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Countdown to Kickoff (92): With Corbin Kaufusi gone, who is BYU’s next “really tall guy”?

I wish I was a little bit taller I wish I was a baller I wish I had a girl who looked good, I would call her. I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat, and a six four Impala.

https://twitter.com/freelandblake?lang=en

The football season might seem in the distance but here at Vanquish the Foe we’re counting down the days until the first game against the Utes. To help ease out way unto the season we’re going to spend every day exploring a specific question pertaining to BYU Football. Some of the questions will focus on important topics (offensive play calling) and others will explore the subjects of a rather...inconsequential nature. Today we’re going to talk about giant humans that play football.

Much to the dismay of national broadcast crews, BYU’s resident tall guy Corbin Kaufusi has moved onto the the NFL. Similar to references to Tanner Mangum’s age or the number of injuries that Taysom Hill suffered, the fact that Corbin Kaufusi 1) played basketball at BYU and 2) was 6’9” was brought up on every single ESPN broadcast. If you were making a bingo card of things mentioned during a BYU football game, Corbin’s height should have been the free space in the middle.

Now that our pal Corbin has moved on, who will broadcast crews look to as BYU’s next resident tall man? Well there are a few options.

Logic and reason points us to, where else, but the next Kaufusi to play defensive line for the Cougars. Devin Kaufusi is 6’7” and will be wearing number 90 for BYU next season. Honestly we’ll probably see some broadcast crews keep the same game notes that they used for Corbin, unless they’re really paying attention and can see that this year’s model of the Kaufusi 90 is two inches shorter.

If we’re going straight up by height the torch would be passed onto freshman tight end/offensive lineman Brayden Keim. He’s the tallest player on the team measuring at the same height as our guy Corbin. Just looking at the photo below you can see that he towers over everyone else on the field. Unfortunately for Brayden, as a freshman he’s pretty far down on the depth chart and most likely won’t see the field, preventing any mentions by the broadcast team.

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It’s good to be back

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The other candidate, who is very much suited to fill the shoes of Kaufusi, is renaissance man Blake Freeland. The 6’8” offensive lineman was part of the 2019 recruiting class and could be joining the Cougars this fall. Beyond his ability to be really tall, Blake shares Corbin’s talent for throwing it down on the hardwood, as witnessed in this video of him dunking on fools for the Herriman Mustangs.

I get that some of those dunks don’t require that much skill for someone of his height, but the sheer force that is generated with these dunks is inspiring. I haven’t seen Blake play defense but I would venture to guess that if Coach Pope is in need of an enforcer in the paint he could called on Blake to fill that void.

Blake’s broadcast discussion potential doesn’t end at his height and basketball-playing ability. It just so happens that earlier in his career at Herriman Blake played quarterback, of all positions. It’s not every day that a player transitions from playing quarterback to offensive and defensive line. After playing five years as an offensive lineman in youth football, I tried to make the opposite transition and was much less successful. Nevertheless I can confirm that a change from either of these positions to the other is ***quite*** difficult. If Freeland does indeed join the team this fall he should be in the running for BYU’s token tall guy.

Here are a few other players that could claim the title:

Harris LaChance - 6’8” - OL - The fact that Harris also prepped at Herriman makes me wonder what exactly their feeding the children in that part of Utah. Does it have anything to do with the fact that they’re so close to the Bingham Copper Mine?

Kieffer Longson - 6’7” - OL - The big man got action in eight games last year and started three. He’ll definitely be on the field as some point next year.

Chandon Herring - 6’7” - OL - I’m starting to wonder if being 6’7” or larger is Jeff Grimes’ preferred height for his offensive lineman because these dudes are all quite tall.