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BYU Cougars in the NFL: Preseason Week 1 Recap

Taysom Hill, Jamaal Williams, Bronson Kaufusi, Injuries and more news from the first preseason games of the NFL season.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars
Taysom Hill
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The first week of preseason football is in the books. Several former BYU football players got the chance to strap on the pads and show the world what they have to offer.

There were several standout performances and unfortunately, also some lackluster ones from our former Cougars.

Taysom Time

Whenever Taysom Hill is involved, there will be lots of media coverage. Taysom has stolen the hearts of the entire city of New Orleans and his week one performance solidified his place as the fan favorite.

Taysom was the standout as the Saints defeated the Jaguars 24-20 in a late comeback lead by Taysom himself.

Taysom Hill finished as the passing leader going 8-9 with 72 yards, the rushing leader with 7 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown, and with a passer rating of 100 even. He showed his wheels and his arm in a picture perfect touchdown drive to spark the 14-0 comeback. He had an impressive 23 yard run on a read options play and capped off the drive with a three-yard quarterback keep.

Taysom’s teammate and fellow QB Tom Savage was quoted calling Taysom, “Hercules”, because of his rare strength and athletic ability as a quarterback. Taysom took the second-string reps during the game and Savage started. Brees did not play.


Jamaal Williams has been living up to his twitter handle with his touchdown dances and his huge personality all throughout training camp. The Packers game against the Titans was no different.

In his new role as Green Bay’s starting running back, Jamaal got very little playing time in week 1. He only played a portion of the first quarter, but he still made headlines. Jamaal finished with 5 carries for 16 yards and an exciting 8-yard touchdown catch followed by Jamaal being Jamaal, dancing in the end zone.

D-Line Power

Bronson Kaufusi ended the third quarter with one of the most powerful backfield tackles we have ever seen.

Kaufusi is showing people why he deserves a place on this Baltimore Ravens team roster. Kaufusi finished the night with 2 solo tackles and his huge tackle for a loss. He was a big part in the running game, blowing up holes and making his presence known.

Impressive Showings

There were a few guys who really stood out this week.

Michael Davis is a name we know and love at BYU. He is starting to gain the same love from the Chargers organizations and fans. Davis had a huge game this week against the Cardinals.

Davis had 2 solo tackles with a beautiful TFL in run defense. Davis shut out his receivers and and got his hands in on a pass deflection. Davis’s outing looks good for his chances to make a roster.

Jordan Leslie was another pleasant surprise from week 1. He was the team leader for targets with 4, which says good things about this young receiver in the eyes of Denver’s quarterbacks. He finished his night 2 catches for 12 yards.

Kai Nacua was an absolute ballhawk against the Rams. He was involved in almost every play and had 3 tackles, 2 of which were solo. Nacua also came up with a tackle on special teams. The Ravens were extremely impressed with his showing. He also followed up his game with 2 picks in a scrimmage this week.

Too Early to Tell

It is, after all, only week 1. There are still several players that we haven’t seen very much of yet.

Kyle Van Noy only played one series on Thursday. He had 1 tackle and a missed tackle that gave up a touchdown. It wasn’t the best showing for Kyle, but it is still early.

Algie Brown played a series in the game against the Texans, but the Chiefs never called his number. He was involved in a few pass blocking plays and was targeted once on a bad pass but he never got the chance to run the ball, a common occurrence for a full back.

Micah Hannemann played a few series in the second half and came up with 1 tackle.

Tomasi Laulile came up with 1 assisted tackle.

De’Ondre Wesley played a few series on the offensive line.

Colby Pearson didn’t get his chance to play this week for the Falcons.

Jonah Trinnamann did not play for the Jets.

Injury Bug

Training camp has been a rough go for several former Cougs. The injury bug has been busy making its rounds in the league and isn’t taking it easy on anyone.

Daniel Sorensen fractured his tibia last week and had surgery this week. He will be reevaluated in 6 weeks.

Ziggy Ansah is still fighting a hamstring injury he suffered before training camp. The Lions kept him out of week 1 to be safe and give him more time to heal up. He is still practicing.

Harvey Langi had an internal laceration during training camp. He will miss at least 4-5 weeks.

Tejan Koroma suffered a knee injury last week and will be out the entire season. The Chiefs have him on the IR list.

Fred Warner is day-to-today with a sore chest. They hope to see him play next week.

Stay tuned for week 2 and more news about your favorite former BYU Cougars.