Rice’s loss in the ground game is officially BYU’s gain.
Late Tuesday morning, the football independent officially announced that Emmanuel Esukpa has been added to Kalani Sitake’s football roster. Earlier this offseason, the running back had opted to leave the Owls and place his name into the NCAA transfer database.
As a graduate transfer, Esukpa will be eligible to play immediately for the Cougars in 2019. The upcoming season will be the rising redshirt senior’s final year of eligibility.
“We are excited to have Emmanuel come to BYU,” the head coach said in a statement. “He has good size, speed and experience and is a great fit as a person and a player for our program. He knows Coach Steward well from their time together at Rice, and he really wants to be here. We’re looking forward to welcoming Emmanuel to our team.”
BYU’s second-year running backs coach, AJ Steward, served as Esukpa’s position coach for three years at Rice from 2015-17.
During his time with the Owls, Esukpa ran for 778 yards and six touchdowns on 196 carries. This past season, the 5-11, 232-pound back’s 461 yards were good for second on the team, behind Austin Walker’s 564.