(Photo by Dave Broberg)
PROVO, Utah – BYU football collected 10 FBS All-Independent awards and eight honorable mention citations Thursday.
Junior wide receiver Mitch Mathews, freshman offensive lineman Tejan Koroma, senior offensive lineman De’Ondre Wesley received All-Independent offense honors. Mathews led the team in the regular season with 64 receptions for 840 yards and eight touchdowns. Koroma and Wesley teamed up to anchor a BYU offense that ranked No. 19 nationally in scoring (36.2 points per game), No. 15 in first downs (303) and No. 25 in total offense (462.5 per game). Koroma, who has been named to ESPN, Sporting News and 247 Sports freshman teams, was also named FBS Independent Freshman of the Year.
On defense, junior linebacker Bronson Kaufusi and senior defensive back Skye PoVey made the All-Independent team. Kaufusi led the Cougars with six sacks, six quarterback hurries and 10.5 tackles for loss. PoVey led the team with 69 total tackles (47 solo) and is tied for the team lead with two interceptions.
BYU swept the All-Independent special teams citations, with senior kicker Trever Samson, junior kick returner Adam Hine and senior punter Scott Arellano making up the team. Samson converted 56 of 57 PATs this season and 10 of 12 field goals. Hine ranked No. 10 nationally in kick return average with 26.9 yards per return. He returned a 99-yard touchdown against Virginia this season and is one of only seven players in the nation to score kick return, receiving and rushing touchdowns this season.
Arellano, a Ray Guy Award semifinalist, broke BYU’s record for longest punt with an 81-yarder against Middle Tennessee. He is No. 11 nationally for net punting and No. 9 for punts placed inside the 20-yard line. Arellano was also honored as FBS Independent Special Teams Player of the Year.
Cougars who received honorable mention recognition are senior defensive back Craig Bills, senior defensive back Robertson Daniel, sophomore offensive lineman Kyle Johnson, senior tight end Devin Mahina, senior quarterback Christian Stewart, senior linebacker Zac Stout, sophomore defensive lineman Travis Tuiloma and junior running back Jamaal Williams.
The FBS All-Independent Team and Players of the Year were selected by members of a nationwide media panel, which includes equal representation from each of the independent institutions’ coverage markets.
FBS All-Independent Awards
FBS ALL-INDEPENDENT TEAM - OFFENSE
QB Keenan Reynolds (Jr.) Navy
RB Noah Copeland (Sr.) Navy
RB Larry Dixon (Sr.) Army
WR Will Fuller (So.) Notre Dame
WR Mitch Mathews (Jr.) BYU
TE Ben Koyack (Sr.) Notre Dame
OL E.K. Binns (Jr.) Navy
OL Tejan Koroma (Fr.) BYU
OL Ronnie Stanley (Jr.) Notre Dame
OL De’Ondre Wesley (Sr.) BYU
OL Jake Zuzek (Sr.) Navy
FBS ALL-INDEPENDENT TEAM - DEFENSE
DL Will Anthony (Jr.) Navy
DL Sheldon Day (Jr.) Notre Dame
DL Jarron Jones (Jr.) Notre Dame
LB Bronson Kaufusi (Jr.) BYU
LB Joe Schmidt (Sr.) Notre Dame
LB Jaylon Smith (So.) Notre Dame
LB Jeremy Timpf (So.) Army
DB Parrish Gaines (Sr.) Navy
DB Josh Jenkins (So.) Army
DB Cole Luke (So.) Notre Dame
DB Skye PoVey (Sr.) BYU
FBS ALL-INDEPENDENT TEAM - SPECIAL TEAMS
PK Trevor Samson (Sr.) BYU
P Scott Arellano (Sr.) BYU
KR Adam Hine (Jr.) BYU
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
QB Keenan Reynolds Navy
CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
LB Joe Schmidt Notre Dame
LB Jaylon Smith Notre Dame
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
P Scott Arellano BYU
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
OL Tejan Koroma BYU
Army: OL Matt Hugenberg (Jr.)
BYU: DB Craig Bills (Sr.), DB Robertson Daniel (Sr.), OL Kyle Johnson (So.), TE Devin Mahina (Sr.), QB Christian Stewart (Sr.), LB Zac Stout (Sr.), DL Travis Tuiloma (So.), RB Jamaal Williams (Jr.)
Navy: CB Quincy Adams (Jr.), P Pablo Beltran (Sr.), LB Jordan Drake (Sr.), K Austin Grebe (Jr.)
Notre Dame: PK/P Kyle Brindza (Sr.), RB Tarean Folston, QB Everett Golson (Sr.), OL Nick Martin (Sr.), CB Cody Riggs (Sr.), DL Isaac Rochell (So.), S Elijah Shumate (Jr.)