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Countdown to Kickoff (70): Breaking down the Pre-Fall Camp Depth Chart

UCLA v BYU Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

Media day has passed, and as expected, a lot of positive things were said about this year’s team with no real news reported. The current depth chart is interesting to look at, although some positions will change quite a bit between now and August 29 versus Utah. The depth chart only contains players that were on the roster for Spring ball, so grad transfer running backs Ty’Son Williams and Emmanuel Esukpa aren’t listed. Here is a picture of the full depth chart:

Running back will obviously change with Williams and Esukpa in the mix, but here are some other positions to watch.

Left Guard and Right Tackle

These are the two starting spots on the offensive lines up for grabs, as Christensen, Empey and Hoge all have their spots locked down. Harris LaChance at right tackle is intriguing. A Utah State signee before his mission, LaChance took advantage of the new redshirt rule last year and played four games while still maintaining his redshirt. LaChance has a massive 6-foot-8, 305 pounds frame and could really develop into a good starter at the right tackle spot.

The left guard spot is between Chandon Herring, Kieffer Longson and Keanu Saleapaga. All three played in multiple games last year, and Longson and Saleapaga started games. All three seem pretty close as we head into fall camp, making this one of the position battles to watch.

Defensive End

BYU will look to replace Corbin Kaufusi and generate more pressure with the front four than in years past. The defensive tackles look to be in good shape with guys like Khyiris Tonga, Lorenzo Fauatea, Bracken El-Bakri and Alden Tofa there, but defensive end still has question marks. Devin Kaufusi is listed as a starter, and he should continue the Kaufusi tradition of big defensive ends. He played in 12 games last year and will be counted on to be one of BYU’s top pass rushers. Zac Dawe has had a great offseason and will look to lock down the other end spot with a full offseason under his belt as a full-time DE. If you remember, Dawe had a key sack in the Wisconsin game in just his third career game at defense. Long time starter Trajan Pili is still around, and redshirt freshman Hirkley Latu is name to keep an eye on due to his athleticism.

Middle Linebacker

The outside linebackers are set with Zayne Anderson, Isaiah Kaufusi and even Chaz Ah You out there. Redshirt freshmen Max Tooley and Jackson Kaufusi are listed as co-starters at the middle spot, with Isaiah Kaufusi as a wildcard if BYU wants Ah You on the field at the same time. BYU could run more nickel this year with Troy Warner or Dayan Ghanwoloku as the nickelback, meaning there would be no MLB on the field during those times, but Tooley and Jackson Kaufusi are the two names to keep an eye on when BYU does go three linebackers. Tooley was a safety and OLB in high school and offers intriguing athleticism in the middle.

Punter

Danny Jones is the favorite to win the punting job, but he listed as co-starter with Jared Kapisi. Kapisi is listed as a defensive back on the roster, but he has a soccer background and did some kicking during camp last year. Jones has a rugby background, so both guys should actually have pretty good tackling skills if needed.