One of the greatest linebackers in BYU history is set to enter the NFL draft.
Kyle Van Noy’s career at BYU will go down as one of the all-time bests. In four seasons, Van Noy developed into one of the nation’s elite and most feared defensive players. The All-American played a variety of positions all over the field, and he never ceased to come up with big plays when his team needed him most.
Van Noy graduated in December with a degree in history, and a minor in communications. While his time at BYU has come to a close, his time playing football has not. The Reno, Nev., native will enter the NFL draft on May 8 and is projected to be a late first or early second-round pick.
Van Noy is ranked by cbssports.com as the fifth best linebacker and 37th best overall player in the draft. BYU fans are hoping Van Noy can have the same kind of success that former BYU defensive end Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah recently had during his inaugural season in the National Football League.
Many BYU players have had their names announced as part of the draft in the last decade, including Dennis Pitta, Fui Vakapuna, Harvey Unga, Brady Poppinga, Austin Collie, Todd Watkins, Brian Kehl and John Beck.
Poppinga and Kehl have both seen time on NFL fields at the linebacker position, but Cougar fans and NFL experts think Van Noy’s NFL career could be unprecedented for defensive alumni of BYU. During countless broadcasts of BYU games, announcers talked about Van Noy’s future of playing football on Sundays.
Specifically, Van Noy thanked his family and friends, the fans, his fiancee, teammates, coaches and staff for their loyalty, love and support.
On the defensive side of the ball, Van Noy turned in some remarkable performances. In two consecutive seasons, the linebacker became the only FBS player to record a statistic in every defensive category — an almost unheard of accomplishment. But it is no secret that Van Noy’s experience at BYU was special for other reasons besides football, too.
“Not a day passes by without my thinking how fortunate I am for my decision to attend BYU. I have grown a great deal in the past four years. I have matured as a person.”
In a recent news release, Van Noy expressed his gratitude to the BYU faithful.
“It has been a remarkable four years as a BYU Cougar. Thank you for all the memories. Thank you for your love and support,” Van Noy said.
Van Noy struggled early to find his identity and adapt to the culture of BYU. His scholarship to Provo was almost revoked because of off-field issues before his freshman year and the university required him to sit out his entire freshman season. But with the help of head coach Bronco Mendenhall and the example of his peers, Van Noy leaves without any regrets.