BYU Football: 5 Biggest Holes in the Roster Cougars Must Fill for 2013

Samuel Benson@@sambbensonContributor IIIDecember 17, 2012

BYU Football: 5 Biggest Holes in the Roster Cougars Must Fill for 2013

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    With the end of the 2012 season being right around the corner, several Cougars will make their last appearance in blue and white on Thursday. Although there are many seniors that have not even seen the field much in their career, there are many that will be tough to replace next year.

    So, here is a brief list of five players that will leave a lasting impact on the BYU program and will be hard to say goodbye to. From future NFL first-rounders to possible CFL players, here is that list.

    Note: Underclassmen that have not yet decided on an early jump to the NFL (i.e. Cody Hoffman, Kyle Van Noy) will not be included.

5. Braden Hansen, OL

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    Height/Weight: 6'6", 307 lbs.

    Hometown: Sandy, Utah

    Other than his redshirt year, Braden Hansen has only missed two games in his BYU career (because of injury). Despite making a difficult switch from guard to center earlier this year, Hansen was placed on Phil Steele's Midseason All-Independent First Team.

4. Brandon Ogletree, LB

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    Height/Weight: 5'11", 228 lbs.

    Hometown: McKinney, Texas

    2012 Stats: 92 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 4 pass deflections

    Brandon Ogletree will be a tough guy to replace, as both he, Uona Kaveinga and possibly Kyle Van Noy will leave BYU's linebacker unit. With a whopping 92 tackles on the year, Ogletree has helped turn the Cougar defense unto an unstoppable unit.

3. Riley Stephenson, P

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    Height/Weight: 6'0", 205 lbs.

    Hometown: St. George, Utah

    2012 Stats: 51 punts for 2,413 yards, average of 47.3 yards, 26 punts for 50-plus yards

    It's not very often when a punter is one of a team's best players, but Justin Sorenson is just that. Despite being very underrated, even by Cougar fans, Stephenson was named to the Associated Press and All-America Second Teams, while being named the Independent Special Teams Player of the Year.

2. Preston Hadley, CB

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    Height/Weight: 6'0", 200 lbs.

    Hometown: Pleasant Grove, Utah

    2012 Stats: 58 tackles, 7 pass deflections, 1 interception

    Although Preston Hadley may have lived in the shadow this year of Ezekiel Ansah and Kyle Van Noy, he did his part in the secondary and led the cornerbacks in tackles and pass deflections. Although he may not have a future in the NFL, Hadley will be tough to replace.

1. Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah, DE

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    Height/Weight: 6'6", 270 lbs.

    Hometown: Accra, Ghana

    2012 Stats: 57 tackles, 13 for loss, 6 QB hurries, 4.5 sacks

    Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah may not only be the hardest player to replace, but he is probably the biggest. Standing at 6'6", he has incredible speed for his size, clocking a 21.9-second 200-yard dash. Ansah is projected to be drafted in the latter end of the first round of the NFL draft, and he could make a living as a defensive end or linebacker.