BYU starting center James Empey announced that he will declare for the 2022 NFL Draft after 5 years at BYU. He made the announcement on his Twitter.
Thank you @BYUfootball ! pic.twitter.com/g96ZVBldcI— James Empey (@JEmpey66) December 21, 2021
Empey was a 4-year starter at BYU and rock in the middle of BYU’s offensive line. After redshirting in 2017, he started all 26 games BYU played in 2018-2019, and played in 8 and 7 games, respectively, the next two seasons after struggling with injuries.
Empey committed to Utah as part of the 2015 recruiting class, but came to BYU after his mission to play under his Dad Mike who was BYU’s OL coach in 2016-2017.
Injuries could prevent Empey from getting drafted, but he is absolutely a NFL talent when healthy. Heading into the 2020 season, Empey was rated as the most underrated center in the country by Pro Football Focus after stellar freshman and sophomore seasons. Not only is he sound technique wise, but he is incredibly smart and was in charge of calling out BYU’s protections when he played.
Empey will be missed, but fortunately Connor Pay has filled in great for Empey this season. Good luck to James in his next chapter!