BYU football’s JJ Nwigwe trained all summer to be an offensive tackle. Now he’s catching passes

PROVO — BYU junior JJ Nwigwe has always been an offensive lineman. He had never caught a pass in his life — until the first day of fall camp a couple of weeks ago.

As usual, Nwigwe spent the entire offseason honing his skills as an offensive tackle. Then, when he took the field on the first day of practices in preparation for the 2017 season, “I didn’t see my name on the list with the O-line,” Nwigwe said. “We started running plays, and they said, ‘JJ, hop in right here at tight end.’ I was like, ‘OK, I guess that’s where I’m playing now.’”

At one point, early in fall camp, Nwigwe lined up at tight end, ran a route and caught a pass. As a result, his teammates yelled, cheered and celebrated like crazy.

“In my head, I’m running my route, thinking, ‘The quarterback is probably going to throw it to me.’ Then he actually threw it to me, and I kept thinking, ‘Please don’t drop it. Please don’t drop it. Please don’t drop it,’” Nwigwe recalled. “I caught it. I was confused about what to do with the ball when I caught it. (Tight ends) coach (Steve) Clark yelled, ‘Run to the end zone!’ It was really cool to have the whole team get hyped when I caught the ball. It was really nice.”

For now, Nwigwe is a hybrid offensive tackle and tight end. He wears No. 96 when he’s a tight end (the same number of former BYU All-America and NFL All-Pro Chad Lewis) and No. 65 when he’s an offensive lineman.

“I’m in good company with Chad Lewis,” said the 6-foot-5, 275-pound junior from Rockwell, Texas. “I hope I don’t do too bad, wearing his number.”

Offensive coordinator Ty Detmer is eager to take advantage of Nwigwe’s abilities.

“He’ll have a …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

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