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BYU breakout receiver Dax Milne declares for NFL draft, forgoing final collegiate season

Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Dax Milne (5) runs for a gain during the Boca Raton Bowl in Boca Raton, Fla., on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020.

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)



PROVO β€” A day after the team's top lineman did the same thing, BYU's leading wide receiver from 2020 is heading off to professional pastures, as well.

Dax Milne announced Thursday that the 2020 season was his last in Provo, opting for the 2021 NFL Draft in lieu of his senior season of college eligibility.

Milne joins teammate Brady Christensen, a Bountiful High product, in declaring for the draft early, as well as former Utah prep standouts in Stanford's Simi Fehoko (Brighton), USC's Jay Tufele (Bingham) and Oregon's Penei Sewell (Desert Hills).

"My heart is full," Milne wrote in announcing his decision. "The last three years have been a dream come true. The experience I have had playing football for BYU has given me more than I can put into words. It has been such a special place to play the game I love.

"I will forever cherish the memories and relationships I have made with my teammates. Leaving it all on the field with them will be what I miss most. And more importantly, I want to thank my family for always being there for me through it all."

A 6-foot-1, 190-pound wideout who prepped at Bingham High product, Milne had a breakout season in 2020, when he caught 70 passes for 1,188 yards and eight touchdowns while pairing with longtime friend and quarterback Zach Wilson. He also returned punts for the Cougars.

Milne, whose father Darren Milne played baseball at BYU and played professionally in the Detroit Tigers' organization, had all but about 400 yards of his career offensive production come in his senior year for the Cougars, who finished 11-1 with a win over UCF in the Boca Raton Bowl and a top-20 national ranking in every major poll.

"I will forever Rep the Y and give it everything I have to make Cougar Nation proud," Milne said.

A former second-team all-state athlete from South Jordan, Milne passed over scholarship offers from smaller schools β€” including FCS programs like Weber State β€” to walk on at BYU and become the Cougars' 17th 1,000-yard receiver in school history. He was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Trophy and also earned a top-three spot in the Burlesworth Award, given to the most outstanding player in college football whose career began as a walk-on.

In addition to Milne and Christensen, Wilson is also expected to leave early for the NFL. The quarterback has not publicly confirmed those speculations, but he is projected as a first-round pick by multiple NFL draft projectionists, including ESPN's Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr.

Also late Wednesday night, BYU nose tackle Khyiris Tonga confirmed he has signed with NFL representation DEC Management. Tonga, a senior in 2020, had the option to return for another year of eligibility due to NCAA one-time legislation related to the coronavirus pandemic, but opted instead to sign with the same agency that represents former local college standouts Eric Weddle, Cody Barton and Bradlee Anae, among others.

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