College football: Handful of recruits surprise local programs on signing day

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6 2013 7:45 p.m. MST

National letter of intent day can be filled with surprises — both good and bad — for collegiate programs. However, BYU, Utah and Utah State didn’t incur a lot of surprises Wednesday as prospects faxed in their letters.

There were a few, though.

Most notable among surprises for the University of Utah was the signing of quarterback Marcus Thomas (6-0, 180), who was pursued heavily by Baylor up until signing day. It was a bit unknown which way the Houston area prospect would break, but Ute fans were excited when he appeared on Utah’s signing list.

Utah did lose a couple of commits in the latter stages — most notably cornerback prospect Marcellus Pippins (5-10, 175), who signed with Washington State. Utah’s other late decommit came from Vili Leveni (6-4, 260), from Hurst, Tex. who ended up signing with Oklahoma State.

BYU lost the services of offensive line prospect Quincy Awa-Dubose (6-3, 305) in the late stages, but supplemented that loss with the surprise signing of two other JUCO offensive line prospects. Tim Duran (6-4, 290) from Cabrillo College (Calif.) signed with the Cougars along with Mt. San Antonio's Edward Fusi, who is a 6-foot-1, 285 prospect.

Another pleasant surprise for the Cougars came with local prospect Pita Taupoemenu signing a commitment letter to join BYU's program following his planned LDS mission. The Timpview standout linebacker tied a state record with 25 sacks in only his first full year of playing football.

Email: bgurney@desnews.com Twitter: @BrandonCGurney

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