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BYU Football: 5 Players Headed for Breakout 2014 Seasons

BYU Football: Players Headed for Breakout 2014 Seasons

BYU Football Taysom Hill Heisman
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

With a bevy of talented returning players and a more favorable schedule (ranked 73rd according to Phil Steele), Taysom Hill and the BYU Cougars are looking to have a special season in 2014. Here are five players who could break out and have major impact on the team's success.

5. Jordan Leslie

Jordan Leslie BYU Cougars
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

5. Jordan Leslie

Jordan Leslie BYU Cougars
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Transfer players rarely come in and set the world on fire for their new teams, but former UTEP wideout Jordan Leslie could be one of the exceptions. The Houston native comes to Provo with 125 receptions, 2,015 yards and 15 TDs to his credit.

4. Algernon Brown

Algie Brown BYU Cougars
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

4. Algernon Brown

Algie Brown BYU Cougars
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Cougars should have a dominant rushing attack once again, led by Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams. Another player who could jump out and make big contributions from the backfield is Algie Brown. The sophomore is a punishing back who can run with power and speed, as well as provide quality blocking for the BYU offense.

3. Alani Fua

Alani Fua BYU Cougars
Jim Urquhart-USA TODAY Sports

3. Alani Fua

Alani Fua BYU Cougars
Jim Urquhart-USA TODAY Sports

His speed from the linebacker position combined with some added size (up nearly 15 pounds from last season) could make Alani Fua the next great pass rusher at BYU. Though the team lost a generational player in Kyle Van Noy to the NFL, the linebacking unit could be formidable once again if Fua continues to make plays for the defense.

2. Bronson Kaufusi

Bronson Kaufusi BYU Cougars
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

2. Bronson Kaufusi

Bronson Kaufusi BYU Cougars
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

After playing at defensive end for the Cougars last season, the coaches have elected to move Bronson Kaufusi to outside linebacker. In BYU's 3-4 defense, this should allow him to play more off the edge and complement his natural aggressiveness.

1. Manoa Pikula

Manoa Pikula BYU Cougars
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

1. Manoa Pikula

Manoa Pikula BYU Cougars
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Completing the trio of linebackers set to step up their games for BYU is Manoa Pikula. As the most experienced of the group, the team will lean on Pikula to provide stability and leadership in the wake of Kyle Van Noy's departure. Last season, Pikula had 31 tackles, five TFLs and three sacks. Look for that output to grow as he captains the Cougar defense.

Ryan Aston covers the Utah Jazz for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @MrMaryKateOlsen or add him to your network on Google.