Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Brigham Young Cougars Langi Tuifua leaves the field after losing his helmet in Provo on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. BYU won 20-6.

SALT LAKE CITY — BYU is losing depth on its defensive front.

Cougar sophomore defensive end Langi Tuifua announced in an Instagram post late Monday night that he is leaving football for health reasons.

“Sadly, I am unable to continue the sport I love. I have been battling a neck injury over the past year to try to return to football, but it’s just not wise to continue play,” Tuifua wrote. “I love football and all the lessons that it has taught me, but it is time to move on to the next step in life… #byebyefootball.”

The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Tuifua played in just one game last season, after logging seven tackles in 10 games played as a freshman. He also had a fumble recovery during the 2017 season.

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With the Cougars’ sack leader from last year, Corbin Kaufusi with 8.5 sacks, exhausting his eligibility, Tuifua was expected to be in the mix as an edge rusher this season, along with guys like Devin Kaufusi, Trajan Pili, Alden Tofa and Uriah Leiataua.

Tuifua was a prized four-star recruit out of Bingham High who was a part of the Cougars’ 2017 recruiting class, with offers from places like Utah, Oregon and Michigan. He announced his commitment to BYU during the inaugural Polynesian Bowl. “It’s close to home with all of my family,” he said.

Tuifua had 69 tackles and 15.5 sacks during his senior year at Bingham.