The football season might seem in the distance but here at Vanquish the Foe we’re counting down the days until the first game against the Utes. To help ease our way into the season, we’re going to spend every day exploring a specific question pertaining to BYU Football. Some of the questions will focus on important topics (offensive play calling) and others will explore the subjects of a rather ... inconsequential nature.
Today we’re going to talk about BYU athletes that don’t play football that definitely could play football.
If your local high school football coach is worth his salt, you know that when it’s not football season, it’s recruiting season. Not in the sense that he’d be going to other schools hoping to convince other athletes to come play for him. Rather, the coach is recruiting other athletes at that school who currently aren’t on his roster.
Odds are these football coaches aren’t just approaching random kids in the hall (unless they look like Mo Langi). The most fertile recruiting grounds are the other sports teams on campus. I remember my football coach (shout-out to Zoran Milich, the most terrifying man in Central New Jersey) regularly watching lacrosse, basketball, baseball and track practices to see if there were any gifted athletes that he could flip.
Every once in a while he was able to land his sales pitch and bolster his roster. Not every one of these recruits would pan out but, every once in a while, a diamond in the rough was discovered.
In the case of BYU, are there are current athletes who could potentially contribute to the football team? Let’s take a look ...
- Gavin Baxter - Special Teams / Prevent Defense - If you thought Baxter was a great defender in the post, just imagine him blocking kicks on the football field. Corbin Kaufusi was able to play the role of disruptor on special teams and he didn’t have half the leaping ability of Baxter. He would probably get snapped in half at some point, so adding a few pound would be necessary.
- Luke Worthington - Offensive Line - Technically Luke is out of eligibility but if there were a way for him to figure out a fifth year that would allow him to play football it might work out. Luke drew significant interest from some football program out of high school before choosing to play basketball for BYU. At 6’10” 240 lbs, Luke could add some muscle to his frame but once he puts on weight he could be a decent offensive lineman.
- Kolby Lee - Defensive Line - Maybe it’s the way he runs down the floor that gives me the impression that he would be a good football player. He’s certainly got the size at 6’9” and 240 lbs.
- Jaren Hall - Quarterback - OK fine maybe the baseball team flipped him first. Props to Mike Littlewood for finding a way for Jaren to contribute this spring.
- Jordan Wood - Quarterback / Athlete - A few of the names mentioned on this list aren’t exactly real candidates to play football but, when you look at pitcher Jordan Wood’s resume, he could legitimately suit it up. Wood played high school football in Texas where he tallied 53 touchdowns his senior year, 40 rushing and 13 passing. He was named by the Texas Sportswriters to the All-State football team and was the Player of the Year / All-County MVP in 2013. He was recruited by Kansas State, Houston and Texas State, just to name a few. If you don’t believe the hype, watch the highlights from one of Wood’s playoff games where he goes Taysom Hill, torching the defense for 360 yards and 5 touchdowns. Wood is #8 in blue. He does most of his damage on the ground but the arm talent is there.
- Hobbs Nyberg - Wide Receiver / Athlete - Similar to Jordan Wood, Hobbs was a quality two-sport athlete that made big plays on the football field. He played a slew of positions at Dixie HS but you can see he made his name as a wide receiver.
- Jarod Lesser - Linebacker - Before joining the baseball team at BYU, Jarod gray-shirted as a member of the SUU football team. Standing at 6’4”, 220 lbs, he could potentially find some time on special teams or at linebacker.
Track & Field
- Jacob Foutz - Offensive Line - The true heroes of the track and field team are the throwers. They hurl awkward objects great distances and for that they should be loved forever. Before he was a discus and shot put magician at BYU, Foutz was a first team all-state football player in Oregon. I’m the sure the ability to heave a massive metal ball and run blocking have some crossover.
- Gabi Garcia Fernandez - Special Teams - WR - Could you imagine a world where Gavin Baxter and Gabi are lined up on the field goal block team, just ready to deny points to anyone and everyone? Gabi has some serious hops which would also give him some potential in the pass-catching department. If that doesn’t work out, I’m sure he could enjoy swatting away passes as a defensive back.
- Zackry Jacklin - Linebacker - A cross-country runner? Playing football? Yeah it’s highly unlikely, but if I had to choose one I’d go with Zack because there is all kinds of pun / rhyming possibilities for Greg Wrubell to use during the radio broadcasts. “HOOOO BOY. HUNTLEY JUST GOT JACKED UP.” Also, Jacklin looks like he’s 110 lbs so that would be a sight to behold.
- Carson Lundell - Cornerback - Of all the players on the golf team, Carson has the most football potential in his blood as his dad suited up for Dixie State. It’s a well known fact that if your dad is good at sports, then you are good at sports. In my case, my father was a dominant running back in the state of Idaho. Before a knee injury ended his career he was barreling over fools while posting a decent 4.6 40 time. I had a similar career in that I also ... played football ... as a left tackle ... who blocked for running backs. So there you go.
Swimming and Diving
- Connor Anderson - Linebacker - My experience with swimmers and divers is that they’re gifted beyond understanding in and around the water but sometime struggle outside of the pool. Connor is on this list because he looks like he could fill out a football helmet and not look out of place.
- Kobe Tran - Punt / Kick Returner - I know very little about Kobe Tran but I do know that his name is Kobe and a hall of famed basketball player is named Kobe so yes ... this is a stretch.