UPDATED: Four former Cougars received NFL opportunities as free agents


Collie and Trinnaman join Kaufusi and Mangum with NFL free-agent opportunities 

PROVO, Utah — In addition to linebacker Sione Takitaki being drafted in the third round by the Cleveland Browns on Friday, former BYU football defensive end Corbin Kaufusi and quarterback Tanner Mangum received opportunities with NFL teams as undrafted free agents following the draft on Saturday evening.

Kaufusi inked a free-agent deal with the New Orleans Saints while Mangum accepted minicamp invitations with both the Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions.

“I’m grateful for all that Corbin and Tanner have done for BYU, and I’m excited they both have the opportunity to pursue playing in the NFL,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said. 

UPDATE: Wide receiver Dylan Collie and 2017 BYU receiver Jonah Trinnaman have also received minicamp invitations. Collie is also going to New Orleans after receiving a minicamp invite and Trinnaman, who signed last year as an undrafted free agent with the Arizona Cardinals and the New York Jets, received a minicamp invite from the Chicago Bears.  This story will be updated if any additional signings or minicamp invites are announced. 

Historically, BYU has had 189 former players receive NFL opportunities as undrafted free agents in addition to Takitaki becoming the 142nd Cougar selected in the annual draft. 

Kaufusi played in 37 games with 28 starts for the Cougars over three seasons after starting his career on the BYU basketball team. A 6-foot-9, 278-pound two-sport athlete, Kaufusi played three years on the basketball team, appearing in 86 games with 36 starts before foregoing his time on the hardwoods to concentrate on football. On the gridiron in 2018, Kaufusi recorded a team-best 8.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss from his defensive end position while adding 56 tackles and two pass breakups in 11 games. 

With his versatility and athleticism, Kaufusi was a disruptive defender up front who could get into the backfield while also being able to effectively drop into coverage for the Cougars, helping BYU rank No. 18 overall in team defense in 2018. Over his three-year career, Kaufusi totaled 154 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and 17 sacks while forcing two fumbles and recording four pass breakups. Kaufusi was also a playmaker on special teams, blocking four kicks during his career.  With his physical stature and athleticism, Kaufusi helped BYU lead the nation in field goal defense in 2018 and earn a No. 4 rating in the ESPN special teams efficiency rankings. 

A team captain, Kaufusi is the third member of his immediate family to go to the NFL from BYU. His brother Bronson is a defensive end for the New York Jets who was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the third round of the 2016 draft. His father Steve is a former BYU defensive lineman and longtime defensive coach who was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 12th round of the 1988 draft.

Mangum played in 34 games with 27 starts as the Cougars’ signal caller. From Eagle, Idaho, the 6-3, 208-pound quarterback threw for 6,262 yards and 39 touchdowns while adding three scores on the ground during his career. He led BYU to a win at Nebraska in his first college game in 2015, throwing the game-winning 42-yard Hail Mary touchdown in place of the injured Taysom Hill. Mangum went on to become the 2015 Touchdown Club of Columbus Freshman of the Year after throwing for 3,377 yards and 23 touchdowns to lead BYU to a 9-4 season record.

In 2018 Mangum helped the Cougars enter the top-25 rankings for the first time since 2015 while engineering BYU’s upset win in Camp Randall Stadium over No. 6 Wisconsin. Ending the Badgers’ 41-game win streak in nonconference home games, the Cougars were named the NCAA and Football Writers Association of America National Team of the Week following the 24-21 victory. During his career, the two-time team captain had six 300-yard passing games and a string of 11 straight games with a touchdown pass as the BYU starter. 

Collie played in 52 career games, including 39 at the University of Hawai’i and 13 at BYU, catching a pass in 43 of 52 games played. After graduating from Hawai’i in 2018, Collie transferred back to BYU, where he spent his redshirt season in 2012, and made 24 receptions for 277 yards with three touchdowns and rushed for 59 yards on 10 carries. Overall, he made 142 receptions for 1,577 yards and 12 touchdowns during his college career playing both as a wideout and slot receiver.

From El Dorado Hills, California, Collie set a career high with 124 yards and two touchdowns in BYU’s 2018 bowl victory over Western Michigan. His performance ranked No. 15 among all bowl players for most receiving yards and tied for No. 4 for the most receiving touchdowns. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Collie joins his older brothers Zac (undrafted free agent in 2006 with the Philadelphia Eagles) and Austin (4th round pick in 2008 of the Indianapolis Colts) to earn an NFL opportunity out of BYU.

Trinnaman started 20 of the 26 games he played for BYU in 2016 and 2017 after transferring from Snow College. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound wide receiver caught 52 passes for 626 yards over his two seasons with the Cougars. He also added 345 yards on 18 kick returns, including a long of 45 yards. With 4.3 speed in the 40-yard dash and 40.5-inch vertical leap, Trinnaman has elite-level speed and explosive athleticism. His career-long reception at BYU was a 75-yard catch for a touchdown.

Prior to coming to BYU, Trinnaman was a first-team all-league receiver and return specialist representing Snow College in the Western States Football League. From Highland, Utah, Trinnaman was also a 2015 NJCAA All-America First Team honoree as a return specialist. He averaged 33.9 yards per return, taking one to the house, while totaling 47 receptions for 803 yards and eight touchdowns as a wideout.