Harris LaChance didn’t plan on being a member of BYU’s No. 19-ranked football team this year.

Instead, the 6-foot-8, 310-pound offensive lineman believed he would be affiliated with an NFL team, or figuring out what to do with the history degree he earned last December.

But when the Herriman High product sustained a Grade 3 high ankle sprain the third week of the season last year, an injury that caused him to miss the Cougars’ next nine games, his plans obviously changed.

“Wherever I am going to play, I am going to kick some butt. For real. You know what I mean? That’s how I feel. I am happy to play either way. I think it is good, for scouting, because they know I can play both positions as well.” — BYU offensive lineman Harris LaChance

“I am a graduate senior,” LaChance said Wednesday, although he’s listed as a fifth-year junior on BYU’s roster. “I graduated last December. The plan was to leave last year, but I got hurt (against Arizona State). So I came back this year to give it another shot. But this definitely is the last season for me.”

In other words, it is now or never to garner the attention of pro scouts.

LaChance, who had appeared in 32 games before the season started, earned the starting right guard spot for last week’s opener at South Florida, and did well enough to keep the spot for Saturday’s game against No. 9 Baylor at LaVell Edwards Stadium (8:15 p.m. MDT, ESPN).

Offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick said LaChance was BYU’s highest-graded offensive lineman last year in games that he played.

“He was playing as well or better than all of them before he got hurt,” Roderick said. “I had a feeling he was going to find his way into the starting five. And it just so happened that the best way to get the best five on the field was for him to be right guard.”

Oregon transfer Kingsley Suamataia started at right tackle, the position LaChance started at last year, and rotated there with Campbell Barrington.

Roderick said LaChance is so versatile he could play either tackle or guard on either side of the center, Connor Pay.

“Harris is a good football player,” Roderick said. “And we also have a lot of confidence in Brayden Keim. He started against USC last year and is pretty good too. It is a good problem to have.”

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LaChance signed with Utah State out of high school in 2015, but flipped to BYU after a church mission to Nashville, Tennessee, and joined the Cougars in 2018. In five seasons, he’s become one of the most versatile players on the team.

“Wherever I am going to play, I am going to kick some butt,” he said. “For real. You know what I mean? That’s how I feel. I am happy to play either way. I think it is good, for scouting, because they know I can play both positions as well.”

He said he likes playing both spots, as long as it leads to BYU wins.

“At first, it was a little bit awkward to play guard,” he said. “But we are still trying to figure out the best five. We got that rotation at right tackle right now with Kingsley and Campbell. We are figuring that out.”

LaChance got married in 2020 and had a son, Harvey, who was born in February. His profile at BYUCougars.com says he is fluent in Spanish and is the first person in his immediate and extended family to serve a mission and graduate with a college degree.

Why did he major in history?

“I just thought it was really interesting. It kept my mind busy and I was interested in it enough to graduate in it,” he said. “I tried business. I tried communications, but some of the classes were a little bit long for me. 

But history, I always thought was fascinating.”


Cougars on the air

No. 9 Baylor (1-0) at No. 21 BYU (1-0)

Saturday, 8:15 p.m. MDT

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LaVell Edwards Stadium

Provo, Utah

TV: ESPN

Radio: KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM

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