No. 83 Tejan Koroma – Center – 2014-2017
There are only a handful of BYU Football players ever that can claim to have started in week one of their freshman season and play in every single game until the last game of the season their senior year. Tejan Koroma is one of them.
Sure a punter or kicker may do it, or even a defensive back that is really just there for speed, but for a center to do that, it is truly incredible. Center is perhaps the most underrated position in college football. While most lineman have a specific area to cover while blocking, and quite often know who they will be blocking, centers have to be able to adjust to getting hit from both sides, holding down the anchor of the line and snapping the ball.
Think about it, if a center gets pushed to a side, not only does that open up the middle for rushers, but it gives a very direct short line to the quarterback as opposed to most rushes that come from the outside and require an extra five to eight yards of running to get to the quarterback.
While at BYU, Koroma accomplished the following:
-Started in all 51 games played as a four year starter
-Freshman All-American (2014)
-Named to the Pro Football Focus All-America Second Team (2017)
-Consistently graded as BYU’s top offensive lineman
-Three-time Remington Trophy watch list honoree
-Three-time Phil Steele All-Independent Team
-Pro Football Focus graded as one of the top four centers in college football (2016)
-Received The Iron Man Award, Offensive Player of the Year Award, and Captains Award at annual team banquet (2018)
-Granted, to win the offensive player of the year award after the 2017 season probably wasn’t the hardest thing to do in the world, but for a center to win that award as well as the Captains Award shows how good and how much of an impact he made to be given those awards.
If you go back and watch highlights of Koroma, you will notice that very rarely does he make a mistake with either snapping the ball, missing his block, or not finishing the play, which linemen are notoriously famous for across college football.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Koroma was that he always overcame the odds. Standing at only 6’0″ Koroma had no business being a starting center in division one, and yet he was the strongest player on the team and managed to start all 51 games of his career. That is why, he is called BYU’s Iron Man.