With NFL training camps gaining momentum for the 2020-2021 season, Aleva Hifo, a former Heritage High School football standout, who went on to play the last four years at Brigham Young University, is competing to crack the 55-man roster for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Hifo was a three-star recruit out of Menifee and gained attention from former Brigham Young University offensive coordinator, Ty Detmer, as a true freshman for his playmaking abilities. In four years with the Cougars, Hifo had 118 receptions for 1,336 yards and seven touchdowns. For the first three years of his career at the university, he was also one of the Cougars primary kick return specialists.
In 2019, Hifo was the university’s top punt return specialist and excelled as a slot receiver as an upperclassman. He had 42 receptions for 483 yards and three touchdowns during his senior year and added two rushing touchdowns that year as well. One of Hifo’s signature moments was a 70-yard touchdown reception against Western Michigan University in the 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl where he was able to showcase his speed.
As for the Superbowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs, where Hifo recently signed as an undrafted free agent, he has his work cut out for him. The Chiefs have an explosive offense, and the Menifee native is going to have to make a huge impression at the wide receiver position. Head coach Andy Reid played offensive line for Brigham Young University from 1978-1980, so he is no stranger to looking to the university for prospects to add to his roster. Current Chiefs safety Daniel Sorenson signed out of the university as a undrafted free agent in 2014 and has been an impact player over the course of his NFL career at that position.
The Chiefs have a strong group at wide receiver, not having lost anyone this offseason. Tyreek Hill is the leader of the pack with Sammy Watkins serving as a strong second wide receiver, followed by Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson. Byron Pringle serves as a nice fifth option, but he is not a lock to make the roster.
That arrangement opens two or three spots for players competing to make the 55-man roster, and obviously Aleva Hifo is looking to fill one of those vacant spots. As an unsigned rookie, he is competing for a spot on either the roster or practice squad and reports out of camp state that he has shown versatility to do several things on the football field. Another option for Hifo could be on special teams, as he returned kickoffs during his college career. For now, the Chiefs have Hardman and Hill as their return men, and while Hill is still really good at it, the chances of him getting injured increase the more he’s on the field. He is most needed as the starting wide receiver and that is why finding another player to return kicks and/or punts is vital. Hifo could be that guy.
The Chiefs will open their preseason schedule Saturday, Aug. 15, against the Bengals, where fans should see Hifo get adequate playtime over the course of the four non-record recording games. From there, fans from the valley will certainly be watching for the former Heritage Patriot on the field when the regular NFL season starts Thursday, Sept. 10, against the Texans. For more information on the Kansas City Chiefs, visit www.chiefs.com.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at email@example.com.