BYU released its first depth chart of the 2020 season and to little surprise Zach Wilson was named the starting QB over Baylor Romney and Jaren Hall. Wilson impressed most during fall camp as his shoulder is 100% recovered from last offseason. Jeff Grimes told Greg Wrubell on Coordinators’ Corner Monday morning that Wilson was “probably around 80%” last year.
Below are other notes from the first depth chart of the season.
Quarterback: Jaren Hall and Baylor Romney have the “or” designation behind Zach, meaning coaches publicly don’t have a #2 QB. Hall was the #2 QB last season.
Running Back: Lopini Katoa and Tyler Allgeier are listed as co-starters. Look for newcomer Hinckley Ropati and Jackson McChesney to also be in the mix.
Wide Receiver: Gunner Romney, Dax Milne and Neil Pau’u are BYU’s most experienced receivers and are the 3 starters at wideout. Kody Epps and JUCO speedster Chris Jackson are also expected to be heavily in the mix.
Tight End: Matt Bushman is the starter and Isaac Rex is the #2 guy. Rex is a guy who could breakout this season.
Offensive Line: BYU didn’t give any “or” designations and gave the starting 5 guys along the offensive line. Starting left to right you have Brady Christensen, Clark Barrington, James Empey, Tristen Hoge, and Chandon Herring. Right tackle is a bit of a surprise with Herring over Blake Freeland. Offensive line looks to be the strength of the offense and has a lot of starting experience among the group.
Defensive Line: Pass rush is arguably the biggest question mark of the team. Senior Zac Dawe and junior Alden Tofa are listed as the two starting defensive ends. Tofa was a highly regarded recruit coming out of high school but has struggled with injuries. If he is healthy he could be BYU’s top pass rusher.
The interior part of the line looks to be in good shape with Khyiris Tonga, Bracken El-Bakri and Lorenzo Fauatea as the three guys for two spots.
One sleeper to watch is Tyler Batty, who is a true freshman back from his mission and should factor into the defensive end rotation.
Linebacker: BYU lists 4 LB positions titled JACK, MIKE, ROVER, and FLASH. Payton Wilgar, Isaiah Kaufusi and Keenan Pili have 3 of the spots locked down. Max Tooley and Navy transfer Pepe Tanuvasa are listed as co-starters at the “JACK” position. Look for BYU to use a lot of linebackers in the Navy and Army games.
Defensive Backs: BYU has six spots listed in the defensive backfield. Chaz Ah You is listed as the starter in the “Cinco” position, which appears to be a safety/linebacker type hybrid position. Kavika Fonua is the starter at nickel, which should have some linebacker overlap if Fonua is there.
At corner Chris Wilcox is CB #1 and will stay there if he is healthy. Keenan Ellis is listed as the start opposite of him. D’Angelo Mandell has starting experience and should factor into the mix at corner. One notable absence is Isaiah Herron. Herron entered the transfer portal this offseason but ultimately came back. No word from BYU on his status.
At safety, Troy Warner and Zayne Anderson have the starting spots locked down.
Specialists: Jake Oldroyd will handle the kicking duties and returned missionary Ryan Rehkow will be the punter. Dax Milne is expected to the be the punt returner, and Caleb Christensen and Jackson McChesney are listed as the two punt returners.