BYU Football Countdown: Player 38 – 1984’s defining moment

Tom Hauck /Allsport
Tom Hauck /Allsport /
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No. 38 Kyle Morrell – Defensive Back – 1981-1984

When you look up the great defensive backs to ever play at BYU Kyle Morrell will appear at the top of just about everyone’s list. Usually when this happens to a player it means that they were elite, All-American leading the team in tackles and other statistics. Not with Kyle Morrell.

Kyle Morrell was a good defensive back, in fact he was probably an above average one considering he was one of the leading tacklers and defenders on the team that won the 1984 National Championship. But if we look at his statistics only or even his impact on the field, he probably has no business being in the Top 100 players ever at BYU, and definitely not in the Top 40. Except for that one moment…


Impact B

Morrell was a senior on the 1984 team which gave him senior leadership. While he wasn’t the greatest defender on the team, he was a real weapon being used in a dynamic role by Lavell Edwards. Watching some of the games, it was as if on some Edwards told him to be glued to the receivers while on others he became an extra linebacker. This can be seen in some games where he had 15, 15, 11 and 11 tackles and when in others he only had 4, 4 and 1 tackles.

Statistics D+

Morrell was on a good defensive team, however he wasn’t the anchor of that defense. That would go do Cary Whittingham and Marv Allen. In fact, Morrell was eighth on the team in tackles and third in interceptions. Again, this doesn’t merit any spot as a Top 40 player. He did play three full seasons and saw action in all four, but over his career he only had 232 tackles, seven interceptions, 14 pass break ups and a forced fumble. As a normal player this is really good, as a Top 100 player it isn’t.

Memorable Moments A+

It is the fourth game of the season. The Cougars have already knocked off No. 3 Pittsburg as well as Baylor and Tulsa to start of the season. BYU Football was ranked No. 6 in the nation as they hit the Hawaiian Island. Hawaii was the last “good team” left on BYU’s regular season schedule and it showed as the Rainbow Warriors held tight with the Cougars the entire game. Late in the game Hawaii actually had a 13-12 lead and the ball on the goal line. This is what happened next.

Robbie Bosco ended up finding Glen Kozlowski for the game winning touchdown later but it was Morrell’s stop that really won the games for the Cougars and kept the perfect season alive.