PROVO — Chris Wilcox has provided one of the better stories within the BYU defensive ranks this season, but due to a season-ending injury sustained in the Cougars' loss to Boise State, that story will be postponed until 2019.
BYU coach Kalani Sitake confirmed Monday that Wilcox was indeed done for the season after being assisted off the field with an apparent leg injury. Sitake also mentioned the injury will likely not require surgery, but will keep the junior cornerback out for the remainder of the season — even if the Cougars reach a bowl game.
Wilcox has played a big role in the Cougar pass defense and has settled in well after some ups and downs through his first two years with the team. Sitake mentioned the injury hurts because of Wilcox's starting status, but expressed confidence in those who will be asked to fill in.
"We have a lot of new guys who need to step up and there's an opportunity," Sitake said.
Listed as the starting cornerback opposite Michael Shelton on Monday's depth chart was D'Angelo Mandell, a freshman who has seen plenty of playing time over the course of the year. Others asked to step up and take more reps are freshmen Keenan Ellis and even Isaiah Herron, who has been limited recently due to his own injury issues.
Sitake would not confirm the exact nature of Wilcox's injury but did mention it's an injury to his lower leg. "It's a play I wish didn't happen because he's been playing so well," Sitake said.
UP IN THE BOOTH: Those paying close attention to Saturday's loss to Boise State may have noticed offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes wasn't in his usual sideline spot, but rather was up in the booth making play calls from that perspective.
"That was his decision and offensively I think (the offensive coaches) were looking to see things from a different perspective for him," Sitake said. "He's a guy who has never really been in the box before as a coach and I think it gives him a different view for all of it ... I think it worked out really well."
JUCO POSSIBILITIES: One aspect clearly missing from most BYU recruiting classes of late has been junior college transfers. Once a common feature in the program, coaches have largely opted to look elsewhere for incoming talent.18 comments on this story
For next season there appears to be an immediate need for talent at running back, with Sitake addressing the recruitment of a possible juco running back on Monday.
"We have to work out admissions, but we're actively pursuing the best players we can get," Sitake said. "We have a good core of guys right now, but if we can get a great one, then they're more than welcome ... Junior college is not out of the question. There's standards when it comes with academics, so yeah, we can, but not all of them are eligible."