BYU kicks off fall camp next week. At media day in June, BYU released a 2022 roster that included 34 players who were not on the roster last season. Here are 10 newcomers to watch during fall camp.
Christopher Brooks – RB
BYU must replace single-season leader Tyler Allgaier, who is now in the NFL. BYU appears to have found Allgeier’s replacement in Cal transfer Christopher Brooks. Brooks is already a proven college football talent. He rushed for over 1,700 yards during his career at Cal.
Brooks enrolled in classes in January and participated in spring camp. After an impressive showing in spring camp, Brooks was named the starting running back. Brooks will play a key role in BYU’s offense and is a name to watch before kickoff.
Tate Romney – LB
Tate Romney is the younger brother of BYU wide receiver Gunner Romney and former BYU quarterback Baylor Romney. Tate was a highly touted recruit out of Chandler High School who signed with the Cougars over competing offers from Utah, Cal, Arizona, Kansas State and Colorado, among others.
Tate returned home from his mission in April, so he likely won’t contribute right away when he’s back in football shape. He also enters the quarterback room with plenty of returning experience. However, Tate has the talent to be a star on BYU’s defense in the future, and he is a name worth watching over the next month. Don’t be surprised if you hear him mentioned as a standout during fall camp, and don’t be surprised if he sees the field as a true freshman.
Bodie Schoonover – LB
Speaking of recently returned missionaries, Bodie Schoonover returned from his mission the same week as Tate Romney. Like Romney, Schoonover was a highly touted recruit in his own right. Schoonover committed to BYU over Power Five schools like UCLA, Utah and Nebraska.
Schoonover must overcome the same mission-related hurdles as Tate Romney before he can see the field permanently. But he’s another newcomer who could see the field eventually this season and put himself in position to be a key part of BYU’s defense going forward.
Gabe Judy-Lally – DB
The second transfer on our list is Vanderbilt transfer Gabe Judy-Lally. Jeudy-Lally was one of the most experienced linebackers in the transfer portal when he committed to BYU. He played 770 snaps for Vanderbilt’s defense over the past two seasons and totaled 50 tackles and one interception for the Commodores last season.
After entering the transfer portal in late November, he received offers from Illinois, Iowa State, Purdue and Colorado before landing an offer and ultimately committing to BYU. Jeudy-Lally has the talent and experience to see the field immediately.
Dom Henry – WR
Dom Henry is a wide receiver from Florida who drafted Nease High School. As a senior, Henry led Florida State in receiving yards. In fact, he led the state in receiving yards by a wide margin. Henry amassed 1,590 receiving yards as a senior — the distance between Henry and second was the same distance between second and ninth.
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Henry joins a loaded wide receiver room that may not be looking for contributors this season, but he’ll compete to be one of the next in line when guys like Gunner Romney and Puka Nacua graduate.
Corbin Green – DB
Like others on this list, Korbyn Green enters a room that returns a lot of experience. BYU’s defense returns more experience than any team in the country. While that bodes well for 2022, it leaves BYU with the need to find the next wave of defensive playmakers for its first Big 12 season in 2023.
Corbin Green has the potential to step into an important role when D’Angelo Mandel and Caleb Hayes graduate. Green signed with BYU in the last recruiting class out of Oklahoma, and the staff was excited about his potential.
Kingsley Swamatai – OL
Kingsley Suamataia is a freshman who will likely be in the starting lineup for the opener against USF. Suamataia is one of the most physically gifted players on BYU’s roster. A former five-star offensive lineman in the Class of 2021, Suamataya transferred to BYU from Oregon during his freshman season.
Suamataia was listed as the co-starter at multiple positions coming into the spring. In this writer’s opinion, Suamataia will lock down a starting job as BYU’s starter at USF and will be considered one of BYU’s best players by the end of the season.
Houston Heimuli – FB
Houston Heimuli, who captained Stanford last season, is the son of former BYU running back Lackey Heimuli. Heimuli will make an immediate impact on and off the field. He was listed as the co-starter at fullback coming into the spring and brings his veteran presence to the locker room.
Houston will wear No. 35 for the Cougars — the same number his father wore when he played for BYU.
Why Moa – DL
Isiah Moa signed with BYU as a four-star linebacker out of Weber High School. Moa may need a year or two before assuming a starting role in BYU’s defense — he was listed as the third line defensive tackle coming into the spring. However, BYU rotates a lot of guys on the defensive line and he could see the field this season. If BYU’s defensive line falters, Moa could be thrust into an important role as a true freshman.
Evan Johnson – DB
BYU signed a slew of defensive backs as part of the 2022 signing class. Evan Johnson might have the biggest potential of them all. Johnson ran a 10.41 100m last spring, instantly making him one of the fastest players on the roster. Johnson originally played wide receiver in high school, so it will take him some time to adjust to playing defensive back. If he overcomes the learning curve at a new position, he has a very high ceiling as a cornerback.
Johnson won’t play linebacker right away, but he’s physically gifted enough to contribute in other ways like special teams.