PROVO — BYU receivers coach Ben Cahoon spent 13 seasons in the Canadian Football League and became the CFL's all-time receptions leader.
He knows talent when he sees it.
On Tuesday, Cahoon said that Cougar junior wideout Cody Hoffman is "without a doubt" good enough to play in the National Football League.
Hoffman is contemplating the possibility of skipping his senior season and declaring himself eligible for the NFL draft in April.
While Cahoon said he has talked to NFL scouts about Hoffman's strengths and weaknesses, he hasn't had a conversation with Hoffman about leaving school early.
"He's got to make that decision himself," Cahoon said. "He's got to make an educated decision. That will be a private conversation we have, if we have it, if he seeks out my advice — and he might not. He's good enough to play in the NFL. I think another year would be good for him to polish some things up and to improve some things that will help his stock."
Cahoon, who played at BYU from 1996-'97, said his situation as a player was much different from Hoffman's.
"I had no choices. He's going to have some choices. My choice was to beg for somebody to give me a shot," he said. "He's going to have to decide whether he's going to enjoy another year of school, whether he feels he's ready to go to the next level, or whether he needs to work a little bit more, whether he wants to come back and lead our team next year. Those are all tough decisions. I could totally understand if he went either way. I hear that he's 50-50, and I think that's a fair thing for him to say."
Hoffman, who caught a career-high 12 passes for 182 yards — and a school-record five touchdowns — in the Cougars' 50-14 victory over New Mexico State on Nov. 24, is climbing the all-time receiving charts at BYU. He's No. 4 in career receptions (193) and No. 6 in career receiving yards (2,604).
Hoffman's five TDs at New Mexico State gave him 28 for his career, good for No. 3 in school history, and just two behind the all-time leader, Austin Collie.
ALL-AMERICA HONORS: BYU punter Riley Stephenson and linebacker Kyle Van Noy continued to add to their postseason honors Tuesday.
Stephenson was named to the Associated Press All-America second team, while Van Noy earned third-team honors.
It marks the first time the Cougars have had more than one AP All-America selection since 1989, when Bob Davis, Mo Elewonibi and Chris Smith accomplished the feat.
BYU's most recent AP All-America was Dennis Pitta in 2009.
Stephenson is No. 2 in the nation in punting, averaging 47.31 yards per attempt. He has 26 punts that have traveled at least 50 yards and 24 that have landed inside the 20-yard line.
Van Noy is No. 11 in the country in sacks with 11. He is also No. 13 in tackles-for-loss, with 18 for minus-110 yards.
Also Tuesday, Stephenson was named to Sports Illustrated's All-America second team and Van Noy and Hoffman were named honorable mention.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company