Losing Matt Bushman to a season-ending Achilles injury just before the season started was a huge blow to BYU’s offense. Bushman was BYU’s leading receiver each of the last 3 seasons, arguably the best NFL prospect on the team, and one of the team captains and leaders.
BYU’s wide receiver trio of Dax Milne, Gunner Romney, and Neil Pau’u have received a lot of praise this season — and rightfully so — but redshirt freshman tight end Isaac Rex is showing that he is on track to be the next great BYU tight end.
Rex started the season slowly with only 7 receptions in the first 5 games, but he’s been on a tear as of late. In the last 3 games, Rex has 14 receptions, 142 yards and 5 touchdowns. Rex is tied for 8th nationally with 6 TD receptions and is tied for 2nd among all tight ends in receiving TDs.
Gunner Romney and Dax Milne have been getting a ton of attention from opposing defenses on the outside, but Rex’s emergence as a big receiving threat in the middle of the field is opening things up for BYU’s offense. Rex is a massive target at 6-foot-6, 247 pounds and is causing nightmares for opposing teams in the red zone.
BYU is using Rex in more ways as he becomes more comfortable in the offense. On his first TD versus Boise State, Rex was flexed out as a wide receiver and used his big frame to box out the defensive back.
On his second TD, he was lined up in-line as a traditional tight end and ran up to seam before lowering his shoulder to get in the end zone.
What’s also impressive is that he is a high IQ blocker as a freshman. On Tyler Allgeier’s 86-yard TD run, Rex first blocked the defensive end before releasing and taking out the safety, which opened up the final hole for Allgeier to take it to the house.
TYLER ALLGEIER 86 YARDS TO THE HOUSE— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) November 7, 2020
What a start for BYU (-5.5) pic.twitter.com/SW00ROqt6L
NFL Network Draft analyst Ben Fennell named Rex as one of his 5 favorite non-eligible TEs during the Western Kentucky game, although Rex is technically draft eligible since he is 3 years removed from high school due to his Church mission.
My 5 favorite non-eligible TEs:— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) November 1, 2020
Jalen Wydermyer - TXAM
Isaac Rex - BYU
Austin Stogner - OKLA
Sam LaPorta - IOWA
Hudson Henry - ARK
Just keep notes - you’ll need them down the road!
Matt Bushman was no doubt a huge loss and BYU’s receivers are playing terrific, but the emergence of Isaac Rex is opening up even more options for an already potent BYU offense.