With Riley Burt’s transfer announcement the running back corps are becoming painfully thin for BYU Football, especially when it comes to experience.
Riley Burt announced on Tuesday that he’ll be graduate transferring from BYU for his senior year. He’s not the first Cougar to announce a transfer for next season, and he probably won’t be the last.
And that’s to be expected. Every team has transfers for various reasons, and the Cougars have a scholarship crunch as it is. Theses transfers aren’t a cause for panic.
But the loss of Burt is slightly more concerning than the others, mainly because of his position. The last two seasons have seen a revolving door at the running back position due to injuries and off-the-field issues, testing BYU’s depth at the position.
And now with Burt transferring, along with the graduations of Squally Canada, Matt Hadley, and and Brayden El-Bakri, that depth may be woefully thin.
Right now there are only seven backs on the roster for 2019, and none have committed so far in this year’s recruiting class. That could change between now and February’s National Signing Day, though.
And there aren’t any backs coming off missions that would be available before fall camp either, so there likely won’t be any ready to see action in 2019.
Let’s take a look at who’s in the Cougars’ cupboard at this point:
When healthy, Katoa was BYU’s best rusher in 2018. He led the team with 423 rushing yards on just 76 carries, good for 5.6 yards per rush. The freshman also paced the Cougars with eight touchdowns.
He missed time with injury, though, just like practically every Cougar back over the past two years. Assuming he enters 2019 healthy and stays that way, he’ll be the featured back and get the lion’s share of the carries.