(Photo by BYU Creative Design)
PROVO, Utah – In addition to running back Jamaal Williams being drafted by the Green Bay Packers, nine other members of the 2016 BYU football team received NFL opportunities following the draft on Saturday with undrafted free-agent contracts and minicamp invitations.
Quarterback Taysom Hill joins Williams in Green Bay, signing with the Packers. Linebacker Harvey Langi inked a deal with the New England Patriots while defensive end Sae Tautu signed with the New Orleans Saints and running back Algernon Brown agreed to a deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
Defensive backs Kai Nacua and Michael Davis also signed free-agent contracts. Nacua went with the Cleveland Browns while Davis signed with the Los Angeles Chargers. Offensive lineman Andrew Eide accepted a minicamp invite with the San Francisco 49ers. Wide receiver Nick Kurtz also received a minicamp invite with the Oakland Raiders. UPDATE May 8 – Andrew Eide was also invited to the Indianapolis Colts rookie minicamp as well as Colby Pearson to the Chicago Bears minicamp. UPDATE June 1 – Colby Pearson signed a free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers.
"It was an honor to coach each one of these guys and now see them get these opportunities with NFL teams,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said. “I’m excited to see their hard work and talents recognized with the chance to keep playing this game and represent BYU at the next level.”
Former offensive lineman Brad Wilcox, a member of the 2015 squad, also got a minicamp invite with the New Orleans Saints. In total, BYU has had 182 undrafted former players receive NFL opportunities. Check BYUCougars.com for updates related to new signings and invites as more players may receive deals.
Taysom Hill, a dynamic dual-threat quarterback, finished his Cougar career as one of the most exciting signal callers to ever play the position at BYU. After 37 career games, he ranked No. 4 in career total offense, just ahead of Jim McMahon, with 9,744 yards of total offense.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Hill ran for more than double the yards of any other quarterback at BYU with 2,815 yards. He finished No. 5 among all BYU rushers in school history. Hill also accounted for 6,929 passing yards, No. 11 all-time at BYU. His 75 combined total touchdowns (43 passing, 32 rushing) ranks fifth at BYU.
During his career, Hill was a Heisman Trophy candidate and was featured on the Davey O’Brien, Walter Camp and Maxwell Award watch lists. A native of Pocatello, Idaho, Hill graduated with a degree in finance. He was one of 12 college players named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete and a finalist for the 2016 William V. Campbell Trophy.
The versatile Harvey Langi played several different positions for the Cougars including both inside and outside linebacker, defensive end, running back and even kick returner. He projects to play as an inside linebacker in the NFL.
The 6-foot-2, 252-pounder played in 36 career games at BYU, including 24 starts, after transferring from the University of Utah following his LDS mission to Tampa, Florida. Langi posted 139 career tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and two interceptions. In addition to his defense, he added 62 kick return yards, 102 career rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.
Sae Tautu led BYU in 2016 with 11 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks. He played in all 13 games of his senior campaign and started 10 at defensive end.
Tautu played both outside linebacker and defensive end for the Cougars. The 6-foot-3, 245-pounder amassed 100 tackles in his career, including 22 tackles for a loss and 10.0 sacks.
Algernon Brown played both fullback and running back for the Cougars during his 46-game career with over 1,300 rushing yards.
In 2016, Brown plowed the road for all-time leading rusher Williams after switching over to fullback. As a junior in 2015, Brown was the primary ball carrier, leading BYU with 709 rushing yards on 127 attempts and had 11 rushing scores. A solid pass catcher as well, Brown had 35 career receptions for 285 yards and three touchdowns.
Kai Nacua played in 46 career games in his four years at BYU, starting 24 at safety. He posted 14 career interceptions, the most at BYU since Derwin Gray nabbed 14 picks from 1989-92. The Las Vegas product intercepted six passes in each of his junior and senior seasons to rank seventh nationally each year. In 2015, Nacua also returned two for touchdowns and totaled 137 return yards, ranking No. 9 in the country. Nacua’s three-pick night, which tied a school record, against No. 20 Boise State in 2015 was among several of his interception highlights.
In addition to his ball skills, Nacua racked up 164 tackles in his career, including 8.0 for a loss. He also forced one fumble and recovered another to go along with 13 pass breakups.
Michael Davis came to BYU as a wide receiver and immediately switched to defense and became a contributor as a freshman in 2013 with two starts and played in nine games. He went on to play in 48 career games with 30 starts at cornerback.
The 6-foot-2, 196-pounder made 110 career tackles and had 17 career pass breakups to go along with one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Nick Kurtz, at 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds, provided BYU with a big target during his career. He played in 27 games and caught 88 balls for 1,119 yards and five touchdowns.
As a senior, Kurtz led the 2016 Cougars in receptions and yards with 49 grabs for 541 yards. In his junior campaign, he posted 39 receptions for 578 yards and three touchdowns. His 14.8 yards per reception led BYU that year.
Andrew Eide started all 13 games at left tackle in 2016. He helped the Cougar offense average over 200 rushing yards per game and protected the blind side all year for an offense ranked No. 4 in red zone conversions and No. 12 in third-down conversions.
Eide was an all-conference selection and psychology graduate at Southern Utah before playing his final year of eligibility at BYU.
Colby Pearson played in 41 games during his career, catching 76 passes for 864 yards and eight touchdowns. As a senior he led the Cougars with four touchdown receptions and had 384 receiving yards.
Brad Wilcox played in 39 games at BYU, including 12 starts in 2015. He helped the Cougar offense to its best passing season since 2008 and was named to Phil Steele’s Postseason All-Independent Team.