As expected, BYU, Utah and Utah State, scrambling far and wide, signed a number of high school and junior college football recruits Wednesday on the NCAA's national letter of intent day.
BYU signed four junior college and eight high school players. The Cougars made no secret of their desire for linemen, and that's just what the Cougars got. Among others they signed a pair of 6-foot-8, 300-pounds-plus offensive tackles.The Utes signed 10 prep and five junior college players. Their top signees were Howard Reeve and Lance Salley, a pair of junior college All-America linebackers, and Brad Foster, an Idaho Falls running back whom one Ute coach called, "an Eddie Johnson carbon."
Utah State signed four junior college and 14 high school players - eight of them from Utah high schools.
"I feel like it was a good year," said Utah coach Jim Fassel. "I feel like we were diverse, as far as what we got. We signed a few more defensive backs than what we planned on. I feel good about the quality of kids that we're signing. We're still on hold on a couple, which is a little unusual for us. There still are a couple of players we don't know of today."
BYU head coach LaVell Edwards assessed his recruiting efforts this way: "I think it's gone very well. When you get down to the people you have lined up and committed, and two or three are undecided and they all come through, it works out very well. That's the way it's gone today so far. We've had a couple of pretty good recruiting years in a row, and this was along that same line."
Here is a look at the local college football recruits:
The University of Utah
- John Anderson, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound all-conference offensive lineman from East High School and Dixie College.
- Blaine Berger, a 6-4, 230-pound first-team all-state defensive tackle from Idaho Falls High. He was named defensive MVP in the state title game.
- Cedric Crawford, a 5-10, 180-pound all-district defensive back and high hurdle champion from Dallas.
- Chad Pascua, a 6-4, 265-pound offensive lineman from L.A. Valley College.
- Emanuel Powell, a 6-0, 185-pound defensive back Ellsworth (Iowa) J.C.
- Howard Reeve, 6-3, 230-pound linebacker from Springville and Dixie College. He was named first-team JC All-America by JC Gridwire.
- Bryan Rowley, a 5-11, 175-pound all-state defensive back and quarterback from Orem. He intercepted 21 passes in two seasons.
- Cecil Thomas, a 6-4, 265-pound lineman from Hammond, La.
- Chris Yergensen, an honorable mention all-state placekicker from Lancaster, Calif.
- Raphael Molle, a 6-5, 275-pound offensive lineman from Irvine, Calif., who earned second-team all-county and second-team all south coast honors.
- Jeff Jex, a 6-4, 225-pound all-state running back from Rich County High. He rushed for 1,500 yards last year.
- Brad Foster, 5-10, 195 pounds, is a two-time first-team all-state running back and was named Gem State Player of the Year. He rushed for 1,666 yards and 25 touchdowns last year, including 166 yards in the state championship game for Idaho Falls High, which was 33-0 during the Foster era.
- Mark Barton, a 6-5, 295-pound all-league offensive lineman from Riverside, Calif.
- Rich Kaufusi, a 6-5, 265-pound all-conference defensive end who is from Salt Lake City and Dixie College (he is the younger brother of former BYU defensive end Steve, who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles). Kaufusi was named an Academic All-America by JC Gridwire and recorded 31 unassisted tackles, 30 assisted tackles and 11 sacks.
- Brent Nyberg, a 6-foot-2 two-time all-conference pick from Dixie College, who was named first team All-America by the National Junior College Athletic Association and second team by JC Gridwire. He had 79 receptions for 1,062 yards and 10 touchdown receptions, which rank fourth nationally in receiving.
- Mike Jenkins, a 6-foot-8, 347-pound offensive lineman from Chabot (Calif.) J.C. Jenkins, who can play guard or tackle, was a second team All-America for the Gladiators in Hayward, Calif. He was selected the most outstanding lineman in his conference. Jenkins selected BYU over USC, Florida, Ohio State and Tennessee. He is a junior from Castro Valley, Calif.
- Don Goodman, 6-7, 305-pound offensive linemane from Cerritos Junior College in Huntington Beach, Calif.
- Eric Drage (6-1, 175), a freshman wide receiver from Tucson, Ariz.
- Jim Edwards (6-4, 225), a freshman offensive lineman from Meridian, Idaho.
- Derwin Gray (5-11, 180), a freshman defensive back from San Antonio, Texas.
- Jason Mathews (6-6, 240), a freshman defensive lineman from Bridge City, Texas.
- Rodney Townsend (6-3, 215), a freshman inside linebacker from Bridge City, Texas.
- Morris Unutoa (6-3, 240), a freshman offensive lineman from Carson City, Calif.
- Matt Redden (6-5, 245), a freshman defensive lineman from Foster, Ore.
- Nati Valdez (5-10, 175), a freshman wide receiver from Mission, Texas.
- Jaceson Maughan (6-4, 246), a freshman defensive lineman from Hyrum who earned all-state honors at Mountain Crest High.
- Alex Mohr (6-4, 249), a freshman lineman from Salt Lake City's East High.
- Todd Wilson (6-3, 170), a freshman quarterback from Logan High who led the Grizzlies to the 3A state title while racking up nearly 2,500 yards passing and MVP honors.
- Winston Weems (5-10, 181), a freshman running back from Phoenix's Greenway High.
- Jerry Bargsley (6-0, 220), a freshman defensive lineman from Hyrum's Mountain Crest High.
- Jed DeVries (6-6, 212), a freshman defensive lineman from Ogden's Weber High.
- Jimmy Ray (6-2, 185), a freshman all-state wide receiver from Blanding's San Juan High.
- Theran Selph (6-2, 249), a freshman offensive lineman from Jeremy Ranch and Olympus High.
- Marice Smith (5-11, 214), a freshman inside linebacker from Oakland, Calif.
- Rich Tylski (6-4, 245), a freshman offensive linemane from San Diego, Calif.
- Travis Wood (6-3, 223), a freshman defensive lineman from Roy High.
- Rick Woodford (5-11, 166) a freshman running back from Las Vegas.
- Charles Thornton (5-8, 171), a freshman defensive back from Las Vegas.
- Jermaine Younger (5-11, 244), a freshman inside linebacker from Heyward, Calif.
- Atu Fihaki (5-11, 195), a junior defensive back from Salt Lake City and Dixie College.
- Rob Howell (6-0, 250), a junior wide reciever from Centerville and Ricks College.
- Piliki Tauteoli (6-1, 250), a junior defensive linemane from Salt Lake City and Dixie College.
- Gunner Wolfe (5-11, 185), a junior defensive back from Fountain Valley, Calif., and Orange Coast College.
- John Gladden (6-1, 195), a freshman inside linebacker from Tallahassee, Fla.