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Countdown to Kickoff (35): Previewing BYU’s Wide Receivers

We look at who will be catching touchdowns from Zach Wilson

NCAA Football: Potato Bowl-Brigham Young vs Western Michigan Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

We continue chugging along previewing BYU’s position groups as a way to cope with the lack of college football. On Monday, we looked at the quarterbacks, and how Zach Wilson can improve after his stellar freshman season. He had shoulder surgery in the off-season, but if Twitter videos are anything to go off of, it looks like he’ll be just fine. Today, we’re going to dive into the guys on the outside catching all those beautiful passes from Mr. Wilson: the wide receivers.

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first. Neil Pau’u reached a plea deal with the local courts this week. As part of the plea deal, the charge was lessened from a DUI to an impaired driving, however they are both class B misdemeanors. We still do not know how this will affect his place on the team. We wish for nothing but the best for Neil, but don’t be surprised if he is suspended for either a part of the season or the whole year. Good luck, Neil.

Micah Simon and Talon Shumway look poised to return as critical seniors on the outside. They are both solid route runners with good hands, and will provide important leadership among the receivers.

Gunner Romney really improved throughout his freshman year, and I expect him to come back bigger after a whole summer working with the weight training guys at BYU. He’ll be a big target with great hands who Zach Wilson will really trust. I expect him to be used as a deep threat for this offense.

Aleva Hifo and Dax Milne both saw a lot of time in the slot position last year, and each of them were highly impressive. Hifo is quicker than quick, and his proficient route running helps him get open and be a security blanket for the quarterback. Milne was a surprise to a lot of fans last year, but he proved himself a capable receiver that is a crucial target in the red zone.

There are a lot more wide receivers listed on the roster, but the one I’m going to be keeping an eye on is freshman Luc Andrada. The fastest guy on the team, he is the reigning Colorado 100-meter high school champion, posting a time of 10.51 seconds. His 40-yard dash time... 4.46 seconds (as a high school junior). What I’m interested to see is how he is used. He played quarterback mostly in high school, but with a guy that fast he HAS to be on the field some. He could be put in on kickoff returns, or even used in jet sweeps. Heck, just put him on the outside and just tell him to run straight. Zach Wilson throws the ball 50 yards and Luc just runs under it. BYU will probably face less than ten defenders that could keep up with him. Let’s use that to our advantage.

I’m so excited for BYU’s passing game this year. Not just because of Wilson, but every single pass catcher is returning. Let’s remind the rest of the country who revolutionized the game of football and brought the air raid into our lives.