C James Empey, BYU
HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL): American Fork, UT (American Fork)
247 RATING: .8491
POSITION RANK: 10
GAMES PLAYED/STARTED: 26/26
GAMES PLAYED/STARTED: 13/13
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James Empey Breakdown
Over the last couple years, people said BYU’s offensive line is good “for young guys.” Expectations were exceeded, but only because there weren’t many that thought this group could play at a high level. James Empey and the rest of the line took that as a challenge, and now those young guys are rising up NFL draft boards. Now they’re just good, for guys any age.
BYU tends to get overlooked because their schedule puts them behind the eight ball, but the Cougars have a number of talented players that can dominate. A former freshman All-American, Empey’s been on the college football radar for some time now.
His success stems from his strength. Great total body strength allows him to win any matchup, and gives him the flexibility to adjust even if he’s caught out of position and losing the leverage battle. Adding some more power to his attack would help him win more easily, and would also help him jab at his defender to help him reset his pad level. When he’s losing the battle up front, it’s because he gets too high. Staying low would obviously help the most, but adding power would help him recover from standing up too tall.
Another thing that jumps out is his athleticism. Empey can get to the second and third level with ease, as well as pull out in space. He’s quick enough to get out and run, and he doesn’t labor when doing so. He’ll need to work on his angles and adjustments when the guy he’s trying to block takes a different path, but he’s dominant when he meets a linebacker or defensive back. BYU relies on Empey and the offensive line for a lot. With inconsistent play at quarterback, their success becomes even more important. After two years of experience, Empey’s looking to take his game, as well as the rest of the line, to a new level.