PROVO — BYU added a pair of highly touted offensive linemen Monday.
The Cougars announced that Tristen Hoge, a Notre Dame transfer, and James Empey, a returned LDS Church missionary who prepped at American Fork High School, have joined the program.
Hoge is the cousin of BYU quarterback Beau Hoge while Empey is the son of offensive line coach Mike Empey.
A 6-foot-4, 303-pounder from Pocatello, Idaho, Hoge plays center and guard and he has three years of eligibility remaining. He appeared in six games for the Fighting Irish last fall and was the 2015 Notre Dame Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year.
Hoge was named a Parade All-American in 2015 and was a first-team offensive tackle on the USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA Football Team in 2014.
At Highland High in Idaho, Hoge was rated as the No. 48 player nationally and the No. 2 offensive guard on the Scout 300 list. Hoge was 131st overall and the No. 1 center on the Rivals.com 250 and the ESPN 300 list. Meanwhile, 247Sports’ Top 247 list had Hoge ranked No. 89 nationally and the No. 1 center.
Empey, who's listed at 6-4, 270, was ranked as the No. 14 offensive guard according to 247Sports, as a senior at American Fork High in 2014. He was a three-star recruit on Rivals, Scout and 247Sports. Empey was named to the Coaches’ 5A All-State Team.
While playing for the Cavemen, Empey saw action on the defensive side of the line as well, recording 62 tackles and 3.5 sacks as a senior.
Empey earned Deseret News 5A All-State recognition in 2014. Rivals.com ranked him as the No. 11 player overall in the state of Utah that year.
After high school, Empey served a LDS mission in Portugal. Prior to his mission, Empey had committed to Utah, before his dad was hired as BYU’s offensive line coach in 2016.