Injuries can quickly derail a football team’s season, but sometimes, it can also lead to another opportunity.
For Brigham Young University freshman tight end Isaac Rex, it led to a breakout.
BYU football came into this season with more questions than answers after last year’s 7-6 campaign that ended in a Hawaii Bowl loss.
However, many people thought one player would make an impact after returning for his senior year, tight end Matt Bushman.
Bushman, after foregoing the NFL draft for one more year with the Cougars, seemed set for a huge statistical season, but a ruptured achilles during practice cut his season short.
This led the Cougars to rolling out a new face at tight end from San Clemente, California, freshman Isaac Rex.
“I always wanted to be the starter, but with Matt going down, that was probably the toughest experience of my life. Seeing him, at practice, tear his achilles, I never cried so much in my life.”
Seeing a teammate and close friend go down with an injury is always very difficult, but football promotes a next man up mentality, and Rex was the next man up.
As BYU’s offense became more and more explosive, Rex’s receiving numbers only went up, from a catch or two per game, to now recording five touchdown catches in the last three games.
Rex has six total touchdowns this season, one less than his father, Byron Rex, had his entire career at BYU, and Isaac is definitely keeping track.
“He’ll definitely be jealous, but I think he’ll get over it. He’s just happy for me and he’s excited that I’m doing well, but he wants me to get a lot better, and there are always things that I can improve on.”
Now a key member of the offense, Rex says he will do whatever it takes for the Cougars to keep winning.
“I just want to do what’s best for the team and help out the team however I can. Earlier on in the year, it was more blocking and a couple catches, but now it’s still blocking and a couple more balls thrown to me.”
The tight end position, once a deficiency, became a strength thanks to the emergence of Isaac Rex. BYU is now hoping that he and other members of the tight end group can make impacts for the Cougars for years to come.
Rex is currently the fourth leading receiver for the Cougars and is 14th in receiving yards among tight ends in the country. Rex and the Cougars take on North Alabama on Saturday, November 28th.