Kelly Poppinga Athlete Profile | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Kelly Poppinga Athlete Profile

#46 Kelly Poppinga

Kelly Poppinga
Position: Linebacker Height: 6-2 Weight: 240 Roster Years: 2005-2007 Hometown: Evanston, WY Last School: Utah State

Career Summary

Kelly Poppinga transferred to BYU from Utah State, where he saw action as a backup linebacker and special teams. Poppinga went on to earn All-MWC and Academic All-MWC honors as a linebacker in both his junior and senior years. The two-time letterwinner led the Cougars with 113 tackles his senior year and helped BYU win back-to-back conference championships in 2006 and 2007. 


  • Signed free agent deal with the Miami Dolphins in 2008
  • Played on three teams before going to the Super Bowl XLIII with the Arizona Cardinals


  • Born in Evanston, Wyo.
  • Son of Dennis and Vicki Poppinga
  • Has three sisters and two brothers
  • Brother, Casey, was a starting tight end for Utah State who enjoyed a career in the NFL playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs and 2004 NFC Champions Philadelphia Eagles
  • Brother, Brady, was an All-MWC performer at BYU and currently plays for the Green Bay Packers
  • Served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Guayaquil, Ecuador
  • Married Rebekah

Before BYU

High School

  • First-team all-state selection as a high school senior after earning second-team all-state honors as a junior
  • Helped team to the state championship as a sophomore
  • Played both linebacker and tight end
  • All-state selection in both basketball and track
  • Won the state championship in the discus his senior year (162-10).

Utah State

  • Saw action as a backup linebacker as well as on special teams as a true freshman in 2003
  • Recorded five tackles on the year, while missing four games in the middle of the season due to an injury
  • Had one tackle for loss
  • Recovered a fumble against Nebraska
  • Ranked third on the Utah State roster with 61 tackles as a sophomore (2004)
  • Credited with 31 solo tackles
  • Credited with five tackles for a combined loss of 22 yards
  • Posted on sack for an eight yard loss


Yr   Solo   Ast   Total   TFL/Yds   Sacks/Yds   Int/Yds   PBU   QBH   FR  FF
2006  15    21      36    3.5/12        2/9      2/33      1     1     0   0

2005 | Redshirt Year

  • Redshirted the 2005 season after transferring from Utah State

2006 | Junior Year

  • Earned Academic All-Mountain West Conference honors
  • Earned letterman honors
  • Played in all 13 games for the Cougars
  • Credited with 36 tackles, including 15 solo and 21 assisted takedowns
  • Had 3.5 tackles for a combined loss of 12 yards
  • Had two sacks for nine yards
  • Credited with two interceptions
  • Significant contributor on a defensive unit that gave up only 14.7 points per game, ranking 10th nationally
  • Part of a defense that ranked fourth nationally in turnover margin with +14 turnover margin (+1.08 pg)

2007 | Senior Year

  • Significant contributor on a defensive unit ranked 10th nationally in total defense and 12th nationally in fourth down defense
  • Led the Cougars with 113 tackles, including 46 solo tackles
  • Had one interception for 22 yards
  • Recorded a game-high 17 tackles against TCU and game-high three tackles for loss at UCLA
  • Earned letterman honors