Local recruiting: Former Highland star Hoge transfers to BYU

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He will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2017 season per NCAA rules.

Hoge is the nephew of current ESPN NFL analyst Merril Hoge, who spent time as a running back for the Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers. He played in six games for the Fighting Irish in 2016 and was was named the 2015 Notre Dame Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year.

At Highland High in Idaho, Hoge was rated as the No. 48 player nationally and the No. 2 offensive guard on the Scout 300 list.

He was ranked as the No. 1 center in the nation and No. 89 overall for his class coming out of Highland High (Pocatello, Idaho), according to 247Sports.

Hoge was named the Idaho Gatorade Football Player of the Year in 2013 as a junior at Highland.

"Out of high school, Hoge was a four-star prospect as a first-team offensive lineman on the 2015 Parade Prep All-America squad and a first-team offensive tackle on USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA Football Team in 2014". Hoge earned the honor for the second consecutive season as a senior while leading the Rams to a 12-0 record and 5A state championship.

With Hoge out of the lineup Notre Dame must find an answer at center behind Mustipher, both in the short term and long term.

He is the cousin of BYU quarterback Beau Hoge and is listed at 6-foot-4, 303-pounds.

While playing for the Cavemen, Empey saw action on the defensive side of the line as well, recording 62 tackles and 3.5 sacks as a senior.

The Cougars also announced the return of missionary James Empey. He was also recruited by Oregon State, Utah, Washington and Washington State.

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