Coming into the season, nobody was talking about BYU’s receiving corps.
All the attention was on Jaren Hall, BYU’s experienced and talented offensive line, the linebackers, special team stars and who would replace Tyler Allgeier at running back.
Little did anyone know that the position group that would shine the most so far this season, would be the young, but talented wide receiver corps.
With Gunner Romney and Puka Nacua missing most of the season so far — a duo that accounted for more than 60% of receiving yards last year — a number of players have stepped up and answered the call.
Wide Receiver Leaders
- Kody Epps 21 catches, 198 yards and 3 TDs
- Keanu Hill 16 catches, 329 yards 4 TDs
- Chase Roberts 15 catches, 223 yards 1 TD
- Brayden Cosper 15 catches, 192 yards, 1 TD
- Isaac Rex 9 catches, 125 yards, 1 TD
- Dallin Holker 9 catches, 86 yards, 1 TD
Epps and Roberts are both freshman, while Hill is a sophomore. All three have led BYU in receiving through the first five games this year and it likely won’t be the last as Romney and Nakua continue to battle injuries.
“It’s definitely something I’ve dreamed about,” said Epps after the win over Utah State. “After sitting out all last year and cheering on my teammates, it feels good that my team & coaches are relying on me to make big plays. It’s definitely been and something I’ve looked forward to.”
The most impressive thing is that this young group has done it all. From toe-tapping touchdowns and hauling in long passes to back-shoulder receptions and getting yards after the catch, this group continues to step up and is one of the big reasons why the Cougars find themselves ranked No. 16 in the country.
Even the tight ends are getting in on the action. With Isaac Rex playing sparingly after coming off a season-ending injury last year and with Dallin Holker recently transferring, that opened the door for Ethan Erickson who hauled in his first catch of the season for a 14-yard touchdown against Utah State.
And the receiving corps doesn’t just catch passes either as Roberts even threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Hall to help BYU beat then-No. 9 Baylor in the home opener. Not bad for a freshman in one of BYU’s biggest home games in the past decade. It goes to show just how much trust the coaches have in BYU’s wide receiving corps — and the players are delivering.
Gunner Romney on the Wide Receiver room:
“Our receiving core is super deep. Guys like Kody Epps, Keanu Hill & Chase Roberts have all been stepping up. They make it easier for our team.”
— Benjamin Criddle (@CriddleBenjamin) September 30, 2022
“I’m not surprised at all with the receivers,” said BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick. “What I’m most surprised about is that we haven’t had Gunner, Puka, and Chase on the field together yet.”
For coaches, players and fans, hopefully Roderick will get his wish Saturday night as No. 16 BYU (4-1) takes on Notre Dame (2-2) in a primetime showdown at Allegiant Stadium — home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders.