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BYU football: Harvey Unga expected to return

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 13 2010 12:12 a.m. MST

PROVO — Indications are that BYU running back Harvey Unga will return for his senior season.

However, there's been no official statement from Unga, or the school, yet.

Unga's father, Jackson, told the Deseret News Tuesday that Harvey will be back in a Cougar uniform in 2010 rather than declare for April's NFL draft, but BYU football media relations director Brett Pyne said Harvey Unga is not prepared to make any announcement for now.

The deadline to declare for the draft is Friday.

Unga, who became the Cougars' all-time leading rusher in 2009, and has gained 3,467 career yards, submitted paperwork to the NFL and received an evaluation from the league to gauge in which round he would be likely drafted. He has also met with several advisers to help him weigh his options.

"This is a decision he made on his own after gathering as much information as he could," Jackson Unga said. "He believes he should return, get his degree, put all he can into his senior season in extending his record and helping the football team achieve its goals. He loves BYU and his coaching staff and believes it is in his best interest to take this path at this time in his career."

Meanwhile, Cougar coaches are juggling scholarships. Coach Bronco Mendenhall said last week that he and his staff have "overrecruited" for next season and have a bit of a scholarship shortfall they're trying to work out.

"This will be as tight as it's ever been," said Mendenhall.

In the meantime, highly touted prep running back Joshua Quezada signed a scholarship agreement with BYU in December and is enrolling in classes this semester so he can participate in spring practices, which begin on March 15.

A 5-foot-11, 210-pounder, Quezada rushed for 2,114 yards and 26 touchdowns at La Habra High in California.

"He's a phenomenal young man. I, and we as a staff, like him better every time we talk to him," said Mendenhall. "He's an exceptional football player."

BYU also has secured verbal commitments from three other talented prep running backs — Skyline High's Algernon Brown, Murrieta (Calif.) High's A.J. Moore and Boaz (Ala.) High's Drew Phillips.

Contributing: Dick Harmon

e-mail: jeffc@desnews.com

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