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4 with BYU football ties named finalists for national awards

Brigham Young Cougars placekicker Jake Oldroyd warms up before facing the Boise State Broncos in NCAA football in Provo on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019.
BYU Cougars placekicker Jake Oldroyd warms up before facing the Boise State Broncos in NCAA football in Provo on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019.
Ravell Call, Deseret News

Four people with ties to the BYU football program — two current players, one current coach and one former player who is now a coach — are being nationally recognized for their efforts this season.

On Tuesday, Jake Oldroyd was named a finalist for the Lou Groza Award, given to the country’s top kicker, and receiver Dax Milne was named a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy, given to the top player who started his career as a walk-on.

Additionally, offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes and former quarterback Steve Sarkisian, now the offensive coordinator at Alabama, were named finalists for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant coach.

Entering BYU’s appearance in the Boca Raton Bowl Tuesday night, Oldroyd has made all 13 of his field goal attempts this season, the most by an FBS kicker without a miss. Three have come from over 50 yards, which is the most from that distance in a season by any FBS kicker since at least 2004.

Additionally, Oldroyd has gone 53 of 55 on extra point attempts in 2020 and is eighth in points scored in the nation.

Miami’s Jose Borregales and Alabama’s Will Reichard are the other finalists. The award has some recent local flair, as former Utah Utes kicker Matt Gay won it in 2017.

As for Milne, the Bingham High product emerged this season to be quarterback Zach Wilson’s favorite target in what was a high-powered offense. Entering Tuesday, Milne has caught 63 passes for 1,118 yards and eight touchdowns. His yardage total is fourth in the country, his reception total is 11th and his touchdown total is tied for 15th.

Arkansas’ Grant Morgan and Pittsburgh’s Jimmy Morrissey are the other finalists for the Burlsworth Trophy.

Grimes, the third-year offensive coordinator, guided an attack that finished seventh in the country in points per game, eighth in total yards per game and 11th in passing yards per game. In the process, Wilson rose to being one of the best quarterbacks in the nation and is firmly in conversation to be a first-round pick in next spring’s NFL draft.

Sarkisian, who quarterbacked elite BYU teams in the 1990s, has coached an Alabama offense that is second in the country this season in points per game, fifth in total yards per game and fifth in passing yards per game.

Winners of the awards will be announced on Jan. 7.