PROVO — The holiday season hasn’t been kind to the BYU football program, with the Cougars losing 38-34 to Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve and fifth-year graduate transfer Ty’Son Williams announcing he was entering the NFL draft.

But on Friday night, the Cougars got some welcome news. Star tight end Matt Bushman, BYU’s leading pass-catcher in 2019, announced on his Instagram account that he plans to return for his senior season in 2020.

“After thought and consideration, I have chosen to stay for my senior year. I’m excited for the future,” Bushman wrote.

A family member confirmed the announcement was legitimate.

Bushman caught 47 passes for a career-high 688 yards this past season, with four touchdowns and a long of 44. He will be BYU’s leading returning pass-catcher in yards and receptions because seniors Micah Simon, Talon Shumway and Aleva Hifo will all be departing the program.

The only other tight end to catch a pass for BYU in 2019, Moroni Laulu-Pututau (nine catches, 124 yards) is also graduating.

The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Bushman caught six passes for 91 yards in the Hawaii Bowl. He now has 125 catches for 1,719 yards and nine touchdowns in his BYU career.

Bushman, who is married to former BYU great Chad Lewis’ daughter, Emily, ranks seventh in most receiving categories for a tight end in school history.

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The other BYU junior who is regarded as a possibility to forgo his senior season and turn professional, defensive tackle Khyiris Tonga, has yet to let his future intentions be known.