Having shocked most observers with his decision to return to BYU for his senior season rather than declare early for the National Football League draft, linebacker Kyle Van Noy is eager to make the most of his final year of college football.

Van Noy feels he has unfinished business to take care of, and his No. 1 goal is team-oriented.

"Win," Van Noy said when asked what he would like to accomplish in 2013. "I want to get better personally, but I want to win. No one likes to lose. People that know me know I don't like to lose, even in little card games. I don't like losing. The biggest thing is to win games — win the big games."

It's no secret that Van Noy has never beaten archrival Utah. After three consecutive painful losses to the Utes, it's something he would like to change.

"I can't wait," Van Noy said of that showdown Sept. 21 at LaVell Edwards Stadium. "This is a new year. After this year, we won't play them for a while. We're working hard. It will show."

Still, in the spring, he is being limited in his participation. It's not that he's dealing with injuries, or offseason surgeries — it's just a matter of not putting him at risk for injury. And this has provided Van Noy, who earned defensive MVP honors in last December's Poinsettia Bowl by scoring a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns and leading the Cougars to a come-from-behind win over San Diego State, the chance to assist his teammates and focus on various aspects of his game.

"I feel like I need to be more of a leader, but I'm more of a lead-by-example guy," Van Noy said. "I'm going to take that route more. But ultimately, I need to open my mouth more. It will grow over the year. It won't happen overnight. It's been fun coaching, and helping out the younger guys. It's been good."

Even Van Noy's teammates were surprised that Van Noy opted to play one more season in Provo rather than turn pro.

"They were happy that I stayed," he said. "Respect comes into play because I didn't leave early for the money. I think they respected my decision."