One of the breakout stars this bowl season has been linebacker Kyle Van Noy of the BYU Cougars. His performance in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl against the San Diego State Aztecs had many thinking he might make the leap this spring the NFL. However, the junior defensive star has announced he will return to Provo for his senior season.
Van Noy led the Cougars’ No. 3 ranked defense with 13 sacks, 22 tackles for loss, eight quarterback hurries, six forced fumbles (a school-record), two interceptions, two blocked kicks, a fumble recovery and two touchdowns. He is also the only player in college football to record a stat in every major defensive category in each of the last two seasons.
In the Poinsettia Bowl, the junior broke open the game and took BYU to victory nearly on his own. He made eight tackles on the night with 1.5 sacks while blocking a punt, forcing a fumble, making an interception and scoring two touchdowns. It was the kind of performance that caused him to jump up a lot of draft boards as he put his incredible versatility on display.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Van Noy was told he would be drafted in the first or second round, but decided instead to return to school and “finish what I started.”
“It may shock some people but there are still things to accomplish and I want to stay. I want to get better at the college level and I want to help people.”
Van Noy joins fellow junior Cody Hoffman, a wide receiver, in returning for a senior campaign. Hoffman led the team this season with 100 catches for 1,248 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The news is huge for BYU, who looks to return a stout defense again next season as they play early season games against the Virginia Cavaliers, Texas Longhorns and Utah Utes and will use any continuity they can get to start strong in 2013.