BYU linebacker Max Tooley waited until the day after the start of the early national signing period to announce he would return to BYU for a sixth season in 2023.
Tooley announced his return with a hype video on Twitter, not only announcing his return but also noting his excitement as the Cougars join the Big 12 in 2023.
Tooley began his career with BYU in 2018 as a redshirt. Thanks to the COVID eligibility waiver, he can play a sixth season for the Cougars.
Tooley had one of his best games of the season in a Big 12 preview in September, as BYU took on Baylor for the second straight season, this time in Provo, Utah, a game that completed a home-and-home series.
He tied a career-high with 13 tackles in BYU’s 26-20 double-overtime win over then-No. 9 Baylor. The Baylor game marked Tooley’s third-career double-digit tackle outing.
At one point in 2022 he was tied for the lead for interceptions among linebackers with Vanderbilt’s De’Rickey Wright and ULM’s Tristan Driggers. He picked off that third pass in a game against Notre Dame, during which he also had 13 tackles.
For the season, Tooley had 57 tackles, one sack and three interceptions under coach Kalani Sitake.
Sitake has coached BYU for seven seasons, and the former Cougars player has a record of 56-34 with a 4-2 record in bowl games. The Cougars won the New Mexico Bowl to finish 8-5. In 2020 he led the Cougars to an 11-1 record, followed by a 10-3 2021.
BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF will join the Big 12 on July 1, 2023.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard