BYU will add a Ute to its roster on National Signing Day

(Rick Bowmer | AP file photo) Utah running back Devonta'e Henry-Cole (7) carries the ball against UCLA in the second half during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Salt Lake City.

Provo • As if the Utah-BYU rivalry wasn't big enough, there will be an added level of excitement this year when both programs open their season Sept. 3 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

While BYU has already signed the majority of its 2020 class during the Early Signing Day period, there are still a few spots left open that the Cougar staff will look to lock down during the regular National Signing Day on Wednesday. And one of those spots looks to go to Utah transfer Devonta’e Henry-Cole.

After an injury-filled career as a Ute the last four seasons, Henry-Cole will be trading in his crimson red jersey for a royal blue one this fall. The running back made the announcement via his Twitter page Saturday night. During his time at Utah, Henry Cole played in one game as a true freshman, in 2017 he rushed for 279 yards on 55 carries with two touchdowns and then redshirted the 2018 season after suffering an injury during the preseason.

Last season, Henry-Cole rushed for 188 yards on 34 carries with two touchdowns and added three catches for 23 yards and a receiving touchdown.

Henry-Cole will bring experience to a young BYU running back group that dealt with their own fair share of adversity last season, when the Cougars were expecting to be led by grad transfer Ty’Son Williams.

But then Williams suffered a season-ending ACL tear in Game 4 against Washington. Back-up Emmanuel Esupka had his share of injuries throughout the remainder of the season that kept him from filling the role.

The group still includes standouts Sione Finau, Lopini Katoa and Jackson McChesney. Finau got his first action at South Florida, but only ended up playing in five games before suffering his own season-ending ACL tear. In those five games, Finau rushed for 359 yards.

Katoa, with a bigger role in the second half of the season, rushed for a total of 358 yards last year. Redshirt freshman McChesney had a record-breaking performance at UMass, rushing for 228 yards on 15 carries.

With the addition of Henry-Cole, the Cougars have seemingly locked in their running back group for the 2020 season.