Football Preseason Awards

BYU football collects 18 Preseason Independent Team honors

Quarterback Taysom Hill along with running back Jamaal Williams and receiver Mitch Mathews headline Phil Steele's Preseason Independent First Team on offense. (Photo by BYU Photo)

CLEVELAND – Eight BYU football players were named to the Phil Steele 2015 Preseason Independent First Team while 10 more were named to the second team Monday.

Seniors Taysom Hill, Jamaal Williams and Mitch Mathews along with sophomore Tejan Koroma collected first team honors on offense.

The dual-threat quarterback Hill completed 66.7 percent of his passes and averaged 92 yards rushing and 287 yards of total offense while leading the Cougars to a No. 18 national ranking with wins over UConn, Texas, Houston and Virginia before suffering a season-ending leg injury.

The running back Williams averaged 4.8 yards per carry last year and looks to make a strong return after missing half of the season due to a knee injury. He needs 929 yards to become BYU’s all-time leading rusher.

Mathews led the team with 922 receiving yards and nine touchdown catches last year from the wideout position. Koroma, the second-year center, started all 13 games and was named to every freshman All-America team last year after an exceptional true freshman campaign.

Seniors Bronson Kaufusi and Manoa Pikula were honored with defensive first team honors while fellow seniors Trevor Samson and Adam Hine were recognized with first team designations for special teams.

Kaufusi led BYU last year with 11.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks and seven quarterback hurries while adding six pass breakups and 43 tackles. He will spend more time on the defensive line this year after playing outside linebacker in 2014.

At Buck linebacker, Pikula is the team’s leading returning tackler who started eight games last year and one his sophomore season while playing in 38 of 39 games in his three previous seasons.

In his first season as BYU’s kicker, Samson made 12 of 14 (85.7 percent) field goal attempts, with a long of 45 yards, while connecting on 62 of 63 (98.4 percent) point-after-touchdown opportunities.

Hine comes back at kick return specialist after being honored as the FBS All-Independent Team and Phil Steele All-Independent First Team kick returner including a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Virginia.

Six Cougars were also named to the second team on offense with senior Devon Blackmon and sophomore Mitchell Juergens at receiver along with senior Ryker Mathews, junior Kyle Johnson and sophomore Tuni Kanuch on the offensive line. Hine collected his second preseason honor, being recognized on the second team at running back.

Junior Travis Tuiloma and senior Graham Rowley on the defensive line were joined by sophomore linebacker Troy Hinds and junior Michael Davis on the preseason defensive second team.

Phil Steele’s College Football Preview is one of the nation’s most informative preseason football magazine and has always provided a preseason All-American team as well as preseason All-Conference teams. For more information or to obtain a copy of each of the All-Conference teams, please visit

Phil Steele First Team
QB Taysom Hill BYU
RB Tarean Folston Notre Dame
RB Jamaal Williams BYU
WR Will Fuller Notre Dame
WR Mitch Mathews BYU
WR Chris Brown Notre Dame
TE Durham Smythe Notre Dame
OL Tejan Koroma BYU
OL Nick Martin Notre Dame
OL Ronnie Stanley Notre Dame
OL Steve Elmer Notre Dame
OL Matt Hugenberg Army
DL Jarron Jones Notre Dame
DL Sheldon Day Notre Dame
DL Bronson Kaufusi BYU
LB Jaylon Smith Notre Dame
LB Jeremy Timpf Army
LB Manoa Pikula BYU
LB Joe Schmidt Notre Dame
DB Josh Jenkins Army
DB Cole Luke Notre Dame
DB KeiVarae Russell Notre Dame
DB Max Redfield Notre Dame
K Trevor Samson BYU
P Alex Tardieu Army
RET Adam Hine BYU
Phil Steele Second Team
QB Malik Zaire Notre Dame
RB Adam Hine BYU
RB Matt Giachinta Army
WR CJ Prosise Notre Dame
WR Devon Blackmon BYU
WR Mitchell Juergens BYU
TE Kelvin White Army
OL Ryker Mathews BYU
OL Quenton Nelson Notre Dame
OL Kyle Johnson BYU
OL Tuni Kanuch BYU
OL Mike McGlinchey Notre Dame
DL Travis Tuiloma BYU
DL Graham Rowley BYU
DL Romeo Okwara Notre Dame
LB Joe Schmidt Notre Dame
LB Troy Hinds BYU
LB Andrew King Army
LB James Onwualu Notre Dame
DB Michael Davis BYU
DB Xavier Moss Army
DB Chris Carnegie Army
DB Elijah Shumate Notre Dame
K Justin Yoon Notre Dame
P Tyler Newsome Notre Dame
RET Greg Bryant Notre Dame

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