Coming off their 23-6 victory in the Poinsettia Bowl, the BYU Cougars now turn their attention to next season after their 8-5 finish this year.
The Cougars have only won 10 games once in the last three seasons, after winning 10 games in each of the four previous seasons.
They will lose quite a few players on defense, but with some strong recruiting they could be in position to have a better season next year.
BYU has a number of potential players that could help them to become a top program once again.
Lowell Lotulelei, DL
The Cougars won't be able to completely fill the void left by Ezekiel Ansah, but they could get a huge boost with the commitment of Lowell Lotulelei for their defensive line. Lotuleli, the top-ranked defensive lineman in Utah, is looking at Utah, but remains interested in BYU.
He's a big, physical lineman that plays the run well and is able to get into the backfield and disrupt the quarterback. Getting more push up front will help the Cougars defense get the same type of pressure that Ansah was able to get.
Siale Fakailoantonga, TE
Fakailoantonga would be a superb addition to the Cougars.
He's a three-star tight end who had BYU atop his list not long ago. Since then, UCLA seems to be his top-choice, but the Utah-born player could still be had by the Cougars.
He had some injury issues during high school and had to miss practice when BYU officials came to visit, though. At 6'4" and 215 pounds, Fakailoantonga has a nice size frame and could use some time to bulk up in the program.
Auston Johnson, LB
Johnson, the linebacker from Southern California, has already had an offer from BYU, but has offers from various other programs as well. The Cougars could see an exodus of linebacker talent, as Brandon Ogletree, Uona Kaveinga and possibly Kyle Van Noy could be off the team.
Johnson will add some talent to the position.
He's 6'1", 235 pounds and played previously at El Torrance Community College. His signing would go a long ways toward helping the Cougars re-tool their linebacking corps.
Brayden Kearsley, OL
Kearsley was originally committed to BYU, but decommitted and is now closer to signing at Oregon State. While it may be unlikely that BYU can convince Kearsley to recommit, it's still a possibility that they get their man.
Kearsley is a four-star rated offensive lineman who stands at 6'5" tall and weighs in at 295 pounds. He would be an anchor for the Cougars offensive line if they can somehow convince him to recommit.
If the Cougars are able to grab some of these players, they will be in great shape heading into next season. They will need to re-tool their defense, but these players should be able help.
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