BYU Football: Masen Wake could be BYU’s secret weapon

HOUSTON, TEXAS – Masen Wake #13 of the BYU Cougars reacts in the second half against the Houston Cougars at TDECU Stadium on October 16, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

BYU Football has a lot of offensive weapons, but one that may be overlooked is Masen Wake.

What do Dax Milne, Ziggy Ansah, Sione Takitaki and Zac Daw all have in common for BYU Football?

They all had very average seasons before having a breakout year. In fact, if you look back at the BYU roster, every single year there is at least one or two players that have very minimal impact in one season and then explode the next. Looking just at two of these players, Dax Milne and Ziggy Ansah we see this kind of improvement.

  • Dax Milne:
    • Sophomore: 13 games, 285 yards, 2 TD
    • Junior: 12 games, 1188 yards, 8 TD
  • Ziggy Ansah
    • Sophomore: 12 games, 7 tackles
    • Junior: 13 games, 62 tackles, 4.5 sacks, INT

Comparisons like this can be found every single season on the BYU roster, which begs the question, who could it be this season?

While nobody can really know since that is the definition of a surprise, Masen Wake seems to fit the bill pretty well for three reasons: Build, Energy and Versatility.

Build

Masen Wake is 6’1″ and weighs 250 pounds. While that sounds like a defensive end or tight end, he also has speed and athleticism. Because he only touched the ball 13 times last season, you may not know that in high school he had back to back 1,000 yard rushing seasons. In the touches we did see him get last season, he was constantly trying to hurdle defenders, again showing that he is more athletic than most 250 pounders on the field.

His build creates a matchup nightmare for defenders because he is too big for corners to take down easily, but too quick for defensive ends to cover. If he is used the right way, he could become a dependable weapon that defenses have headaches trying to cover.

Energy

When a team is scoring touchdowns on more than half of their possessions like last year, the energy comes pretty easily. It is easy for an offense to be hyped up when they know that there is  a 65% chance that when they come off the field it will be with six points.

That likely won’t happen this year. The energy will have to come from somewhere else and Masen Wake is the perfect guy for that. With his combination of hurdling and breaking tackles, Wake is one of the guys that is always celebrating with his teammates and that energy could be enough to keep the team upbeat during tough times. You can see his energy and passion for the game in this video. 

Versatility

Along with his size, Wake brings versatility. He is listed as a tight end for the team, but as mentioned before he played running back in high school and had over 2,200 yards rushing, 350 yards receiving and 18 TD’s over his junior and senior year. He did this playing for the best team in the state, Lone Peak High School, meaning he was one of the best running backs in the state.

While things of course change in college, he could still be a great asset to use in the offense in a variety of ways. While he won’t be the tailback with Tyler Allgeier and Lopini Katoa taking care of the running game, I could see Wake coming in as a “Wildcat QB”, regardless of who the starting quarterback is.

If Jaren Hall starts, the coaching staff will want to protect him with his concussion history. If Baylor Romney or Jacob Conover start, Wake would provide a much better running option than them. Regardless of who starts, having a 250 pounder with running back history in a third and short or goal line play seems like a very good option to consider.

Wake also could be effective as a fullback, a position that BYU doesn’t tend to use a ton, but it is still used. With so many other offensive weapons at the running back, tight end and receiver positions, defenses may not account or give much focus to the full back position. Finally, he could be a great option as a tight end as a delay route runner where he can appear to block before breaking off for a short route.

Regardless of how he is used, Masen Wake is setting up for a special season.