3 former Cougars to appear in NFL conference championship games

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Three former BYU football players will play in the AFC and NFC championship games this weekend. This marks the third straight year Kyle Van Noy has made the conference title game, as the Patriots have reached this round every year since Van Noy joined the team in 2016. Both Daniel Sorenson and Taysom Hill are appearing in a conference championship for the first time. For Hill, the game extends an already successful rookie campaign, with his name making national headlines multiple times throughout the season.

Taysom Hill (2012-2016): The Saints’ “Swiss Army knife” rushed for two yards on eight carries against the Eagles on Jan. 13, including a crucial conversion on fourth-and-1. Hill threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Alvin Kamara, which would have been Hill’s first passing touchdown as an NFL player if it had not been called back because of a holding penalty on New Orleans. Hill and the Saints will take on the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC championship game on Jan. 20. The Saints beat the Rams 45-35 in their only regular season meeting.

Daniel Sorenson (2008, 2011-2013): The Chiefs’ safety recorded one solo tackle and two assisted tackles in the Chiefs’ 31-13 win over the Indianapolis Colts during their divisional playoff game on Jan. 13. Sorenson and the Chiefs will now face the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game on Jan. 20. The Chiefs lost 43-40 to the Patriots during their only regular season matchup in week six. BYU alum Andy Reid, who played offensive tackle for the Cougars in the late 1970s, coaches the Chiefs.

Kyle Van Noy (2010-2013): Van Noy recorded four solo tackles and one pass deflection in the Patriots’ 41-28 win over the Los Angeles Chargers during the divisional playoff round. The Reno, Nevada native finished top 50 in the NFL for total tackles during the 2018 regular season. Van Noy and the Patriots will take on the Chiefs in the NFC championship game on Jan. 20.

Van Noy (New England) and Sorenson (Kansas City) facing off in the AFC championship game guarantees one BYU alum will be featured in the 2019 Super Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. Van Noy has appeared in two Super Bowls, with his lone victory coming in the Patriots’ historic Super Bowl comeback win against the Falcons in 2017. Both Sorenson and Hill have never appeared in the Super Bowl.

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