Marco Garcia, Associated Press
Rice running back Emmanuel Esukpa (33) runs away from the Hawaii defense for a touchdown during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Honolulu. The BYU backfield added some depth, as head coach Kalani Sitake announced Wednesday that graduate transfer Emmanuel Esukpa has joined the program.

SALT LAKE CITY — The BYU backfield added some depth, as head coach Kalani Sitake announced Wednesday that graduate transfer Emmanuel Esukpa has joined the program.

Esukpa, a 5-foot-11, 232-pound running back, heads to BYU from Rice. He will be eligible to play next season, with one year remaining as a redshirt senior.

Esukpa reunites with BYU running backs coach AJ Steward. The duo worked together at Rice from 2015-17.

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“We are excited to have Emmanuel come to BYU,” Sitake said in a news release. “He has good size, speed and experience and is a great fit as a person and a player for our program. He knows Coach Steward well from their time together at Rice, and he really wants to be here. We’re looking forward to welcoming Emmanuel to our team.”

Esukpa had 196 carries for 778 yards and six touchdowns during his career at Rice, with a single-game high of 173 yards against Prairie View A&M last season. He also had 104 rushing yards against Hawaii.

Esukpa best season was last year when he had 461 yards and three touchdowns on 122 carries.