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College Player of the Year - Kyle Sumsion

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College Player of the Year - Kyle Sumsion

Kyle Sumsion is Goff Rugby Report’s College Player of the Year.

A tall loose forward who gets around the field and hits about as hard as any player in the country, Sumsion is the captain of BYU, and, as fans know, the Cougars won the Varsity Cup and finished the season ranked #1 by GRR.

As captain of the team he’s the leader of a disparate and talented group of athletes. That, in part, is why he’s our men’s college player of the year. But he also gets the award because he’s just a really good play. How many players are good enough to go play for the USA, then fly in just before the Varsity Cup Final, and play a brilliant game and lead his team to a victory.

“That game started off really well for us,” Sumsion told Goff Rugby Report (we were interviewing him about the final and didn’t tell him we were going to name him player of the year). “We got out to this big lead but we knew Cal is going to give it everything for 80 minutes. I think we did ourselves a bit of a disservice in how we played in the second half. But at the same time, nobody got angry, we all stayed positive. I think that was a big part of how we held on.”

The Cougars held one despite a mistake when they thought the game was over, but had been noticed by referee Kurt Weaver that there was actually more time to go. They kicked the ball into touch to end the game, but that just gave Cal one more lineout.

“The plan was to just run the clock out,” said Sumsion. “It was my fault. I knew there was more time and I should have made sure everyone else knew. But when it happened, and we realized the game wasn’t over, we didn’t get on ourselves. We just said, OK, we have to just keep playing, and that’s what we did.”

All of this happened just a few days after Sumsion was with the USA Selects in South America. That, he said, was a great experience.

“Even the big loss was a great rugby lesson,” said Sunsion. “I was able to come back to Provo and really not miss a beat. But it was a lot of flying, a lot of traveling. But playing rugby at that level was really good.”

Sumsion will graduate this spring and is expected to join LIndenwood-Belleville as a gradate student going for his MBA and assistant coach to the school’s new varsity rugby program. But shorter-term, he is looking at the Rugby World Cup. 

“I am going to train as hard as I can to make the World Cup team,” said Sumsion. “And I hope to play rugby as long as it make sense for me. But looking back, playing rugby at BYU was the best thing that could have happened to me. It was a blessing for me. I don’t think I would have become the player I am if I had gone anywhere else.”

We’re not so sure of that, but we’re glass he’s the payer he is.

Kyle Sumsion is our Aircraft Charter Solutions Men’s College Player of the Year.