BYU – Kavika Fonua, Linebacker, Senior
After bouncing around on the BYU roster for both position and jersey number, Kavika Fonua found a home at linebacker and didn’t waste the opportunity and is now turning into a 2021 NFL Draft prospect.
In his time at BYU, which began in 2014, Fonua was listed as a defensive back and running back before settling in at linebacker. After taking the 2015 season off, being a redshirt in 2017 and then a medical redshirt in 2018, Fonua went off in the 2019 season at the linebacker spot.
Playing in all 13 games, starting 12, Fonua totaled a team-high 83 tackles for the Cougars which was 20 more than the next highest total on the team. Tackles weren’t the only place that Fonua contributed as he filled the stat sheet. He was able to log three tackles for loss, one sack, two interceptions, three pass breakups, one quarterback hurry and one forced fumble.
Having a background in the secondary and then finding a spot as a linebacker has provided Fonua with an interesting skill set that fits the linebacker-safety hybrid mold that we’re seeing more and more of at the NFL level. His versatility makes him an intriguing prospect already. If he can string together two strong seasons, something he hasn’t done yet, then teams will really start paying attention and will try to find ways to add him to their roster.