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Top 5 Performers for BYU Football in 2023

Despite a disappointing season, a few players excelled this season for BYU. Which players made the top five?

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

BYU started out 5-2 and then hit a brick wall. They came tumbling down, ultimately losing five straight games to finish 5-7 and miss a bowl.

Nothing can take away the sting of that lackluster finish. Changes need to be made to the program to remedy issues that plagued them in the final two months of the season.

However, that doesn’t mean BYU was void of good players. Several Cougars stood out, even in losing efforts.

Here are the top five BYU football players of 2023.

Tyler Batty, DE

Batty was a victim of a subpar defensive scheme for the majority of his time at BYU. The Cougars struggled to rush the passer for most of this season too, but Batty still turned in his best year as a Cougar.

He was a three-year starter for BYU and in 2023, he set career highs in tackles (57), tackles for loss (9.0), and sacks (5.5), leading the team in the latter two. He nearly equaled the amount of sacks he had in the previous two seasons combined (6).

Per Pro Football Focus (PFF), Batty graded out as BYU’s top defender this season (78.7).

Eddie Heckard, CB

After putting together an FCS All-American season under Jay Hill at Weber State, Heckard arrived in Provo with his former head coach with high expectations.

While the team itself did not reach its goals, Heckard was one of the best defenders BYU had. He played in all 12 games, barely missing a single snap. He ended up with 47 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, one sack, and a team-leading five interceptions.

He also was the only defender for BYU with multiple touchdowns. He had a pick-six against Oklahoma State and recovered a fumble in the endzone for a touchdown against Texas Tech.

Per PFF, was the top-graded cornerback this season.

Paul Maile, OL

It might seem strange to put an offensive lineman on here, especially with how epically bad BYU’s offense was on the ground. However, Maile was the strongest part of a weak offensive line. The Utah transfer came right in and made an impact at not one, but two different positions.

He posted over 300 snaps at both center and left guard.

Of the five offensive lineman for BYU with at least 300 pass blocking snaps, he was the only one that did not allow a single sack, earning a solid 78.5 PFF pass blocking grade.

At guard against both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, he did not allow even a single pressure in either game. It’s a real bummer Maile is out of eligibility as he was the stalwart along a flawed offensive line all season.

Ryan Rehkow, P

There is something to be said about the quality of your season when your punter is one of the five best players. Rehkow ranked third in all FBS in total punt yards and seventh in yards per punt.

He was inexplicably snubbed from the Ray Guy Award finalists list. He is the current FBS active career leader in punt average (47.5 yards).

Chase Roberts, WR

Anyone who makes a catch to basically win a game the way Roberts did against Arkansas is making this list. And that jaw-dropping grab was not his only one of the season. If BYU had any consistent receivers this season, it was Roberts.

He led the team in receptions (42), receiving yards (573), and receiving touchdowns (5).

In a season where offensive highlights were too few and far between, Roberts seemed to appear in most of them.