Provo • Linebacker Zayne Anderson, widely referred to as BYU’s best playmaker on defense, will have surgery on an unspecified injury next week and will miss the remainder of the 2018 season.
Coach Kalani Sitake announced the senior’s status on his weekly television show Tuesday night. Sitake said Anderson has played in only four games this season for the 3-3 Cougars and will take advantage of new NCAA rules regarding redshirts and will count this as his redshirt year.
He will return next season for his final season of eligibility, Sitake said. New rules allow players to participate in up to four games without losing their redshirt year.
Anderson was apparently injured during BYU’s 24-21 win over Wisconsin on Sept. 15. He missed the McNeese State and Washington games, then returned to play in last weekend’s 45-20 loss to Utah State but was not terribly effective “and missed a couple tackles that he usually makes,” defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki said.
Anderson moved from safety to flash linebacker — the position manned last year by Fred Warner of the San Francisco 49ers — last spring and was playing it well before the injury, Tuiaki said.
A product of Stansbury High School in Tooele County, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Anderson has made 36 tackles and one interception this season and has totaled three interceptions in his career.
Meanwhile, BYU might be getting an injured defender back for Saturday’s game against 6-1 Hawaii at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Sitake and Tuiaki said that safety Dayan Ghanwoloku has practiced this week and might play against the Warriors. Ghanwoloku sustained an ankle injury in the Wisconsin game and has not played since.
Linebackers coach Ed Lamb said after practice Tuesday that senior Matt Hadley has moved back to running back after having played linebacker the past two games.
The Cougars are also banged up at running back; Senior Squally Canada and junior Beau Hoge attended practice Tuesday but did not participate due to undisclosed injuries.