BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall once compared fullback Iona Pritchard to the great Manase Tonga, a mainstay on those strong Cougar teams in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009.
But a massive knee and ankle injury derailed Pritchard’s career after he returned from a church mission to the Marshall Islands, and the Bingham High product has never quite lived up to Mendenhall’s billing.
Thursday night, Pritchard called me during his honeymoon in Hawaii and confirmed that he is leaving the BYU football program. He said he has graduated with a degree in philosophy and a minor in business and will play his final season of eligibility at Oregon State.
Pritchard’s younger brother, Baker, transferred to OSU from BYU earlier this year.
"I just wanted the opportunity to play with my brother my last year," Iona Pritchard said.
Because he has graduated (he took 20 credit hours last semester to accomplish the feat), Iona Pritchard will be immediately eligible to play for the Beavers. He believes he will likely play linebacker, but obviously has a lot of experience at fullback if OSU coaches need him to play there.
Pritchard’s new bride is a BYU law school graduate.
As a junior last season, Pritchard appeared in 10 games, but caught just three passes for 15 yards and carried the ball just twice, for five yards.
Also Friday, BYU confirmed that sophomore backup QB Billy Green has asked for a release. That request has been granted. Green is a 6-2, 200-pounder from Woodway, Wash., who was kind of a surprise signing back in 2013. He was a member of the scout team in 2013, then saw his redshirt burned when he entered the Idaho State game very late in the game.
Green's destination is not known at this time.
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