Cameron Muh | Posted: 15 Jun 2022 | Updated: 24 Jun 2022

Barrington named Phil Steele Preseason All-American, 15 Cougars on All-Independent Teams

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Clark Barrington named 2022 Preseason All-American
BYU honorees on Phil Steele 2022 Preseason All-Independent Team BYU honorees on Phil Steele 2022 Preseason All-Independent Team BYU honorees on Phil Steele 2022 Preseason All-Independent Team BYU honorees on Phil Steele 2022 Preseason All-Independent Team

PROVO, Utah — BYU offensive lineman Clark Barrington has been named to the Phil Steele 2022 Preseason All-America First Team, while 15 Cougars received Preseason All-Independent Team recognition.

Barrington is BYU's first Preseason All-America First Team honoree since former linebacker Kyle Van Noy in 2013. After earning All-Independent Second Team in 2020, the left guard started all 13 games last season, one of just three offensive players to do so, and was named All-Independent First Team Offense by Steele in 2021.

A member of the 2021 Pro Football Network Offensive Line of the Year, Barrington was also named Pro Football Network First Team All-Independent Offense and to the Pro Football Network All-American Third Team last season.

Joining Barrington on Steele’s 2022 Preseason All-Independent First Team are quarterback Jaren Hall, receiver Puka Nacua, tight end Isaac Rex, offensive tackle Blake Freeland, linebackers Ben Bywater and Payton Wilgar and punter Ryan Rehkow.

Transfer running back Christopher Brooks, receiver Gunner Romney, defensive end Tyler Batty, linebacker Kennan Pili, safety Malik Moore, transfer defensive back Gabe Jeudy-Lally and kicker Jake Oldroyd rounded out the Cougars represented on the second team.

Of the seven NCAA Division I Independent teams, BYU boasts the most total Preseason All-Independent Team selections.

Total Selections Team First Team Second Team
15 BYU 8 7
13 Notre Dame 8 5
9 Liberty 6 3
9 Army 5 4
5 New Mexico State 1 4
5 UMass 1 4
4 UConn 1 3

Brief notes on each of the 2022 Preseason honorees are listed below. Next week fans will have the opportunity to hear from many of the honorees when BYU football hosts its final National Media Day of the Independence era on Wednesday, June 22. In addition to all-day news media coverage of the event, fans can watch or listen to football programming on BYUtv and BYU Radio from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MT, including four hours of live shows also being broadcast on ESPN3. 

2022 Phil Steele Preseason All-Independent First Team

  • Jaren Hall | QB | JR | Spanish Fork, Utah
    • Named to 2021 Phil Steele All-Independent First Team and Pro Football Network First Team All-Independent Offense
    • 2021 Pro Football Network Independent Quarterback of the Year
    • Went 189-of-296 for 2,584 yards and 20 touchdowns last season
  • Puka Nacua | WR | JR | Provo, Utah
    • Named to 2021 Phil Steele All-Independent First Team Offense and Pro Football Network First Team All-Independent Offense
    • 2021 Pro Football Network Independent Newcomer & Wide Receiver of the Year
    • Led the Cougars in receiving yards last season with 43 grabs for 805 yards and six touchdowns
  • Isaac Rex | TE | SO | San Clemente, California
    • Named to 2021 Phil Steele All-Independent First Team Offense
    • Totaled 10 catches for 191 yards and three touchdowns last season
    • Recorded at least one reception in eight games
  • Clark Barrington | OL | JR | Spokane, Washington
    • Named a 2022 Phil Steele Preseason First Team All-American as an offensive guard
    • Selected to 2021 Action Network All-America Second Team and Pro Football Focus All-American Third Team
    • Helped lead BYU offense to score 33 points and average 452 total yards per game, converting on 46% of third downs last season
  • Blake Freeland | OL | JR | Herriman, Utah
    • Named to 2021 Phil Steele All-Independent First Team Offense and Pro Football Network All-Independent First Team Offense
    • Member of the Pro Football Network Offensive Line of the Year, started all 13 games at left tackle, one of just three offensive players to do so
    • Helped lead BYU offense to score 33 points and average 452 total yards per game, converting on 46% of third downs last season
  • Ben Bywater | LB | SO | Salt Lake City, Utah
    • 2021 Pro Football Network Independent Defensive Rookie of the Year
    • Named to Pro Football Network All-Independent First Team Defense
    • One of three defensive players to play in all 13 games, starting at multiple linebacker positions and leading the Cougars in tackles with 102 (57 solo and 45 assisted)
  • Payton Wilgar | LB | JR | St. George, Utah
    • 2021 Pro Football Network Independent Linebacker of the Year
    • Named to 2021 Pro Football Network All-Independent First Team Defense and Phil Steele All-Independent Second Team Defense
    • Finished last season as BYU's third-leading tackler with 56 (29 solo and six for loss)
  • Ryan Rehkow | P | SO | Veradale, Washington
    • 2021 Pro Football Network Independent Punter of the Year
    • Named to 2021 Pro Football Network All-Independent First Team Special Teams and Phil Steele All-Independent First Team Special Teams
    • Played in all 13 games at punter and holder, recording 40 punts at a 48.6 yard average

2022 Phil Steele Preseason All-Independent Second Team

  • Christopher Brooks | RB | SR | Oceanside, California
    • Transferred to BYU after graduating from Cal where he was the leading rushing in two of the past three seasons
    • Played in 40 games for the Golden Bears, totaling 1,734 yards rushing with 14 touchdowns
    • Also added 50 catches for 345 yards and seven touchdowns
  • Gunner Romney | WR | SR | Chandler, Arizona
    • Named to 2021 Pro Football Network First Team All-Independent Offense
    • Finished last season as the Cougars' third-leading receivers, tallying 34 catches for 594 yards and three touchdowns
    • Recorded second 100-yard receiving game of the season with 102 yards on four receptions against Boise State
  • Tyler Batty | DL | SO | Payson, Utah
    • Named to 2021 Pro Football Network All-Independent Second Team Defense
    • Played in 12 games last season, starting seven
    • Finished as BYU's fourth-leading tackler with 43 (23 solo, five for loss)
  • Keenan Pili | LB | JR | Provo, Utah
    • Started first three games last season as a team captain before suffering a season-ending injury
    • Recorded a career-high 17 tackles in the Cougars' 24-16 win over Arizona at Allegiant Stadium
    • Named Second Team All-Independent in 2020 and was the Boca Raton Bowl Defensive MVP after BYU's 49-23 win over UCF
  • Gabe Jeudy-Lally | DB | SO | Austin, Texas
    • Transferred to BYU after graduating from Vanderbilt, arriving in Provo with three years of eligibility
    • Tallied 63 tackles with 35 solo stops, four pass breakups and two interceptions in 23 games for the Commodores
    • Was also a three-time All-SEC Academic First Team selection
  • Malik Moore | DB | SR | San Diego, California
    • Named to 2021 Pro Football Network All-Independent First Team Defense and Phil Steele All-Independent Second Team Defense
    • Member of the Pro football Network All-Independent Secondary of the Year
    • Started all 13 games last season, one of just three defensive players to do so last year, and was tied for the team-lead in interceptions with three
  • Jake Oldroyd | K | JR | Southlake, Texas
    • Played in 10 games last season as a kicker/place kicker
    • Finished the season 9-of-13 on field goal attempts (69%), going 2-of-4 from 40-49 yards out
    • Also hit 42 of 43 (98%) extra points attempts