Well, this is certainly a surprise. And a hugely pleasant one for the BYU football program.
Following Kyle Van Noy‘s dominating performance in the Poinsettia Bowl win over San Diego State — which included a pair of defensive touchdowns — it was widely assumed that the standout linebacker would leave eligibility on the table and make himself available for the NFL draft. As it turns out, and much to the relief of the Cougars, that wasn’t the case.
“I’ve decided to stay and complete my senior season at BYU,” Van Noy said in a statement released by the school. “I plan to finish what I started and feel like I’ve still got some unfinished business. I’m looking forward to being on the field this next season with my Cougar teammates.”
The decision is a huge 2013 “get” for the Cougars.
In 2012, Van Noy led the team with 13 sacks, 22 tackles for loss, eight quarterback hurries, a school record six forced fumbles and two blocked kicks. The release also states that Van Noy totaled 53 tackles while adding five pass breakups, two interceptions, one fumble recovery and two touchdowns to become the only player in the nation to record a stat in every major defensive category each of the last two seasons.
It’s the second time in the past couple of days that a standout member of the Cougars has turned his back on early entry into the NFL. Late last week, wide receiver Cody Hoffman, who’s on the verge of shattering every major receiving record in school history, announced via Twitter that he’s returning to BYU for his senior season.