll miss Butch lighting people up with that huge smile on his face.
18. Riggs Powell (Linebacker) — After being cut multiple times during his BYU career, Riggs has filled in admirably for Zayne Anderson at the flash linebacker position.
19. Sawyer Powell (Defensive Back) — Sawyer has played in all 10 games this year at safety and on special teams.
20. Adam Pulsipher (Linebacker) — Adam stepped up big time as the starting MLB in BYU’s upset win at Wisconsin.
21. Nate Sampson (Linebacker)
22. Rhett Sandlin (Linebacker) — You may not have known his name a couple of weeks ago, but you probably do now! He’s had a good couple of weeks. Thanks, Rhett!
23. Michael Shelton (Defensive Back) — Controversial year for Shelton with his comments on the home crowd, but he’s more than made up for it with some exceptional play on the field. We will miss his punt returns, and his beautiful eyes.
24. Sione Takitaki (Linebacker) — Sione got the best nickname last week against UMass. Sione “Tackltackle.” Sione was absolutely everywhere on the field this year and we are exceedingly glad that he overcame some stuff to get back on the field for the Cougars. He is a truly dynamic player. He’s another guy that could/should play on Sundays!
“Tackletackle is what his name should be.” - these delightful eleven sports announcers on @STakitaki— Jess and Mary (@cougsoncougs) November 10, 2018
25. Merrill Taliauli (Defensive Line) — A fixture on the interior of the defensive line, Taliauli has played in every game during his junior and senior years.