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BYU football coach Kalani Sitake excited for Zach Wilson and other players at NFL draft

Head coach Kalani Sitake talks to reporters after Brigham Young University football practice in Provo on Friday, March 6, 2020. Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY – BYU head football coach Kalani Sitake said the atmosphere in Cleveland, Ohio over the past day has been “crazy” as he attends his first NFL draft. 

“There’s a lot of energy and excitement,” Sitake told Utah’s Morning News with Tim and Amanda on KSL Newsradio. “It just shows you how big time the NFL is and I’m just really excited for all these young men that have their opportunity to get drafted and even sign free agent opportunities to play in the NFL.


Sitake and a group of other BYU coaches are in Cleveland to support their former quarterback Zach Wilson who is widely projected as the No. 2 overall pick which currently belongs to the New York Jets. 

Wilson and the Jets

So how does Sitake view his former QB-1 possibly heading to play in the Meadowlands?

“There’s a lot of movement going on and it’s not really done until it’s set in stone when he does get drafted,” he said.  “Whatever team decides to pick him is definitely going to be a bigger market than what we have in Salt Lake City and Provo, but I know he will do well.”

Zach Wilson, BYU Football Coaches Arrive In Cleveland For 2021 NFL Draft – KSL SPORTS

Sitake said Wilson sets high expectations for himself, and he is sure the former Cougar quarterback will be able to handle the pressure that his future coaches will put on him.

“Looking at the way he prepares for games, the way he prepares for everything, they love the way he works. I’m so excited for him and I can’t wait for tonight when he gets drafted, and hear his name,” said Sitake.

Helping players fulfill their dreams

Wilson isn’t the only BYU Cougar Sitake has that’s hoping to land on an NFL roster during the draft. 

“The difficult thing about it is I’m losing three guys that are foregoing their senior year,” said Sitake.  That includes wide receiver Dax Milne and offensive tackle Brady Christensen along with Wilson.

Then the coach added, “This is my job and this is what I’m expected to do is to get these young men to fulfill their dreams and live out their dreams and a lot of that has to do with getting that opportunity to play at the next level.”

Beyond the field, Sitake said he’s even more excited to see how his players become great contributors to the community after college and football.

Sports writers predict which Utahns will be selected in the 2021 NFL Draft

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