PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Isaac Rex first made a name for himself in 2020, when he caught 12 touchdowns, tied for the second most by a BYU tight end in school history. But since then, Rex has battled injuries, most notably a broken ankle in the USC game in 2021. But he says he’s near 100 percent now.

“I feel a lot healthier,” Rex said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “At this point last year, I was really struggling day to day. Right now, I barely feel any pain in my ankle, and I’ve been playing well and moving around. It’s a long time coming, but I feel good.”

Following in the footsteps of Matt Bushman, Dennis Pitta, Jonny Harline, Chad Lewis, Itula Mili, Clay Brown, Gordon Hudson, all the incredible tight ends BYU has produced, Rex has the ability to be among the greats. In fact, with 21 career scores, Rex is 12 touchdowns behind the all-time leader Cody Hoffman, and Rex has two years of eligibility remaining.

But he can’t go into the season fearful of another injury.

“You try not to put too much emphasis on it,” Rex said. “I believe that your body reacts to what you think about and what you expand on. So if you believe that you’re healthy and feeling good, then your body will react that way.”

Rex’ good friend and fellow tight end Mason Wake had to retire from football because of too many injuries to his body.

“It’s pretty sad,” Rex said. “We came in together. Mason is my boy. I’ve been friends with him since the day he walked in the room. I love Mason and wish him the best of luck. His body just couldn’t take it anymore.”

Rex has spent training camp building chemistry with new quarterback Kedon Slovis, and he likes where the offense is right now.

“I feel like we definitely need these last two weeks to get ready,” Rex said. “We’re ready maybe in a physical standpoint, but we still have to get there mentally a little bit more.”

Even though this will be Rex’ fifth year in the program, he is only a junior and will have another year eligibility. But he says it has flown by.

“It definitely goes by fast,” Rex said. “I feel like I just got here sometimes. I still get nervous sometimes before games, butterflies inside your stomach. But I don’t take it for granted, because there are a lot of times where it can end pretty quickly.”

Rex and the Cougars will kick off the 2023 season September 1st against Sam Houston State.