James Empey
Offensive Line 66
303 lbs.
American Fork, 
Last School
American Fork High School
Roster Years


  • Parents are Stephanie and Mike Empey
  • Mike also played offensive line at BYU (1987, 91-93), was a team captain as a senior and coached TE and OL at BYU
  • Has three sisters
  • Served LDS mission to Lisbon, Portugal

Before BYU

  • Prepped at American Fork High School under Aaron Behm
  • Was a three-year starter and team captain
  • Helped the Cavemen to a region championship
  • Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune 5A all-state offensive guard in 2014
  • On defense, totaled 62 tackles and 3.5 sacks as a senior in 2014
  • He was also rated the No. 11 overall player in the state of Utah by Rivals.com
  • Recruited by Utah, Washington, Washington State and Oregon State


  • Lisbon , Portugal
BYU Hall of Fame

Freshman Year 2018

  • Named Freshman All-America by 2018 Football Writers Association of America 
  • Named 2018 No. 1 freshman center by Pro Football Focus
  • Played and started all 13 games
  • Named best freshman lineman in the country by Pro Football Focus after the New Mexico State game
  • Between the LYnes web chat in Portuguese at Media Day
Sophmore Year 2019

  • Started all 13 games at center
  • Part of an offensive line unit ranked No. 12 by Pro Football Focus
  • Center for offense that generated 284.7 passing yards per game (No. 26 nationally)
  • Snapped for three different starting quarterbacks
  • 2019 Rimington Trophy watch list nominee
Junior Year 2021

  • Played in and started six games (vs. Arizona, vs. No. 21 Utah, vs. No. 19 Arizona State, vs. Boise State, at Baylor, at Washington State).
  • Led BYU offense to...
    • Scoring 33 points per game.
    • Averaging 452 yards of total offense per game.
    • Converting on 46% of third downs.
    • Scoring on 89% of red zone trips (49 of 55), 75% of which (41) were touchdowns.
    • Allowing just 15 sacks on the season.
  • Named a finalist for the 12th annual Pop Warner College Football Award (honors the difference a player makes on the field, in the classroom and in their community)
  • Named Preseason All-American by Phil Steele and Athlon Sports
  • Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award Semifinalist
  • Wuerffel Trophy Semifinalist
  • NFF William V. Campbell Trophy Semifinalist
  • Rotary Lombardi Award Semifinalist
  • Started in all 41 games he has played over his BYU career
  • Three-time Rimington Award Watch List (2019, 2020, 2021)
  • Two-time Outland Trophy Watch List (2020, 2021)
  • CoSIDA Academic All-District 8
  • Part of Pro Football Network Offensive Line of the Year
Senior Year

Graduate Year

Redshirt Year

  • Ran with the second unit all season
  • Redshirted the 2017 season
Medical Redshirt Year

Junior 2020

  • Played and started eight games
  • 2019 All-Indy center and anchor to BYU’s Joe Moore Semifinalist OL unit in 2020
  • Helped BYU offense rank No. 4 in scoring (43.5) and No. 6 in total offense (522.2)
  • Called protections/blocking for Cougars ranked No. 8 in the nation with 322.1 passing yards per game and ground attack that added 190.1 yards rushing
  • Part of the offensive line that created many explosive play opportunities, helping BYU rank No. 1 for the most plays of 30 or more yards and No. 2 for the most plays of 10+ yards 
  • Named CoSIDA Academic All-District
  • James Empey named Lombardi Semifinalist

    James Empey Lombardi Semifinalist graphic

  • James Empey 2020 at Boise State offensive line

    James Empey 2020 at Boise State offensive line

  • James Empey Wuerffel Trophy semifinalist

    James Empey named Wuerffel Trophy semifinalist

  • James Empey 2021 Witten Man of the Year

    James Empey Witten Man of the Year

  • BYU CoSIDA Academic All-District

    BYU football 2021 CoSIDA Academic All-District

  • James Empey prepares for 2022 NFL Draft

    James Empey NFL Draft.jpg

  • James Empey signs as NFL undrafted rookie free agent

    Signed Empey 1920.jpeg