Three Cougars named to preseason award watch lists
BYU seniors Braden Hansen and Uona Kaveinga along with junior Kyle Van Noy were each named to award watch lists on Monday recognizing the nation's best linemen and linebackers.
Hansen, a senior offensive guard, and Van Noy, a junior outside linebacker, were both named to the 43rd Annual Rotary Lombardi Award Official Watch List. The Rotary Lombardi Award is given to the nation’s top college lineman or linebacker each year.
Kaveinga was named to the 28th annual Butkus Award® Watch List recognizing the nation's top linebackers.
Hansen has started all 39 games of his career for the Cougars, on pace to tie the BYU record of 52 consecutive starts. A product of Sandy, Utah, Hansen has helped BYU to 28 wins over the last three years and three straight bowl victories. Hansen was previously named to the Outland Trophy Watch List, recognizing the best interior linemen, for the second-consecutive season.
Van Noy led the Cougars in sacks (7.0) and tackles for loss (15.0) in 2011 to go along with his 68 total tackles. A 6-foot-3, 235-pounder from Reno, Nev., Van Noy was the only Division I player to record a statistic in each of the major defensive categories including tackle, tackle for loss, sack, quarterback hurry, pass breakup, interception, forced fumble, fumble recovery and blocked kick. Van Noy was also recently named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List for the nation’s best defensive player.
Kaveinga started all 13 games for BYU as a junior in 2011 after beginning his career at USC. The 5-foot-11, 236-pound native of Hawthorne, Calif., earned Phil Steele All-Independent Second Team honors last season while helping BYU achieve a 10-3 record and No. 25 final national ranking in the team’s first season as a football independent.
ESPN talks with Coach Mendenhall
In addition to the watch lists announcements, BYU football was also recognized Monday through some national interviews on ESPN. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall appeared live on SportsCenter talking with Michael Kim. He also was interviewed by Joe Tessitore on College Football Live.
In addition to being on the flagship program for the Worldwide Leader in Sports and its daily program dedicated to college football, Mendenhall also did other interviews on Monday for upcoming ESPN shows, podcasts and stories. Mendenhall did most of his interviews via satellite from the state-of-the-art facilities at BYUtv.