Editor's note: This is the first in a series of stories examining incoming recruits to the BYU football program.
SOUTH JORDAN — The BYU football team could use a boost to its wide receiver corps for the 2018 season, and incoming freshman Brayden Cosper could contribute sooner rather than later.
Cosper is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound receiver from Bingham High, a program that has sent more players to the next level than any local prep program, going back to nearly two decades. Cosper played a big role for the Miners, starting at both receiver and safety, helping his team secure consecutive state titles.
In signing with BYU during the December signing period, Cosper joins a plethora of Bingham athletes that have joined the Cougar program over the years, with many of them becoming important contributors.
“There’s no breaks playing for Bingham, and I think that’s really helped prepare me well for the next level,” Cosper said. “Bingham, and the coaches there — they really know how to get it done and they’ve helped send a lot of guys to the next level.”
On an individual level, Cosper wasn't one of the more prolific receivers in-state numbers-wise, although much of that is due to the run-heavy system run by the Miners. He still managed 117 receptions during his career, amassing 2,108 yards and scoring 25 touchdowns.
As noted, he also played safety, which is something many high school players do, although even the top players rarely do as much at Bingham. His experience at safety helped him become a better receiver, Cosper believes.
“It helped give me a new perspective playing safety,” he said. “Understanding defensive concepts helps me understand better what defenses look for and how to go against different coverages.”
Cosper plans on playing receiver at BYU, although he's already proven adept at playing other spots on the gridiron.
“I’d be open to it, but I’m definitely focused on playing receiver and doing the best I can at that position,” Cosper said. “But I’ll be open to whatever coaches want and what they feel is best.”
Cosper signed with BYU when Ben Cahoon was the receivers coach and admits to a little preoccupation after Cahoon was let go. That all changed quickly, however, after hearing who would be coaching him.
"When they hired Fesi (Sitake), I was super happy because we already had a good relationship built," Cosper said. "He’s a great guy and a great coach. I’m very happy he’s now the coach there.”
The two have been in contact since the hire, providing the Bingham product with good direction and excitement before joining the program.
"It’s all about memorizing the simple parts of the playbook and all the formations,” Cosper said of the specific instruction lending him. “Once I get up there we can expand and really get into the details.”
As far as contributing immediately for the 2018 season, Cosper aims to compete as best he can and see what comes of it.
“I’d love to come in and compete immediately, but I can just control what I can control,” he said. “All I can do is work as hard as I can and hopefully the best can come of it. But it’s all about doing what I can do and to help the team as much as possible.”
EXPERT BREAKDOWN by Ben Criddle
Cosper's strengths: I like his size and his route-running ability. He has strong hands and can catch the ball in traffic. I wish there was more film of him making plays, but that's largely due to the system he was in at Bingham. But he wins far more than he loses. I also really like that he's a big-bodied athlete that played on defense and played for the basketball team.
I know from people I've talked to that he's already created some buzz within the program with what he can do. I know coaches are high on him and believe he has a good chance to become a productive receiver.
What Cosper needs to work on: He just needs to work on the same things everyone does at the college level. He needs to get bigger, faster and stronger, but the biggest thing for him I'd like to see is more shake and top-end speed.6 comments on this story
Cosper's chance to contribute immediately: I'd put his chances at around 35 percent of contributing immediately this coming season. He'll start with the 4s and the third-string when he starts, but I could see him potentially moving up to the second group during the season.
Cougar comparison: When you look at his film and his size, he reminds me of Luke Ashworth. Luke was a really good football player and he produced well his senior year. He's a big-bodied athlete who is strong and fast. That's what I see in Brayden Cosper. Ben Criddle started at defensive back for the BYU football team in 2006 and 2007. He currently hosts the "Cougar Sports with Ben Criddle" radio program on ESPN960.