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64 student-athletes, including Kyle Van Noy, graduate from BYU

Published: Monday, June 29 2015 9:46 p.m. MDT

Kyle Van Noy gets a photo take with his nephew, Brooks Van Noy as former BYU football players take part Friday, March 14, 2014 in the pro day at the indoor practice facility in Provo. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Kyle Van Noy gets a photo take with his nephew, Brooks Van Noy as former BYU football players take part Friday, March 14, 2014 in the pro day at the indoor practice facility in Provo. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

PROVO — During his four years at BYU, linebacker Kyle Van Noy earned All-America honors, made countless memorable plays and became one of the best defensive players in Cougar football history.

But one of the accomplishments he’s most proud of is his graduation.

“It means a lot. It means I sacrificed my time and effort to get an education and to gain knowledge that I will be able to use the rest of my life,” said Van Noy, who graduated in December. “I’m just happy I was able to get a scholarship and be able to use it to the fullest and get an education.”

Overall, 64 BYU student-athletes have graduated from BYU since December, including 10 football players. The following players went through commencement exercises last week at BYU — tight end Kaneakua Friel; defensive backs Preston Hadley (who completed his eligibility in 2012) and Adam Hogan; defensive lineman Eathyn Manumaleuna; wide receiver Skyler Ridley; place kicker Justin Sorensen; and offensive lineman Manaaki Vaitai.

Van Noy, defensive back Mike Hague, and linebacker Austen Jorgensen graduated in December.

Van Noy, who is expected to go in the early rounds of next week’s National Football League draft, said balancing academics and his sport was difficult — but in the end, it was worth the effort.

“It was hard. Going through BYU is hard,” he said. “You can only imagine with a rigorous schedule that a college football player has and the amount of hours he puts in to be an elite player and to be able to graduate speaks volumes in my opinion because it shows how I am as a person.”

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company