Tight End Tradition

David MillsAlthough known as the Quarterback Factory, BYU signal callers wouldn’t make the record books without someone on the receiving end of their throws. With BYU’s tradition of wide-open offenses, the tight end position has thrived in its offensive scheme. Like no other school in the nation, BYU’s tight ends have earned unprecedented success as a featured position in BYU’s wide-open offense. Over the years, Cougar football has emerged as the home of some of the best pass-catching tight ends in NCAA history.

Johnny HarlineStarting with “Miracle Bowl” hero Clay Brown in 1980, ten BYU tight ends have earned All-American status. Since 1976, 12 Cougar tight ends have received 20 First Team All-Conference citations. In this decade alone nine different Cougar tight ends have made NFL rosters. Four former Cougars helped lead their teams to the Super Bowl—Doug Jolley with the Oakland Raiders in 2003, Chad Lewis with Philadelphia Eagles in 2005, Itula Mili with Seattle in 2006, and Gabriel Reid with the Chicago Bears in 2007. Two former BYU tight ends, Todd Christensen and Chad Lewis, have been named to several Pro Bowl teams during their successful professional careers. In four of the past five seasons, tight ends have led the Cougars in receptions and a BYU tight end has been named First Team All-Mountain West Conference (Jonny Harline in 2005 and 2006 and Dennis Pitta in 2007, 2008 and 2009) each of the past five years. In 2009, BYU became the first team in conference history to sweep the MWC tight end honors as Andrew George earned All-MWC Second Team accolades while Pitta earned All-MWC First Team honors on his way to being named a consensus All-American.

All-American Tight ENDS
Year Player
1980 Clay Brown
1982 Gordon Hudson*
1983 Gordon Hudson*
1984 David Mills
1985 Trevor Molini
1989 Chris Smith
1990 Chris Smith
1992 Byron Rex
2008 Dennis Pitta
2008 Dennis Pitta*
*consensus

Chad Lewis

FIRST TEAM All-CONFERENCE Tight ENDS
Year Player
1976 Brian Billick
1979 Clay Brown
1980 Clay Brown
1982 Gordon Hudson
1983 Gordon Hudson
1984 David Mills
1985 Trevor Molini
1989 Chris Smith
1990 Chris Smith
1991 Byron Rex
1992 Byron Rex
1995 Chad Lewis
1996 Chad Lewis
1996 Itula Mili
2001 Doug Jolley
2005 Jonny Harline
2006 Jonny Harline
2007 Dennis Pitta
2008 Dennis Pitta
2009 Dennis Pitta
Brigham Young University – Athletic Creative Services © 2009