BYU vs South Florida Live

BYU vs South Florida Live Starting strong safety Ammon Hannemann following in his brothers’ footsteps
Former Lone Peak High star didn’t pout or complain when cornerback Micah Harper was moved to safety — instead he went to work


BYU defensive back Ammon Hannemann (22) hits UAB wide receiver Ryan Davis during Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. Hannemann has an athletic pedigree.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Competing has been in Ammon Hannemann’s blood since the day he was born.

He joined an athletic family that included four older brothers who would go on to play college football and/or professional baseball or become fire knife dancers in Hawaiian luaus.

His parents, Howard and Mindy Hannemann, were outstanding high school athletes growing up in Hawaii (Howard) and Southern California (Mindy), respectively, and encouraged their five sons and one daughter, Shay, to compete aggressively before they could walk.

So when the fourth-year sophomore who started four games at strong safety for the BYU Cougars last year learned that it wasn’t a given he would be the Day 1 starter in 2022, he didn’t pout or complain.

He went to work.

It appears that hard work has paid off.

When BYU’s depth chart for next Saturday’s season-opener at USF is released Monday, Ammon Hannemann almost certainly will get the nod as the Cougars’ starting strong safety, running alongside veteran free safety Malik Moore.

“I would like to think I go into the first game as a starter, along with Malik, back there,” Hannemann told the Deseret News on Tuesday. “But I am not taking anything for granted. Camp just barely finished. I haven’t seen anything official yet.”

It would be fitting, considering the Hannemann name has become synonymous with BYU sports. Oldest brother Jacob Hannemann redshirted on BYU’s football team in 2012, then played so well for BYU’s baseball team the following spring that the Chicago Cubs picked him in the third round of the Major League Baseball draft. 

Jacob Hannemann played in the Cubs and Seattle Mariners organizations until 2019. Second-oldest brother Kyle played football for Southern Utah University, while third-oldest brother Micah played safety and cornerback for BYU in 2012 and from 2015-17 before some brief stints in pro football.

Howard and Mindy’s fourth son, Seth, gave up football after sustaining three season-ending injuries in high school, but is said to be the best luau performer as part of his father’s Samoan ancestry.

“I’ve got a lot to live up to,” Ammon acknowledged.

He is well on his way, especially if he can avoid the injury bug that plagued his older brothers. Already, it has bitten him twice.

After graduating from Lone Peak High, as all his siblings did, Ammon served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Roseville, California. He redshirted in 2019.

In 2020, he tore his meniscus in spring camp, rehabbed through the summer, and then tore it again right before the season.

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