The saying all month has been “the transfer portal taketh and the transfer portal giveth.” Initially, much hand-wringing occurred over a number of BYU players leaving the program with little to no news about when the portal would “giveth.”
News broke earlier this week about cornerback Gabe Jeudy-Lally hitting the transfer portal. The cornerback room has taken some big hits, as Jeudy-Lally led the team in pass breakups and was seventh in total tackles. Their depth took a hit as well, with Korbyn Green hitting the portal.
That was after BYU lost the two Barrington brother along the offensive line to Baylor. They also lost Puka Nacua and Gunner Romney, their top two receivers.
In the last couple weeks, the portal finally has “giveth” plenty. Former USC and Pitt quarterback Kedon Slovis announced his commitment mere minutes after Jaren Hall declared for the NFL Draft. The Cougars also nabbed UNLV’s 1,000-yard running back Aidan Robbins.
On the defensive side, new defensive coordinator Jay Hill is already making his mark. He snagged a pair of solid front-seven defenders from Boise State in Isaiah Bagnah and Jackson Cravens, addressing some serious needs. They also added Wyatt Dawe along the defensive line from Southern Utah.
The coaching staff cannot afford to be done. There are still massive needs.
Here are three players, with a realistic chance to come to Provo, currently in the transfer portal that BYU needs to add.
Joey Hobert, WR, Utah Tech
Before you scoff at the school he is leaving in Utah Tech, may I remind you he absolutely torched BYU’s defense in the Trailblazers’ game in Provo last month? He caught 11 passes for 100 yards and two scores against the Cougars defense. While, yes, BYU’s defense left a lot to be desired, this was an FCS receiver carving up an FBS defense.
He didn’t just burn BYU, either. He finished as the FCS regular season leader in receiving yards and touchdowns at 1,258 and 16 respectively. Name a receiving stat and Hobert is near the top in the FCS ranks.
Plus, it’s not like he has never played against top talent before. Before Utah Tech, he played at Washington State in 2020 and 2021, appearing in a handful of games in each of those seasons, racking up over 200 yards and a touchdown for WAZZU.
With Nacua and Romney leaving, BYU needs to address depth behind Keanu Hill, Kody Epps, and Chase Roberts. Hobert offers speed and route-running skills that translate to any level of college football.
Weylin Lapuaho, OL, Utah State
With the departure of the Barrington brothers, and Harris LaChance declaring for the NFL Draft, the interior of the offensive line took a big hit. Lapuaho started at right guard for Utah State in 2022. He could come in and instantly play one of the guard spots at BYU. He is a former three-star prospect from South Jordan, UT. He also had an offer from Utah coming out of Bingham High School.
Eddie Heckard, CB, Weber State
Frankly, this almost has to happen. The departure of Gabe Jeudy-Lally seemed unexpected. Jay Hill and his staff need to build depth at cornerback desperately. It seems almost like a given that he would bring in one of his own from Weber State. Heckard is not just some FCS scrub who would be outmatched in the Big 12. He was named Second Team All-American at the FCS level. Weber State was one of the best defenses in all the FCS.
Heckard was one of the top defensive backs in all the FCS and initially declared for the NFL Draft out of Weber State before entering the portal instead. He’s that good. He would instantly make this BYU secondary much better. He has the speed and skills to match up with Big 12 receivers. BYU needs to pull out all the stops to get him to Provo.