BYU football: The Cougars have a deep and talented receiving team

Of all the distinguished recipients on the BYU Football 2022 list, only one is sure to move on after next season.

That would be Romney’s fifth-year defender, the 6-foot-2 playmaker from Chandler, Arizona, who surprised a bunch of people last winter when he decided to return to BYU for another tour. Romney is the only one in the pass room for reception coach and game coordinator Visei Setaki.

Brayden Cosper has also been on the show since 2018, but is listed as a rookie in Little Red because he missed the entire last year with a broken wrist.

“I really couldn’t tell you what the future holds. As much as I want to play professional football, I have to start the season first and go from there. I hope to pass this season healthy and win ball games. When your team is doing well, everyone looks good.” – BYU Puka Nacua receiver.

The group is about 15 people, with the most accomplished recipient being Boca Nacoa, who said at Brigham Young University’s Football Media Day in June that he was still undecided if this was his last season as a collector.

“I couldn’t really tell you what the future holds,” Nakoa said. “As much as I want to play professional football, I have to start the season first and go from there. I hope to pass this season healthy and win ball games. When your team is doing well, everyone looks good.”

Nacua had 43 passes for 805 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games last year after moving from Washington. Hamstring issues and other health setbacks got him off to a slow start, but once the four-star ex-rookie got going, he was nearly unstoppable.

Romney has only scored 10 games due to injury but still has 34 passes for 594 yards and three touchdowns.

He said in June that he’s back to fine-tune his playing style, but also to be part of another successful season.

“One of the main things I’ve been working on this season is getting a more explosive first step, whether that’s away from the (brawl) streak or getting out of the breaks,” he said. “I think this is the first part of my game that needs improvement.”

After first training for prep boot camp last Thursday, Romney said he’s feeling great and he’s done everything he can do for the past seven months to be healthy and stay that way.

He also expressed his deep admiration for the depth of the group.

“I think we have one of the deepest rooms we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Romney said. “I think you can go back seven or eight years and any one of those guys can jump on the field and contribute, so that’s definitely one of our strengths.”

Head Coach’s Cousin Setaki said on a media day that sophomore Keanu Hill is the third recipient, having cemented that status with a strong spring camp this past March.

The 6-foot-4 hill had 18 passes for 343 yards and two touchdowns last season, and has appeared in all 13 games.

“Keanu just has the most proven actor in the field,” said Setaki. “That doesn’t mean it will stay that way. As always, it’s up to the competition, but he cemented his right to be that third man heading into Game 1.”

Romney said Hill is dedicated to his career and is eager to live up to the billing that has accompanied him outside of Texas as the son and nephew of some professional football greats and former staffers, Lloyd and Roy Williams.

“Kebo really comes on his own as a road runner,” Romney said. “I think before he was kind of using his sportiness and huge body, but I think he got a little more refined with the craft of being a receiver.”

Romney said that means doing the little things to separate at the line of scrimmage.

“He’s getting more confident. That’s one thing with the experience he has under his belt now. He knows what it takes to be a successful future at this level, and I think he’s working in that field,” Romney said.

Nacua said he and Romney often call them big receivers, but “the Kibo is bigger than us, at 6-4 and weighing more than 200 pounds.”

The new NCAA rule allows coaches to spend two hours a week with off-season players, so Sitake is more familiar with his group than in previous years — especially newcomers.

Former Roy High star Parker Kingston, Kyson Hall of Maple Mountain High (brother of Garen Hall), Floridian Dom Henry and Preston Rex (brother of Isaac Rex) were the new faces in the reception room over the summer.

However, Preston Rex was with the defensive linebacker on Thursday and Henry, despite being listed as the defensive linebacker in his fall camp roster, was a receiver in camp.

“We have a lot of young people who are going to push to play on a weekly basis, and to play,” Setaki said. “It’s not just a competition between (Hill) and the rest of these guys.

“I want to play what’s worth playing without disrupting the flow of anyone in the group.”

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