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Making things better: BYU football’s Tyler Batty setting tone for Cougar defense

By Jared Lloyd - | Aug 16, 2022

Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo

BYU defensive linemen Tyler Batty (right) and Lorenzo Fauatea pose for a photo during practice in Provo on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022.

Are leaders born or made?

On the BYU football team, according to defensive coordinator ‘Ilaisa Tuiaki, the correct answer is both.

“It happens on all units,” Tuiaki said after practice on Tuesday. “You’ve always got a guy or two who stand out a little bit more. Some guys kind of aspire to it and then some guys really just demand the respect and attention and have a little bit more influence. Not all starters are guys who enjoy being in that role. Their leadership’s a little bit more of a follow what this guy is doing, the quiet leadership type. But then there are other guys who do a good job understanding that there’s a lot demanded from them and they show up when they need to in order to set a good example.”

One of the players who as emerged in that role on both the defensive line and on the defense as a whole is former Payson star Tyler Batty.

“When you’re a guy like Tyler who is playing all the snaps, a guy who is producing but also a guy who has influence on the team, you are a leader,” Tuiaki said. “It’s important that influence be used in the right way and he has. For the most part he has been a guy who people will follow, a guy who speaks up and says things need to be said. His voice carries a lot of weight and so I think the boys respond to him in the right way, He’s done a really good job of using his influence to get his head in the right direction.”

For his part, Batty said becoming a leader stemmed from not hesitating to focus on what needed to get done.

“it is probably just my personality,” Batty said. “I see something that I would like to see done differently and then just kind of go after it. I think that’s part of just where I fit in. When I showed up, we had some really good leaders on the team in Troy Warner, Isaiah Kaufusi, Khyiris Tonga, guys all over who set a really good example of to be a leader, how to be vocal and how to get guys to come out and compete. That was good. When I see something that I want to change, I try to do what I can to make it better.”

He said that when he sees something that needs work and pushes to make it happen, it’s “very fulfilling” to see it come together and benefit the team.

“I think that’s something we all seek, to see our contributions make a difference,” Batty said.

Batty’s is an example of how BYU head coach Kalani Sitake wants his team to be, since the Cougar sophomore is helps set the tone. The more that happens, the better the team will be, according to Tuiaki.

“We want the team to be be guided by the team,” Tuiaki said. “The players have a lot of say. We’ve also got a lot of returned missionaries (who serve for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) who come back with a lot more experience. They give two years of their lives and and it’s not just in service of others but it’s in leadership positions. There are a lot of guys who have the ability and know exactly what it is that’s expected of them. We’ve got a lot more of those guys on our team than than most people.”

The goal is to have the players pushing each other to be their best so in turn the team will perform at its best when the season rolls around. Batty said he likes what he is seeing from the Cougar defense to this point in fall camp.

“The defense is looking really good,” Batty said. “Guys are healthy and are flying around. We are feeling good, looking good and making plays. I’m really excited just to have the squad that we have on defense and the way everyone’s playing together right now. Things are clicking. That is really exciting that even with as much time as we have left in fall camp that things are moving as well as they are.”

Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo

BYU defensive lineman Tyler Batty answers questions from reporters after practice in Provo on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022.


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