Everyone looks forward to payday and being rewarded for their work.
For former BYU linebacker Fred Warner, that came on Wednesday — and included a LOT of zeroes.
According to the Associated Press and other sources, Warner signed a five-year contract extension that makes him the “highest-paid off-ball” linebacker in the NFL.
Sources said that “the extension that runs through 2026 is worth about $95 million with $40.5 million in guarantees. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t announced the deal yet.”
ESPN first reported the deal.
Coach Kyle Shanahan said during the offseason program that he planned to have Warner around “forever” and this new deal helps achieve that goal.
The former third-round pick has developed into one of the top all-around linebackers in the league after being drafted in the third round in 2018.
Warner made an immediate impact, starting all 48 games since entering the league. He helped San Francisco make it to the Super Bowl in his second season and then earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2020.
Warner is a skilled all-around linebacker, thriving in coverage and against the run. The 54% completion rate he allowed last season when targeted as the nearest defender ranked the best in the NFL among the linebackers targeted at least 20 times, according to NFL NextGen stats.
In three seasons, Warner has 21 passes defensed, three interceptions, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, 15 tackles for loss and four sacks.
Cougars add another quarterback
Although Nick Billoups arrived as a walk-on at BYU earlier in the month, the former University of Utah’s transfer became public on Wednesday.
His Twitter account, @_nickbilloups, now lists “BYU Quarterback” on its profile and he responded to comments about being a Cougar by saying thing like “excited to get to work!”
While BYU has a trio of guys battling for the starting job, Billoups will provide key depth for the unit. He officially has five years to play four and might also move to another position. He did play safety for the Utes last spring.
Allgeier named preseason Doak Walker award candidate
The PwC SMU Athletic Forum today released the preseason candidates for the 2021 Doak Walker Award, naming BYU running back Tyler Allgeier among the contenders for the annual honor presented to the nation’s top running back.
Allgeier, a sophomore in eligibility after last year’s Covid season, burst onto the national scene in 2020 in his first year as a starter at running back for BYU, rushing for 1,130 yards to rank No. 8 in the nation and No. 1 among players with 150 attempts or less. Allgeier received 2020 Phil Steele All-America honorable mention after helping BYU go 11-1 and finish ranked No. 11 last season. The 5-11, 220-pound back ranked No. 3 nationally for the most runs of 30 or more yards while averaging 7.53 yards per carry, which was No. 7 in the country and tops among all sophomores.
A native of Fontana, California, Allgeier scored 13 touchdowns, including an 86-yard gallop at Boise State, to achieve the eighth-best single-season touchdown total in BYU history and rank No. 10 in the nation for rushing scores last year. He added 14 receptions for 174 yards as a receiver, averaging 12.4 yards per catch, while his 118.5 all-purpose yards per game was tops for BYU in 2020.
Former BYU running back Luke Staley won the Doak Walker Award in 2001 with 1,582 rushing yards and 28 total touchdowns. The award is named for SMU’s three-time All-America running back Doak Walker.
In November, the PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name 10 semifinalists for the 2021 award. The Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will later narrow the candidate field down to three finalists before casting a second vote in December to determine the 2021 winner. The National Selection Committee consists of past recipients, former NFL All-Pro and college All-America running backs, media members and selected special representatives.
Empey recognized for service efforts
In the 30th year of this storied recognition, Allstate and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) today announced official nominees for the 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, recognizing BYU center James Empey as one of 67 FBS candidates for the prestigious team.
Overall, 109 student-athletes from across all NCAA divisions were nominated with stories of exemplary community service, alongside their academic dedication and impact on and off the field.
“I am inspired by these future community leaders and their dedication to improving the world around them. Despite their already busy schedules, these young men have stepped up as champions for change after an unprecedented year,” said Terrance Williams, general manager and executive vice president of Allstate agency sales and the newest member of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team selection committee. “Allstate takes great pride in our partnership with the AFCA, and we are honored to recognize these players and highlight their stories, which too often tend to go unnoticed.”
A team captain and leader on the offensive line for the Cougars, Empey has started in all 34 games he has played over the past three seasons and enters 2021 as a preseason All-American. He has also been an active leader helping serve others off the field, including working with head coach Kalani Sitake’s More to Life Foundation in California and New York over the years. A regular volunteer in the community, Empey organized BYU Football’s involvement with the My Tiny Hero program locally in Utah, raising awareness for congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). In the classroom, Empey is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection who recently graduated with a 3.84 GPA as a finance major with a minor in nonprofit management.