BYU Football added a very much needed running back to the team to help out Lopini Katoa, BYU’s only running back with over 100 career rush yards.
The last two seasons BYU has struggled to keep running backs healthy and on the team. Squally Canada, Beau Hoge, Lopini Katoa, Matt Hadley, KJ Hall, Ula Tolutau and Kavika Fonua are running backs just in the past two seasons who were on the roster but unable to play at one point or another.
With Lopini Katoa having 423 career yards and Kavika Fonua with 87 yards the running game was in big danger in the upcoming season. The Cougars needed help, and now they have it with the addition of Emmanuel Esukpa.
Emmanuel Esukpa will be a graduate transfer coming from Rice University out of the C-USA. During his final year at Rice, Esukpa had 461 yards playing in eight games. During his first three games of the season however he ran for 358 yards before dealing with injuries for the rest of the season.
Out of high school Esukpa was a two star recruit out of the Houston, Texas area and he committed to stay near home and play for the Rice Owls which are based out of Houston.
Watching his highlights, Esukpa is a shifty slippery running back who in open space can outrun defenders. That is something BYU has lacked in recent years with most running backs being one cut runners who can run people over but are not particularly good in the open field and have a hard time breaking runs of 30+ yards without getting caught from behind.
Whether Esukpa will be an immediate starter or a backup, BYU Football at the very least got some more depth and diversity in the style of running backs on the team.