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BYU football recruiting: Rice grad transfer RB Emmanuel Esukpa commits to Cougars

NCAA Football: Rice at Texas-San Antonio John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

BYU addressed one its most pressing needs for the 2019 season as Rice graduate transfer running back Emmanuel Esukpa announced his commitment to BYU on Tuesday night.

Esukpa will be immediately eligible in 2019 and be a redshirt senior.

Esukpa’s connection to BYU is through running backs coach AJ Steward. Steward was the running backs coach at Rice from 2014-2017 and helped recruit Esukpa there.

Eskupa doesn’t have eye-popping rushing numbers, but he’s a guy that will come in and be an immediate contributor. He ran for for 461 and yards 3 touchdown this past season, including two 100-plus yard performances in Rice’s first three games. Those 461 rushing yards would have led BYU this season. Injuries slowed him down the second half of the season and limited his snaps.

Playing behind a better O-line at BYU should help his production. His highlights show he has the burst and vision to be real player at running back.

This play last season against a solid Houston team is one example of his burst and vision.

Esukpa joins a backfield with Lopini Katoa, Kavika Fonua, Tyler Allgeier and Sione Finau. Katoa and Esukpa will likely be the top two running backs who get the majority of the reps to start the season.

BYU is still in play for South Carolina grad transfer Ty’son Williams, but this seems likely to factor into Williams’ decision.

In the meantime, BYU can rest a little easier with the running back situation now that Esukpa is locked in.