Commentary: The 15 best pass-catching tight ends in BYU football history

Published: Wednesday, July 3 2013 12:03 p.m. MDT

None of BYU's famed quarterbacks would’ve succeeded without great wide receivers, tight ends and pass-catching running backs. In part two of this three-part series, I look back and analyze the best tight ends in BYU history.

Coming up with a list of 15 guys wasn’t all that difficult. A large separation exists between the good tight ends and the great tight ends at BYU. Ranking them, however, was a different story entirely.

Before beginning, an honorable mention must go to Mike Pistorius (1971-1973). He was the Cougars’ first real weapon at tight end catching passes. In his short stint in Provo, Pistorius caught 53 passes for almost 800 yards.

The tight ends are ranked only by their abilities in the receiving game — it has nothing to do with their abilities as blockers. The stats also include bowl games.

Here's my breakdown of the 15 best pass-catching tight ends in BYU football history, beginning with Daniel Coats.

Jay Yeomans is a deseretnews.com contributor based out of Sandy, Utah.

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West Point , UT

I immediately thought Gordon Hudson & Dennis Pitta have to be one and two. BYU has had some amazing TEs over the years...more than just a QB factory. Also had some amazing LBs. Fun article to read. I remember listening to the radio and Gordon Hudson & Jimmy Mac when I was 5 years old or so. Then watching the Cougs play Georgia in 1982 when I lived there and fell in love with the Dawgs. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

West Columbia, TX


It is fun and amazing to walk back in time.

"The Chow"
Sandy, UT

It has always been a delight to watch how the tight ends are used to pick apart the defensive secondary. Coupled with backs coming out of the backfield, it makes the offense much more fun to watch. Personally I would have picked Dennis Pita as #1. Thanks for the summary.

let's roll

Fun list. Thanks for stirring up the great memories engendered by these pass catchers.

I do nominate an honorary 16th member to your list. Truthfully, the "best pass-catching tight end in BYU history" is Todd Christensen.

I acknowledge that he was a FB and not a TE while he was at BYU hence the "honorary" moniker, but as a tight end in the NFL, he clearly set himself apart as a great pass catcher.

Billy Budd
Saint George, UT

I especially like Pitta because he came as a walk-on and left after becoming a major contributor.

Wilsonville, OR

My all-time hero is Chad Lewis. He block a field goal attempt by Notre Dame early in the third quarter from within close range that seemed to be the turning point of BYU's first victory over the Irish.

pendleton, OR

I would like the list to include years in the NFL.

Enid, OK

Harline was named to FIVE All-American lists.

And yet....he wasn't drafted.

Doesn't make sense to me. Not at all.

I will say, to end on a happier note, that I was there at the 2006 BYU-Utah game. Southwest corner of the field, about 35-40 rows up. I got the BYU crowd around me to yell "Here we Cougars! Here we go!" with a double foot stomp at the end of each cheer as we marched down the field on that game winning drive.

Absolute euphoria when Harline caught that pass.


Thank you Johnny Harline, and thank yout to ALL the fantastic tight-ends BYU has produced over the years. From a diehard Cougar fan who bleeds Cougar blue!

Bountiful, UT

*sigh*...I miss the TE in the BYU offense. Pitta seems like a long time ago.

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