PROVO, Utah – BYU head football coach Kalani Sitake today announced the addition of offensive linemen Tristen Hoge, who is transferring from Notre Dame, and James Empey, a returned missionary from American Fork High School.
6-4, 303 LBS
Hoge, a 6-foot-4, 303-pound center and guard from Pocatello, Idaho, has three years of eligibility remaining as a redshirt sophomore but is required to sit out the 2017 season per NCAA transfer rules. He played in six games for the Fighting Irish in 2016 and was was named the 2015 Notre Dame Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year.
Out of high school, Hoge was a four-star prospect as a first-team offensive lineman on the 2015 Parade Prep All-America squad and a first-team offensive tackle on USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA Football Team in 2014. He was ranked the 48th player nationally and the No. 2 offensive guard on the Scout 300 list. On the Rivals.com 250 and the ESPN 300 list, Hoge was 131st overall and the No. 1 center, while on 247Sports’ Top 247 list, he was the 89th player nationally and the No. 1 center.
While playing at Highland High School, he was the Idaho Class 5A Player of the Year as a senior by the Idaho Statesman. Hoge was also the Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year in both 2014 and 2013, the first player in Idaho history to win the award twice. He helped Highland to the 2014 Idaho Class 5A state title with a 12-0 record.
Hoge is the cousin of current BYU quarterback Beau Hoge and the nephew of Merril Hoge, current ESPN professional football analyst and former NFL running back.
Aside from Notre Dame, he also received offers from Cal, Duke, Florida, LSU, Northwestern, North Carolina, Oregon State, Penn State, Stanford, UCLA and Washington.
6-4, 270 LBS
American Fork, Utah
American Fork HS
The 6-foot-4, 270-pound returned missionary was the No. 14-ranked prospect out of Utah as an offensive guard according to 247Sports. He was a three-star recruit on Rivals, Scout and 247Sports. At American Fork High School, he was named to the Coaches’ 5A All-State Team.
The son of BYU offensive line coach Mike Empey, he earned Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune 5A all-state offensive guard in 2014. He was also rated the No. 11 overall player in the state of Utah by Rivals.com.
An athletic lineman, Empey also played defense for the Cavemen, totaling 62 tackles and 3.5 sacks as a senior in 2014.
Empey recently returned from an LDS mission in Portugal and is eligible to play in 2017. He was also recruited by Oregon State, Utah, Washington and Washington State.