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BYU football: Offensive depth chart knowns and unknowns

Photo Courtesy of BYU Photo and BYU Athletics

BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick provided a lot of information for those working to sort out the Cougar’s offensive two-deep roster for the 2023 on during Tuesday’s interview session, with several other bits of information yet to be uncovered. The team is certain to provide a depth chart at the end of the week, if not earlier, as the team now turns to game preparation for Sam Houston State.

So what questions have been answered and which ones remain?


Let’s begin with the easiest position on the roster to break down, as Roderick filled in just about all necessary information regarding the depth at the position during Tuesday’s interview session.

  1. Kedon Slovis (6-3, 215 Sr.)
  2. Jake Retzlaff (6-1, 205 Jr.)
  3. Cade Fennegan (6-2, 190 So.)
  4. Nick Billoups (6-1, 203 So.)
  5. Ryder Burton (6-2, 200 Fr.)
  6. Cole Hagen (6-1, 185 Fr.)

Due to Retzlaff owning a redshirt option while Fennegan does not may put Fennegan in as the first option in place of Slovis should the coaching staff prove intent on saving two more seasons for Retzlaff. So look for Fennegan to receive snaps in the event of some mop-up duty during game blowout situations while Retzlaff will likely get the nod should Slovis go down with a serious injury.

That’s what we know.

What’s yet to be determined probably won’t be revealed until the coming spring, with Billoups, Burton and Hagen set to duke it out during scout team work and other behind-the-scenes activity. All three carry good expectations and will be afforded opportunities to progress throughout the season with the battle to replace Slovis as the starter looming.


Okay, this one is pretty tough, but not for a bad reason. BYU running backs coach Harvey Unga simply has a lot of good options at the position which makes allotting rep assignments difficult by any stretch.

What we know is that Aidan Robbins (6-3, 240 Jr.) will receive first reps. But how many reps he’ll be afforded as the first option isn’t clear, along with who exactly will see second reps, or even third or fourth, and how deep will Unga go in his vast pool of ready talent?

One thing that has become apparent is the LJ Martin (6-2, 205 Fr.) has lived up to all the hype he received as a highly-recruited BYU signee, and probably then some. Martin almost assuredly will be part of the rotation this season, but in what capacity?

Then there’s two proven commodities in Hinckley Ropati (5-9, 215 Sr.) who performed admirably when called upon last season, along with Miles Davis (6-0, 210 So.) Throw in Colorado transfer Deion Smith (6-0, 200 Sr.), who was the Buffaloes leading rusher a season ago, and Unga has his work cut out with regards to divvying reps up effectively.


Roderick provided a lot of clarity on the tight end situation on Tuesday, pronouncing Southern Utah transfer Mata’ava Ta’ase (6-3, 255 Jr.) as the backup to Isaac Rex (6-6, 255 Jr.) Ta’ase seized on his knowledge of the offense and will most-likely be most utilized in short-yardage situations when the offense opts for 21 or even 22 personnel due to his blocking ability and acumen in completing necessary assignments.

So where does that leave exciting options such as Jackson Bowers (6-5, 245 Fr.), Ray Paulo (6-3, 255 Jr.) and Mason Fakahua (6-2, 240 Jr.)? As far as directly replacing Rex, Bowers and Paulo both could rise as that option. Both are still relatively new to BYU’s offensive system although both have impressed when given the opportunity during the fall practice session. Fakahua, meanwhile, will probably be best employed as a Masen Wake-type option and should be afforded reps at the fullback position in short-yardage situations.

And then there’s both Ethan Erickson (6-5, 240 So.) and Anthony Olsen (6-3, 235 Fr.), both of whom have shown promise but will have their work cut out in trying to stay ahead of both Bowers and Paulo in the pecking order.


There’s not a lot to be sorted out at receiver, so let’s just go ahead and list what appears to be a solidified depth chart heading into the opening game of the season.

Z receiver: 

  1. Chase Roberts (6-4, 210 So.)
  2. Keelan Marion (6-0, 200 So.)

X receiver:

  1. Keanu Hill (6-4, 215 Jr.)
  2. Darius Lassiter (6-3, 205 Sr.)


  1. Kody Epps (5-11, 187 So.)
  2. Parker Kingston (5-11, 180 Fr.)

Kingston has begun to emerge as a consistent and exciting option from the slot position while both Hobbs Nyberg (5-10, 195 Jr.) and Talmage Gunther (5-11, 190 Jr.) are probably the next two up in the pecking order.


Kingsley Suamataia (6-6, 325 So.), Connor Pay (6-5, 312 Jr.) and Paul Maile (6-2, 300 Sr.) will all start, according to Roderick, although it’s yet to be determined whether Pay or Maile will start at center. Also, Oklahoma State transfer Caleb Etienne (6-8, 330 Jr.) has just about locked down the right tackle position, although the final determination is yet to be made.

So with that information, let’s go ahead and take a stab at the two-deep roster along the offensive front.

Left tackle

  1. Kingsley Suamataia 
  2. Simi Moala (6-7, 310 Sr.)

Left guard

  1. Weylin Lapuaho (6-4, 310 So.)
  2. Ian Fitzgerald (6-6, 305 Sr.)


  1. Pay or Paul Maile
  2. Peter Falaniko (6-3, 315 Fr.)

Right guard

  1. Pay or Maile
  2. Sonny Makasini (6-3, 325 Fr.)

Right tackle

  1. Caleb Etienne
  2. Brayden Keim (6-9, 310 Jr.)

A couple of players to watch are Tyler Little (6-6, 295 So.), who has been afforded a lot of quality reps during fall camp along with Jake Eichorn (6-5, 295 So.), who is a Weber State transfer.


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