BYU football: USU QB Nelson transferring to BYU

Logan star plans to join Cougars after mission

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  • Strictly Fact
    June 2, 2008 11:13 a.m.

    An academic institution's reputation for excellence is an outgrowth of all of its programs and the success it breeds at all levels. If the Y's claim to fame is being the 79th best undergraduate institution, you are welcome to that legacy. My point was that any ranking taking into consideration the entire picture (THES-QS World University Ranking, Academic Ranking of the World's Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong U., Webometrics Rankings, Wuhan U.) ranks the U higher where the Y is lower/absent. If Elder Nelson is interested in the school with the best academic reputation (period, no proviso's like best undergraduate or best for redheads) then he should go to the U---Go Utes!!!

  • Why not recruit before or after?
    June 2, 2008 1:06 a.m.

    If BYU is so interested in this kid, why didn't they offer him a scholarship before his mission? Why not wait until he's home? I guess BYU doesn't have a problem breaking the rules laid out in the missionary handbook, "You will be an official representative of the church. You will be expected to devote all your time and attention to serving the lord, leaving behind all other personal affairs." *Unless Bronco decides this is the time to contact you to play for BYU.

  • rtn w/honor
    May 29, 2008 1:43 p.m.

    Can't keep his word on a four year commitment. Young ladies, he might not be able to keep other
    long term commitments.

  • Utah
    May 28, 2008 4:05 p.m.

    This is just another excuse for classless utah fans to trash BYU. As a USU alumni who could blame Nelson, I was surprised he chose USU to begin with. The Aggies have a great basketball tradition but their football program is dead and has been for several years. Notice how Utah was never a consideration for Nelson!

  • USU was the only QB promise
    May 28, 2008 12:03 p.m.

    When Riley had all of his offers, there was only one school that promised to give him a scholly so he could play football, BYU offered him a walk on spot, UofU wanted to make him a safety. The only school to recruit him soley as a QB was USU, BYU had no interest and no scholarship for him. Now that he got a year under his belt at QB and has been on a mission, all of a sudden BYU offers a scholarship. Sorry USU, I guess you should have never played him as a QB that year, kept his redshirt and then he would have come back to USU, and not be going to BYU. That is the sad part of it all, USU gave him his chance at QB when no one else would, and this is how it turns out in the end. BYU did not want Riley, but USU did, wow how things change. Yea, how happy is James Lark now, I bet he has a lot of love for BYU.

  • steven
    May 28, 2008 9:59 a.m.

    whats byu gonna do with james lark?

  • He's an undergraduate
    May 28, 2008 8:37 a.m.

    BYU has never been set out to be the best graduate school in the state. They are primarily an undergraduate school, and at that they are the best in the state. And I do believe Nelson is an undergraduate.

  • marty
    May 28, 2008 4:09 a.m.

    Maybe some Aggie fan could enlighten me. I'm from Pocatello, ID. A few years back, a kid from my ward signed with USU. He was the Idaho 5A player of the year, and won a couple of state champs. His name is Cole Nielsen. I think he redshirted his freshman year then went on a mission. I moved from Pocatello in the meantime, so I wondered what ever happened to him as I have not seen his name mentioned anywhere. Can anyone out there enlighten me?

  • B-real to Mr. Reply
    May 28, 2008 1:28 a.m.

    You need to watch your little loving phrases like "stinkys" "terrible" or "sour grapes" you wouldnt want people thinking your an "arrogant jerk" and a "poor sport" now would ya!!!!!

  • Strictly Fact
    May 28, 2008 1:25 a.m.

    The most reprehensible thing here is the scramble for the moral high ground. People have made assertions ranging from Nelson is not a good missionary to BYU proceeded illegally/unethically, without so much as a shred of evidence. No more moral posturing, you don't know the situation, let the kid go where he feels it is best to go.

    There is a lot of hostility towards Nelson and comments that he is/was nothing special. Regardless of what your opinion may be, he set national records. He literally replaced Tim Tebow's responsible for touchdown record. That is something that not all quarterbacks have a claim to.

    I love how people want to cite the undergraduate rankings from the USNews as their closing statement in any academic argument for comparisions between institutions. BYU is a great academic institutiion, but Utah State awards more advanced degrees and is engaged in more research. The U, considering both criteria, is perhaps the most impressive institution in the lot.

    In summation: don't be judgmental, don't hate, and go to the U

  • RE: to B REAL reply
    May 28, 2008 1:15 a.m.

    Selfabsorbed in your little Utah red rivalary with people who attend school in Provo. Face it how can you care outside of SLC about the utes!! Nobody can hear your mickey mouse club tune fight song "THE UTAH MAN" You proved the point of a one way who cares rivalary.

  • RE:AW football
    May 28, 2008 12:22 a.m.


  • BYU
    May 28, 2008 12:15 a.m.

    keep recruiting 5'9 QB's, the more the better.

  • Re:Back Off
    May 28, 2008 12:07 a.m.

    Let me guess none of us know the facts but you do!.

  • GO Cougs
    May 27, 2008 11:45 p.m.

    I cannot belive you utah fans think BYU did something wrong. You are just mad he did not go to Utah, so quit balling and realize BYU is the best school in the state and bronco is the best coach the state of utah has ever seen, with the exception of the great Lavell Edwards. Bronco has so much class and is a tremendous person, how could anybody not like him. oh ya Utah fans because they hate the fact that somebody can be such a great person and a great coach. Unlike that loser at Flordia.

  • Ben Olson haters...
    May 27, 2008 11:34 p.m.

    ...are now Riley Nelson lovers??

    I'm a BYU fan, but I just don't understand why the same folks who were so passionate about hating Ben Olson for transferring from BYU during his mission are now so excited about another QB transferring to BYU during his mission.

    But unfortunately that is the sad state of most BYU fans... hypocrites!

  • re: last word
    May 27, 2008 11:21 p.m.

    NO! I realize Utah State hasn't been that great lately, but does anyone know why Elder Nelson didn't go to the Y in the first place? Was he offered a scholarship and turned it down, or is the Y just all of a sudden interested in him?
    Just as a side note: I always told my missionaries to obey the rules at all times and good things will happen. I guess it remains to be seen what will happen with Elder Nelson. Good Luck Elder!

  • oj
    May 27, 2008 11:17 p.m.

    1/ not illegal, no ncaa sanctions
    2/ BYUdoes need a qb in 2010>
    3/ why should nelson play where he might get two or three wins per season
    4/ BYU did nothing wrong no law against it
    5/ NCAA will never change the grey shirt rule, does not effect that many student/athlete
    so what's the big deal, I dont see the the NCAA getting involved. So quit yer bellyaching let the kid play where he he wants, nobody broke any rules.....

  • Bruin fan in Logan
    May 27, 2008 11:09 p.m.

    I wonder why Riley did not wait until after October 3rd to stab the Aggies in the back by signing with the evil empire. You would think the kittens would want to get out of Romney Stadium with a win. Way to throw fuel on the fire Bronco and Riley!!!!

  • May I have the last word?
    May 27, 2008 10:28 p.m.

    Those of you who think you know everything are starting to really irritate those of us who do!

  • the next steve young?
    May 27, 2008 10:24 p.m.

    I've seen this kid play football many times...I honestly see a mix of steve young and Brandon Doman in him. Hes got toughness and the ability to get the job done and will use his feet when needed. And I saw somewhere that someone said Riley has no arm...Thats a lie for one, and another thing. Max Hall's arm strength is about the same as Rileys and look at the success he had. I see Riley Redshirting for Max's senior year and stepping into QB U! Generation Next of BYU Greatness is only beginning...We are still filtering out a few more of Crowtons recruits, once we have pure Mendenhall recruits then expect greatness...

  • To Back Off
    May 27, 2008 10:08 p.m.

    Why do you think other fans have a problem with BYU sometimes?

    Guys like you give Y fans a bad name pal.

  • re to "b real"
    May 27, 2008 10:04 p.m.

    How is it that "The Utah State Aggies and the Utah Utes are completely living in there owen vacum of reality"? (Nice spelling by the way genius)

    Obviously USU's program stinks. There are a handful of Aggies that make a little noise, you see a little of it on this thread - but it's mostly sour grapes. Most of us know the program is terrible.

    Just try to be a good sport about it. Comments I've seen on this web site the last couple of days like "go pitch some hay", or "go grow some corn", or "USU is the new Ricks - a farm team for BYU" are not necessary. Those types of comments fuel the perception with a lot of fans from a lot of schools that BYU players, students, and fans are arrogant jerks.

    I know it's hard but just try to have some class, ok?

  • Anonymous
    May 27, 2008 9:38 p.m.

    Anyone know the phone number to James Lark's mission president? Apparently it's allright to recruit proselyting missionaries. Lark might be interested in hearing how Mendenhall's commitment to "not recruit another quarterback from the same graduating class" has been honored. BYU stop pretending you are any different than any other institution. Hypocites!

  • John
    May 27, 2008 8:53 p.m.

    I'm a BYU fan and have even had season tickets in the past, but this just seems wrong on BYU's part. There are a lot of people on here trying to explain that what BYU did isn't wrong. If something isn't wrong, it doesn't need an explanation. If someone has to try to convince you that a certain action isn't wrong, then it's wrong. Correct actions need no explanations.

  • " Mormon" Utah Fan
    May 27, 2008 8:42 p.m.

    I always find it interesting that Bronco (or Biff as our family refers to him) has the authority to contact a missionary in the field. Yes, I know other people can justify it all they want, but as a missionary they agree to put all that aside and concentrate on their mission. Biff and Elder Nelson were both wrong in doing this. Too bad the mission president saw it differently. Other families don't get these same privliges. Isn't it funny how Biff brags up all his returned missionaries one day and the next he's out recruiting them? Whay to set a great example BIFF.

  • Back off
    May 27, 2008 8:31 p.m.

    Regarding Ben Olson - Any fan of any school would be upset if the #1 rated quarteback transfered to another school. To call BYU hypocritcal because they were upset when Olsen transfered is, well, hypocritical.

    The "holier than thou" element out there who claim there is not a place in missionary life to plan for one's future simply has no idea what it is like to be a missionary. ALL MISSIONARIES take time to prepare for their future while on their mission. NO MISSIONARY spends 24 / 7 focusing solely on missionary work. That is why a missionary is given a p-day, to do things other than missionary work.

    It sounds to me like Elder Nelson considered his options, made a decision and is now ready to move on with the rest of his mission. The whole process might have taken, well, ONE p-day. Sounds pretty efficient to me.

    All of you preaching about the hypocrisy of BYU, Coach Mendenhall, or Elder Riley need to back off because YOU DO NOT KNOW THE FACTS.

    This is just another opportunity to show your hatred of BYU. Well, talk is cheap. You hate BYU that much? Then beat us ON THE FIELD.

  • B-real
    May 27, 2008 7:52 p.m.

    The Utah State Aggies and the Utah Utes are completely living in there owen vacum of reality. Only in the "Aggie" & " Ute" world is there a rivalry with BYU. The majority of "Y" students are not from Utah let alone Salt Lake City and Logan. The BYU student learns about the other schools when they arrive in Provo. Wow, Provo, Sal Lake City and Logan Utah its all small town USA!!!! But I love it GO COUGS..

  • Aww football!
    May 27, 2008 7:41 p.m.

    I have learned by experience that football is the greatest game in the world! Why? Because of all sports, football most emulates real life. To be good at the game, one must play it with their heart. Football doesn't build character, it reveals it. One must persevere over pain, fatigue and bad breaks, more so than in basketball or baseball. Basketball is too much controlled by referee's "judgement" calls and baseball is really only a pitchers game. Football is a pure game with but one judgement call;pass interferance. Football is a man's game. Only really men need apply! Maybe that is why BYU is usually very good at football; lots of real men on campus! Also, the co-eds are prettier and are real women! They make wonderful wives and mothers! I know this from experience too! Elder Nelson will fit in very well at BYU.

  • Non-issue
    May 27, 2008 7:09 p.m.

    BYU did nothing to violate any NCAA rules and Riley followed the protocol set forth by his mission president. What exactly is the problem?

    So you hate BYU... join the club. I'm sorry but no matter how much you want it to, this "event" just doesn't mean that BYU is evil or hypocritical. The kid made his own decision based on what was best for him. All of you would have done the same thing is his stuation, and if you disagree you're just lying to yourself.

  • Cougtucky
    May 27, 2008 7:08 p.m.

    Re: Watch out Cougars!

    It's remotely possible but highly improbable. I just hope that Utah State can do better in the WAC this year. I'd love to see some them become a power in the WAC. Unfortunately, the fans in Logan aren't backing up their team. Home attendance was less than 12,000 in 2006. How can a team improve with that kind of fair weather fan base? Here at Kentucky we had a few seasons in which there were only a few wins but attendance still average over 50,000. I don't think its a coincidence that the teams with a large fan base have regular periods of success. I think Nelson also understands this principle. Anyway, good luck Nelson - hope you excel as a BYU QB! Go Cougs, Cats!

  • To B WHY U
    May 27, 2008 7:08 p.m.

    Alright bro. I'm a Utah fan and I'm a LDS. That being said, Riley was the one who contacted the BYU coaches via his dad's Email. And he had to get permission from his mission pres. Although I think that the coaches should have just said, "You have more important things to do." The decision to transfer is an emotional soul searching step that should be made when you get home. But the coaches weren't the ones contacting him. He was contacting them. Still doesn't matter though. Because USU has no athletic program (no you don't have basketball- which star player just graduated again???) And as for BYU, good luck at RES baby! UR GONNA NEED A WHOLE LOT OF IT!!! No more "Magic Happens!" GO UTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I said great QB's
    May 27, 2008 6:50 p.m.

    Hall, Doman, Beck, do not equal: Young, McMahon,Bosco
    Two super bowls and an NCAA Championship.
    Where have you been, there has not been a GREAT return missionary QB period.

    As far as academics BYU: the Oral Roberts of the West

  • All you BYU fans
    May 27, 2008 6:44 p.m.

    remember all this talk about how a person has a right to go where he wants when he wants when Fisher and the Lakers come to town. Remeber thiis when Ben Olsen and UCLA comes to town. Total hypocrites!.

  • Life progresses w/ a church view
    May 27, 2008 6:38 p.m.

    USU is a good school. It has some of the best programs in the state in certain fields. My cousin who was accepted to BYU, chose instead to go to USU for a scholarship in a field that happens to have more notoriety at that university.

    But as a whole, BYU is the most sought out university in the state of Utah. BYU has the toughest admittance standard. And if we are talking football, BYU has the best program of late. (My cousin still cheers for BYU football first). For whatever it's worth, as a whole, this all backs the fact that BYU is the most noteworthy school in the state of Utah. So if you hate that BYU is a more elite college than USU, who cares. A fact's a fact.

    I'm sad for those who don't understand how a mission fits in a person's life. Who says Riley isn't completely focused on missionary work? Does God still not answer his prayers regarding his continuing personal growth both during and after a mission? Are preparation days and missions in general not a good time to bless and prepare the individuals themselves? What of his progress? Bronco knows!

  • Anonymous
    May 27, 2008 6:36 p.m.

    I remeber the words of my younger brother when he arrived at the "05" Pine View vs. Logan High finals late into the first quarter he whispered to me so no other Pine View fans could hear, " Hey Pine View shouldn't feel to bad because no highschool team can matchup with the 49er's"

    Good luck Riley, the sky is now truely the limit !!!!

  • Watch out Cougars!
    May 27, 2008 6:18 p.m.

    Just so you guys remember....USU will beat BYU in Romney stadium 31-28 this year.

  • That Guy
    May 27, 2008 5:54 p.m.

    the whole 3-A debate is stupid, Logan is the largest 3A school in the state, and Riley destroyed the 5A state champs his senior year.

    as for the whole BYU, UofU and USU debate... USU people, your probably only going to win 2 games next year anyways, your going to suck for another 10 years, Riley wouldn't change the fact that the school has a horible football program. (BTW i hate BYU)

    also, i played football for logan when riley was there. he is a great team leader who only wants to win, him choosing BYU is only smart because they can win games and also have a decent school.

  • wYo8
    May 27, 2008 5:48 p.m.

    ben olsen/fisher
    You hit the nail on the head. You join us you are a hero. You leave us your the enemy. Its that simple. So get over it Yewts. We will take any and all missionaries that make the cougars better.

  • Re: Not going to happen!
    May 27, 2008 5:09 p.m.

    'Has there ever been a great BYU QB that was a returned missionary: Young, McMahon, Bosco, Gifford,
    Detmer,Shide, help me here?.'

    Wow, where have you been the last few years? Ever hear of John Beck, or Max Hall, or even Brandon Doman? Welcome to the new century.

    And as for academics, take a look at US News' Rankings. BYU is tied for #79, and let's see.... USU is... USU is....well, darn, they're on on there. Well, better luck next year. Yes, some BYU fans think we're in the top 25 academically, but to say USU is above us academically is comical. It's a great school, but don't kid yourselves.

  • Aggie/Cougar
    May 27, 2008 5:06 p.m.

    I had the opportunity of doing my undergraduate work at USU and my graduate work at BYU. Both were great institutions and had their own strengths and weeknesses. What is dissapointing is the fact the this is a story about football, not which school is better. 90% of the negative, elitist, snobby comments come from BYU fans. A message to you BYU posters: This is the reason why people absolutely hate BYU and their sports programs. I'm almost embarassed to say I went to BYU. Grow up and start practicing what you preach....

  • Approved Behavior
    May 27, 2008 4:55 p.m.

    Should Bronco really be interrupting missionary work to recruit kids from other programs? I can't imagine his church supports this behavior. This strikes me as quite hypocritical of Bishop Bronco.

  • Re: Commitment ... So bitter
    May 27, 2008 4:42 p.m.

    Commitment writes:
    "I love how Bronco only expects players to honor their commitments to BYU."

    So bitter. So sad.

    Who says BYU contacted Nelson and tried to get him? Perhaps Nelson initiated the contact. What's BYU supposed to say? "Sorry, you already played with another school, we don't accept transfers." Don't be foolish.

    I'm not an athlete, but I was a great student. I had all kinds of offers from colleges in my senior year. But my folks live in Riverside. My first year of college I went to UCR (the smallest UC school, doesn't even have a football team) on academic scholarship. Stayed at home. Saved $$. Prepared for mission.

    During the mission, there were times that I wondered what to do in post-mission life. I decided that I wanted to attend BYU. My sister was at BYU. I asked her to help me transfer and help me arrange housing. What's a guy supposed to do? Come back with no plans and then wait a year? You have to apply ahead of time ...

    Having things planned helped me focus on missionary work.

    Quit being so critical. Let the guy plan his life. Let him live his life.

  • Fill in the Gap???
    May 27, 2008 4:39 p.m.

    The only question I have is who is going to fill in the gap after Hall leaves the Y this year for the NFL? Nelson won't be playing until the 2010 season. Who is the backup right now??

  • Re: Basketkase
    May 27, 2008 4:07 p.m.

    He may have had every high school record in the book but if he was so great as you say why didn't anyone want him outside of Utah. Every little town in America has a player that sets every record in the books for their state, that's no big deal. Throwing five extra touchdowns when the game is already over doesn't make you a great player. It just pads stats.

  • Re: Fact
    May 27, 2008 4:00 p.m.

    "I wish people would honor commitments they have made."

    What commitments are you talking about???

    People change jobs. People change schools. Situations change.

    Schools and Businesses change based on their needs. Why shouldn't an individual have that same option? Well they do. What Riley did was exercise his agency. Nothing wrong here at all.

    I feel bad for Utah State. I wish the program would get strong again.

    Hire Merlin Olsen. That might be a start!

  • RM QB's
    May 27, 2008 3:59 p.m.

    ...Doman, Beck, Hall...seems to be trend here.

    I guess with all the U fan preaching about integrity they are now going to stop texting and emailing BYU recruits after they have verbally commited to the cougs. I'm sure somehow they'll justify that too...

  • rukidding
    May 27, 2008 3:54 p.m.

    Of course - just like most BYU fans - if anyone disagrees with you - they are wrong. Get a Life1

  • System Flawed
    May 27, 2008 3:54 p.m.

    This has nothing to do with BYU or USU. I just think that the NCAA, while making a special exception for religious missions and military service, should only apply that exception to years of eligibility. Just because you choose to join the army doesn't mean you should get to transfer schools. I have to wonder how many young LDS youth choose to serve missions (at that particular time) just so they can get out of their scholarship commitment to one school and transfer to another. Going on a mission or serving a tour of active duty should mean you get to keep your eligibility (as it currently does) but also that you shouldn't be released from your commitment to a particular school. That would be better overall for collegiate athletics. LDS athletes might take their school commitment letter more seriously and schools might be more willing to make LDS athletes more scholarship offers. Right now offering an LDS kid a scholarship is a gamble because even after they sign, there's no guarantee the kid will ever play for you because they can just transfer while on their missions. (Ben Olson, Riley Nelson for example)

  • Anonymous
    May 27, 2008 3:48 p.m.

    From the article in The Herald Journal (Logan) it doesn't sound like BYU had much direct contact with Riley:

    "Keith Nelson said he was first contacted by a couple of BYU coaches in early April [last month] after Riley had been out for a year.

    Initially, there was some conversation with (Logan head football) coach (Mike) Favero that BYU may have some interest in Riley, Keith Nelson said. And through Mike, we came to know that BYU might be interested and were wondering if Riley would be interested.

    So thats where mom and dad came into play should we contact him about this potential option for him? Since it was about him and his decision, we felt like it would be appropriate, then we worked through his mission president.

    Needless to say, Riley was interested in becoming a Cougar.

    We gave Riley what information he felt like he needed and he contacted us a week or two afterward saying my stance is Ive come to a decision that I need to continue with my mission work and make this decision and put that aside, Keith Nelson explained. From there, hes gone ahead and made his decision."

  • Aggie in SLC
    May 27, 2008 3:49 p.m.

    To Anonymous | 1:32 p.m.
    In response to your response to my comments..The majority of Aggie fans at the town hall meeting in Logan, held by USU athletic director Scott Barnes, do not want to play BYU anymore in football unless it is in a home and home series. BYU is a far cry from Notre Dame from a traditional and historical standpoint. Playing 2 for 1 shows inferiority and I find it rather amusing that BYU admits they are inferior to Notre Dame, although in reality every rational college football fan already knows this. It is one thing for the Aggies to lose to BYU playing on equal footing. Giving BYU extra home games is ludicrous!! This kind of scheduling is what is dooming USU football and causing great recruits, which USU rarely can attain, to leave Logan.

  • Cougar
    May 27, 2008 3:43 p.m.

    Everyone just settle down. Time for a fact check:
    1) Wasn't recruited by BYU out of high school
    2) Played a couple good games as a freshman and a couple of horrible ones
    3) May turn out to be a great player, may not (just like every unproven recruit)
    4) BYU did nothing wrong "recruiting" him. All athletes after they have been gone from their schools more than 1 year can be recruited.
    5) Fans are never consistent. Ben Olsen will always be called ungrateful, a traitor, lacks integrity, while Riley Nelson is grateful, smart, looking out for what is in his best interest.
    6) This will happen to another BYU player some day that has played for the Y and then received another offer while on their mission.

    7) Remember----This is only Mountain West Conference football. You know, the conference with a total of 9 drafted football players.

  • Texas Cougar
    May 27, 2008 3:38 p.m.

    I remember attending the 3A state championships (the game started right after my beloved Skyline won their most recent state championship). I wanted to see Pine View play, mostly so I could see their QB Lark and their kicker (I'm blanking on his name right now, but I remember he put on a pre-game show by setting up the tee at his own 40 yard line and making a few pre-game field goals). As a Cougar fan, I wanted to see what the recruits would do in a big place like Rice Eccles.

    Lark and Pine View had a tough night. Nelson, however, was playing out of his mind. I remember asking my grandpa (who was there with me grew up in Cache Valley) if he knew anything about this kid. He told me that he thought he had heard that Nelson was going to be playing college baseball instead of football (somebody please correct this if we were wrong).

    All I know is that the kid played the best championship game I've ever seen, against an opponent that was equal to or better than most of the 5A teams that year. Best of luck to riley and the Cougars!

  • so wrong
    May 27, 2008 3:32 p.m.

    I can't believe that the coaches at BYU are recruiting guys while they are still on their missions.

    "Nelson and BYU coaches have communicated through e-mail and came to an understanding about Nelson transferring to BYU."

    How is a missionary supposed to focus on the Lord's work if he is fielding emails from Pony & company.

    That is just wrong on so many levels.

  • USU is the new Ricks
    May 27, 2008 3:28 p.m.

    Thanks for farming players and then allowing them to transfer to the big leagues.

  • Anonymous
    May 27, 2008 3:05 p.m.

    To BYU no better; Again you do not know what you are talking about. You imagine the "Y" calling Riley, hounding him etc..or what? The facts are that BYU's communications have been filitered and measured not casually or merely over the last few weeks, but on going for years. Riley is on the hit list for a number of schools, BYU know's that, also BYU is keenly aware that the NCAA has an 18 month "siiting out" clause and that Riley is fair game for any school while he is on an LDS mission or off with the Red Cross or any other volunteer organization. Finally, come on, BYU standards compared to other D1 schools??

  • Basketkase
    May 27, 2008 3:04 p.m.

    "As to your question about why Jim McMahon's records don't stand anymore, try doing a little research. If you're at all objective, you'll quickly learn that he had an absolutely amazing junior year."

    Hmm, I thought we were talking about high school records here. I don't think it's fair to make a comparison until Nelson finishes his junior year in college. And as far as research goes, I took a look at the Deseret News high school records this afternoon. I don't think I saw McMahon's name once. Ouch, for you and for him. Maybe it's you who needs to stay do a little research.

    See, the original argument here was Nelson being the best high school football player in state history. Based solely on the HS record books, among other criteria, he buries McMahon. Will Nelson have the same college and pro career as Jim? Realistically, probably not. But, my original argument remains. No one, not even Havili, touches Nelson when it comes to the high school ranks in the state of Utah. If you disagree with me, you are wrong.

  • Not a perfect world
    May 27, 2008 3:04 p.m.

    I'm sure that BYU would be willing to put all missionaries off limits to recruiting, if all other schools would do the same. Unfortunately, that will never be the case.

    As to not making life decisions while you're on your mission, that may work for some decisions, but not if you're planning on changing football programs. Years of planning go into putting a major college football team together.

    If someone like Riley wants to play quarterback at BYU, he has to make that decision as early as possible so that BYU has time to work him into their plans. Waiting until after his mission to contact BYU could very easily eliminate any possibility for Riley to transfer to BYU.

    The same could be said for any major university football program.

    Those saying that missionaries shouldn't make life-changing decisions while they're still serving missions are simply naive about the real world.

  • Mike Buys
    May 27, 2008 2:58 p.m.

    For all you people out thier that say this is wrong about Riley Nelson getting stolen away from USU. Get over it!! What would you do if BYU came calling? Lets see USU or BYU? No brainer I think I will go to BYU. BYU 28 and 10 over the last 3 years. 2 and 1 in bowl games the last 3 years. Mountain west Champs the last 2 years. Ranked in the top 15 in some magazines to start the 08 season. Considered to be the frontrunner for a non-bcs school to be in a bcs bowl game for 2008. I am not really sure but I think USU is about 5 and 33 over the last 3 years, with a coach I think that will be fired after another 2 and 10 season this coming year. I don't think Riley deliberated all that long about it. This is a talented kid and I think the year Logan won the 3-A title they could have beaten the four, and 5-A champs they were that good. In my humble opinion I think BYU got another Steve Young type.

  • Fact
    May 27, 2008 2:49 p.m.

    I am glad that he is coming to BYU but I do wish these guys would honor commitments they have made. With that said when a player leaves to go on a mission the team does not have to honor the scholorship they gave him. So he could come home and Utah State tell him to take a hike, not likely I know. Max Hall left Arizona St based on the fact that he saw promises made not looking to be kept, he left.

  • guy has to go
    May 27, 2008 2:45 p.m.

    How long are we going to keep Guy around, this is another example of why he needs to be let go.

  • Re: Basketkase
    May 27, 2008 2:35 p.m.

    Havilli is a running back Riley is QB of course Havilli is going to take more punishment. He can't stand back and throw the ball. Also everything with Riley was based on if's and but's. If he were talller, if he did this if he did that. All I kknow is Havilli is the real deal and should win a National Championship here soon. Something Riley will never see.

  • Commitment
    May 27, 2008 2:29 p.m.

    There is NOTHING dishonest or immoral about any young man, returned missionary or not, making a decision about his future based on his own self-interest.

    How many of the hypocrits out there have changed schools, changed careers, moved to a different state, simply because they thought it would be best for themselves or their family?

    If Riley Nelson, or Ben Olsen, or Shawn Bradley, decides to pursue a different course after his mission, it's really none of our business as fans.

    Sure, we, as sports fan can feel disappointed. But to accuse a young man of being dishonest because he didn't honor his "commitment" to our favorite sports team is hypocrital and selfish.

  • Greg
    May 27, 2008 2:19 p.m.

    I graduated from BYU and USU, so I'm conflicted. He's an obvious talent, but he is small for big time football. Maybe he's grown on his mission. There are two things I don't like about this situation. The first is BYU recruiting the kid on his mission. As a missionary you are taught to forget the world and go to work. If he contacted BYU, then the coaches should have told him to come talk with them when he gets home. Second, when I left on my mission my brother advised me to not make any major life decisions while I was gone. He told me to focus on the work, and the Lord would bless me when I got home. I know this isn't always possible, but I think it helped me in many ways. A lot of people on here are saying that BYU didn't technically do anything wrong, and other schools do it. This is all true, but BYU prides itself on being different from other schools. I know that coaches at BYU are under just as much pressure to win as coaches at every other school, but it should keep recruitng out of the mission field.

  • To Basketkase
    May 27, 2008 2:09 p.m.

    "To the McMahon fan, thanks for digging up a fossil. I can't compare the two because Jim played high school ball before I was born. However, if McMahon was so great, why don't his records still stand?"

    If you don't know anything about Jim McMahon, then you obviously don't know enough about Utah sports to be saying that Utah has never produced any great football players.

    Ever heard of the Olsen brothers?

    As to your question about why Jim McMahon's records don't stand anymore, try doing a little research. If you're at all objective, you'll quickly learn that he had an absolutely amazing junior year.

  • Big Deal??
    May 27, 2008 2:02 p.m.

    What is all the fuss is about this story?? BYU gets an unproven QB (one college game win doesn't make the player- remember Steve Young's little bro BYU fans). Utah St has been horrible the last decade. BYU fans are acting like Tim Tebow just signed with their team. Nelson could go no where but up from USU. BYU coaches are acting like the move happened thru osmosis. Dick Harmon is more giddy than after BYU's win over Utah last November. Utah is a strange place if you ask me. Outside of Logan, SLC and Provo nobody cares except maybe Nelson's missionary companion who's work was put on hold while Nelson burnt up the Lord's time working this out. Good luck to the boy as he lines up in BYU's QB que.

  • Interesting
    May 27, 2008 2:00 p.m.

    I'm a BYU fan who lives outside of Utah. I don't follow HS football in Utah or Utah State so I'd never heard of this kid until I saw this article. As a BYU fan, I hope he does well for the Cougs.

    Although I understand the disappointment that some Utah State fans are feeling at this news, this is just part of the problem when dealing with players who go on missions. First of all, these kids are not compensated nearly enough for the amount of money and attention they bring to their universities. They're also young, so let's give them a little bit of a break.

    Also, they don't commit to a school for 4 years just as the schools don't commit to the players for 4 years. Lots of things can and do change where a player will transfer or a school will pull a scholarship.

    Part of the risk of letting players go on missions is that some will transfer. Over the years, BYU has lost as many (maybe more) players to transfers than it has received.

    It has nothing to do with morality or right/wrong. It's just people making the best decisions for themselves.

  • Re: Whos Cares...
    May 27, 2008 1:55 p.m.

    "BYU and the MWC, irrelevant..."

    You care or you wouldn't have read the article. Go find an SEC blog if you're so bored reading about BYU football.

    All of the major sports stations and magazines are intrigued with the potential success of BYU's football team this coming season, so obviously, your opinion just shows that you're either extremely biased or you're not completely honest about your own interest in BYU football.

  • Pandora's Box
    May 27, 2008 1:51 p.m.

    Having BYU recruit a missionary is really bothering me. First of all, I would hope that Riley was focussed on his mission and not football for the past year!! It bothers me that his mission president would allow contacts from a school, and that BYU would then contact him. I know that BYU has complained about this practive from other schools in the past. However, it now seems to me that BYU has no grounds for anymore complaining. They have now set the standard. It seems to me that if another school wants to contact a missionary like this, the mission presidents will now need to allow that contact just like they did here. In fact, BYU has a couple of QBs on missions right now. Perhaps USU should be contacting them to see if they would rather play at USU rather than competing for a spot against Riley!!. It think BYU and this mission president have just opened up PANDORA's BOX.

  • Utah and BYU
    May 27, 2008 1:39 p.m.

    fans don't know anything outside of Utah. Why are they making this a big deal? He barely had any offers, and he may have gotten the one to Utzh state because he was player of the year or whatever. There are thousands of 5'11 or short Qb's who could play.

  • Anonymous
    May 27, 2008 1:32 p.m.

    To: BYU ...| 12:30 p.m.

    BYU does have higher recruiting standards than most schools and there was NOTHING dirty about BYU recruiting Riley when Riley initiated the contact.

    To: Anonymous | 12:27 p.m.

    "It makes absolutely no sense for USU to play BYU in that scenario."

    It does if you're an Aggie fan and want to see the Aggies play BYU.

    BYU has no obligation to play Utah St.

    Just as BYU willingly accepted several 2 for 1 deals with Notre Dame, because BYU wanted to play Notre Dame, USU accepted the 2 for 1 deal with BYU because the Aggies wanted to play BYU.

    I know most USU fans still consider BYU to be a huge rival, but, BYU is 25-3 vs USU since 1975 and many BYU fans were becoming bored with a rivalry that wasn't that exciting anymore.

    For most BYU fans, playing in Logan is a lose-lose situation, a road game where the best you can do is win a game that you're expected to win.

    Given the current state of the Aggie football program, why would BYU fans want to see any games played in Logan?

  • Coaches/athletes are hypocrits
    May 27, 2008 1:31 p.m.

    Mr. "I'm am Aggie, I've always been and Aggie and I Always will be an Aggie" Riley Nelson is like every other self-serving athlete these days who is only concerned with their own interests. And Bronco Mendenhall should quit preaching about integrity and commitment. If he had either, he would have allowed Riley to complete his mission and at least return to his hometown before he dispatched recruiters to start bugging his high school coach and parents about Riley breaking his commitment to USU and joining with the "stripling warriors" at BYU. I'm LDS and I want to puke right now. What fine values we're teaching about our ethics.

  • Nelson is like
    May 27, 2008 1:26 p.m.

    5'9" or 5'10 or somehting like that.

  • Long Time Aggie
    May 27, 2008 1:21 p.m.

    This isn't just a Bronco issue, this is has been going on at BYU for a long time now. The names Gary Furniss and Brian Ruffner come to mind. BYU seems to think that any athlete on a mission is fair game for them to recruit, no matter where he is currently going to school.

  • FYI
    May 27, 2008 1:21 p.m.

    "As for USU better preparing you for your doctoral studies, your opinion of the superiority/inferiority of either school's academic excellence is baseless."

    Just for your information, my opinion is not baseless. I'm just sharing a little of my experience outside of BYU. I have a lot of experience at BYU (as a professor), and I think it is a very good school (which I would have written before if I were allowed more words). I just don't think it is as good as some of the BYU fans think, and I certainly do not think it is better than most other universities. However, it has its role for some people.

    As for the person you know, I do not doubt that. That description could describe MANY people I know from BYU, USU, and many other colleges and universities, including community colleges. I am just bothered by the arrogant students who think they are better than others because they attend BYU, and believe me, there are many.

    My main disgust with this situation is BYU not encouraging someone to keep his commitments when that is something they purport to believe in so strongly.

  • diplomat
    May 27, 2008 1:18 p.m.

    Some Coug fans need to take it easy on our Aggie brethren. We wouln't like this either had it happened to us. (Ben Olson) Remember the USC running back that chose the Trojans over BYU. He even dropped his plans to go on a mission to play football for Pete Carroll. (ouch!!) I just don't get the unethical charges very much. Missionaries can now call their parents occasionally and seem to have some limited contact with the big bad world. For me this is more a case of someone wanting to play for a successful, established program. Hang in their Aggie fans. Your football program is improving, albeit painfully. Success breeds success. Just ask Stu.

  • Cougar Fan
    May 27, 2008 1:11 p.m.

    From the article it sounds as if Riley Nelson got permission from his Mission Pres. to talk to B.Y.U before they contacted him and there is nothing wrong with that. Also all missionaries know their service is for a specific time so it is common sense for them to think about what they will do after they finish their service. It sound to me that people get upset when they see someone transfer from a losing program to a winning program which happens a lot in sports so all you whiners just get over it and good luck to Riley at B.Y.U.

  • Basketkase
    May 27, 2008 1:11 p.m.

    Regarding the Havili/Nelson comparison, think about this: Watching Havili was like watching a construction worker pound on a concrete wall. Routine, laborious, yet brutally effective. I don't doubt Havili's greatness. I saw him dominate both sides of the ball as a junior in a state playoff game.

    But watching Nelson was like watching a puppeteer working a stage full of marionettes. It was like he was always a step ahead, toying with the opposing 11 players. His performance almost looked effortless, compared to Havili's. That's where the magic is. And Nelson isn't half the physical specimen Havili is. If Nelson had a few more inches tacked on, he would have been a national recruit, no problem.

    To the McMahon fan, thanks for digging up a fossil. I can't compare the two because Jim played high school ball before I was born. However, if McMahon was so great, why don't his records still stand?

  • Who Cares!
    May 27, 2008 1:02 p.m.

    Nelson wasn't that impressive. Remember, he had to earn his starting spot from Leon Jackson halfway through the season. He won two whole games and got crushed all the other games he played. This past season's team was even much better (despite still only winning 2 games). He's just a hometown hero and that's why some Aggies are disappointed. Still seems kind of crooked the way BYU and whatever church officials went about it. Kind of shows you where their priorities lie. BYU football > honesty and values!

  • Not going to happen!
    May 27, 2008 12:56 p.m.

    Has there ever been a great BYU QB that was a returned missionary: Young, McMahon, Bosco, Gifford,
    Detmer,Shide, help me here?.

  • Dick
    May 27, 2008 12:50 p.m.

    With the way Utah States program has been going lately who wouldn`t want out of it.

  • Chase SL
    May 27, 2008 12:49 p.m.

    BYU is the premier football program in the state of Utah. I would have transfered too. Utah State is about as good as Southern Utah, and Nelson is good as any BYU football player. This is a no brainer.

    The fact he was on a mission Doesn't bother me either. Its healthly to be thinking about life after the mission every monday or so.. you can avoid becoming so ackward as most missionaries do.

  • I love it
    May 27, 2008 12:47 p.m.

    All you whining Utah fans can turn on each other now and leave the Lakers alone. And for all you BYU fans that hated Fisher for going to the Lakers. Now you know how it feels when people rip on you for Riley going to BYU.

  • Re:Kap
    May 27, 2008 12:43 p.m.

    6'0 from Texas is different than 5'9 from logan!.

    May 27, 2008 12:38 p.m.


  • Reality Check
    May 27, 2008 12:37 p.m.

    He's going to a good program. Although USU has been gradually pulling away from the "unbranded" past. I hate to see everyone place so much of USU's future success on this young man. There are still and will continue to be great young men come into the USU program. There is plenty of room for improvement and I know that there are athlete's out there that want to make a difference. They will be the ones that will be recognized. Nelson, though small behind the BYU O-line, would be an great Safety, DB. Unless BYU changes their offense to his size as a runner he will have a hard time fitting into the current passing threat of their game.

  • Whos Cares...
    May 27, 2008 12:35 p.m.

    BYU and the MWC, irrelevant...

  • 6'1 sure
    May 27, 2008 12:32 p.m.

    look at the picture the guys a midget.

  • BYU No Better
    May 27, 2008 12:30 p.m.

    I have no problem with BYU recruiting Nelson while on his mission. However, I have a big problem with BYU portraying itself as having higher standards than other schools then behaving like this. BYU is about winning at all costs just like most other Division I schools. Just stop putting on a holy than though front and then recruiting kids committed to other schools on their missions. That is about as dirty of recruiting as there is.

  • Attn Critics
    May 27, 2008 12:27 p.m.

    To all those that are critical of BYU recruiting Riley while he's on his mission: How do we know Riley didn't initiate the whole thing? With the sad condition that is Utah State football and the recent dominance of BYU, he probably sent a letter to Bronco asking to come play. I would have. So stop being typical anti-BYU people, if the kid was going to your school, you'd be happy and you know it. So get the facts or keep quiet.

  • Anonymous
    May 27, 2008 12:27 p.m.

    I wonder if USU atletic director Scott Barnes knew about Riley's intentions when he mentioned that Utah State may stop scheduling BYU in football since BYU only signs 3 year contracts with USU, with 2 games in Provo for every game in Logan. He made those scheduling comments just a few days ago in Logan in a meeting with USU fans. How bad would that make the USU athletic department look to watch Riley carve up his Aggies, especially in Romney Stadium. Nevertheless, the blame should be thrown on Randy Spetman, since he is "The Great Athletic Director" sought after by FSU, who unwittingly signed to play BYU two for one! I would love to see BYU try to pull off a two for one with Florida State now that Spetman is there! It makes absolutely no sense for USU to play BYU in that scenario. USU would be better off playing any other Mountain West school besides BYU in home and home series. Not to mention Utah, a university that should be respected for playing a home and home series with the Aggies. I love the Aggies but this is a huge loss and Guy is in trouble!

  • Re: A few points
    May 27, 2008 12:26 p.m.

    And you base all of your assumptions about the recruiting of Riley Nelson on personal knowledge, or nothing more than your own personal bias.

    I seriously doubt you've had any contact whatsoever with anybody involved in the whole decision-making process, yet you throw out accusations as if you KNOW what really occurred.

    As for USU better preparing you for your doctoral studies, your opinion of the superiority/inferiority of either school's academic excellence is baseless.

    I personally know one of the world's leading scientistists in his field; a man who has published over a hundred articles in scientific journals and has several U.S. patents; a man who was recently made a Fellow at one of the top research facilities in the world; who got his bachelor's degree at BYU.

    There are thousands and thousands of other examples of BYU graduates who have gone on to achieve great success in their chosen fields.

  • Re: recruiting
    May 27, 2008 12:24 p.m.

    Because you say so, we are supposed to believe you. I think I'll start all my statements with "Lets get this straight". That will make it true!.

  • Vinman
    May 27, 2008 12:22 p.m.

    He should have stayed in Logan because by the time he gets back Guy and his run oriented offense will be gone and maybe someone like John L Smith will be at the helm (yes, I said John L Smith) The funny thing is that Riley's legs has always been his ace in the hole. Is BYU suddenly going to become an option team? I doubt it. Utah would have probably been a better fit for his tools.

  • article about
    May 27, 2008 12:13 p.m.

    I thought the article was about him transferring, do we really need to know he had permission from his mission president to speak with the team. Come Harmon focus on the story.

  • Anonymous
    May 27, 2008 12:09 p.m.

    To the "RIGHTEOUS FLAG" comment, it's very interesting how informed individuals proclaim to be concerning all the details and facts around others life decesions. For the record Riley is an awsome missionary, he has not let personal future plans interupte his work. So enough with all the selfrighteous dogma. You do not know anything other then your selfendulgent imaginations. Only God knows the thoughts and desires of someones heart, not you.

  • Can't you kids read?
    May 27, 2008 12:09 p.m.

    Okay, it doesn't say anywhere that he was getting e-mailed all the time by recruiters, or that he was getting e-mailed by BYU regularly, or even that BYU initiated the contact.

    It is quick possible (in fact probable) that this kid or his family contacted BYU and informed the program of his intention to transfer, and that BYU simply participated in the basic communication required to confirm it, etc.

    There is a story in the transfer, but no story at all in the fact that there was contact (likely minimal) with the kid during his mission.

  • bombadil
    May 27, 2008 12:04 p.m.

    It is interesting that several years ago, Patrick Kinehan led a round table discussion with four newly hired coaches in the state, namely: Bronco, Kyle, Ron and B. Guy. Interestingly, they agreed on most everything until the subject of recruiting kids on missions came up. Three of the four thought this was taboo, Guy being the one who thought they were fair game. McBride and Edwards apparently had a gentleman's agreement that they wouldn't go after each others currently serving missionaires. I find it interesting that Bronco agreed that it shouldn't be done (I guess unless it is a good quarterback) I'm guessing we will here some generic platitudes in his familiar monotone about his lack of involvement in this process. The bottom line, he allowed something to happen that he stated he didn't think was right. He would be the first to tell you the buck stops with him from a program standpoint. We generally call this hypocrisy. In interest of disclosure I am a Utah man, the sad part is the kid will probably never play as a coug. Utah State needed him far worse than the insurance policy he represents to BYU.

  • Nope
    May 27, 2008 11:59 a.m.

    >Wonder if his mission president would have okayed such communications if it were USU trying to take him away from BYU?

    Of course not. Why would he give the devil equal time? :)

  • kap
    May 27, 2008 11:57 a.m.

    i certainly remember a previous qb that was 6'0 from Texas that excelled, as well as a very mobile "young" qb from back in the day. I guess we will just have to find out in 2010 if he is the real deal.

  • magnus
    May 27, 2008 11:53 a.m.

    As an Aggie fan I am dissapointed to see Riley leaving the program. I lived in Logan while he was playing at Logan High and I saw him work and knew that he could flat play. He was totally overlooked out of high school and I was super exited when he decided to stay and play for the Aggies. Oh, well hopefully the aggies can find another answer at quarterback.

    As far as the BYU recruiting of missionaries goes I reiterate two important points:

    1) Of course BYU uses their affiliation with the LDS church to gain a recruiting advantage with LDS players. Why wouldn't they? To say that is somehow unfair or improper is just sour grapes.

    2) From first hand experience, I can tell you nearly every college athelete who puts their education and athletics on hold to serve a mission is going to have contact from coaches and recruiters in some form on their mission. Depending on when the Missionary is to return home in relation to the start of their athletic season and the NCAA signing rules it is often necessary to address the issue while still serving. Usually it is not a problem.

  • To all the haters:
    May 27, 2008 11:46 a.m.

    Not everyone who cheers for the Y assigned any blame to Ben Olsen when he transferrred to UCLA. Many fans, myself included, understood his reasons. The Cougar program was struggling under Crowton at the time and it must have looked like the right decision then. Besides, BYU got along just fine with Beck and Hall. So these blanket accusations of hypocrisy are nothing more than prejudiced stereotypes. And all these suggestions that Bronco "went after" Nelson while serving his mission are bogus. This kid expressed interest in transferring BEFORE coaches from the Y began any dialog with him, and then only after receiving permission from his mission president. So get off your high hater horses and quit passing judgment (its funny how most Cougar haters accuse us of being the judgmental "holier than thou" ones).

    And to Aggie fans: I know how hard a blow this must be. I hope no Cougar fans try to rub it in and taunt you. We went through this with Ben Olsen and know how it feels so we can and should be empathetic. And who knows, it may be a blessing in disguise like it was with Olsen.

  • Re:Re:Basketkase
    May 27, 2008 11:30 a.m.

    For someone who professes to know alot about Utah athletics you are clueless. Stanley Havilli has been at USC for two years and already has two Rose Bowl rings as a starter. Rileys' choices out of high school was Snow, Utah State, Dixie. Nothing against Riley but don't you dare put him above so many great athletes that have come out of this state.

  • VA Cougar
    May 27, 2008 11:26 a.m.

    It's not about commitment or religion. It's about position. Take it from Steve Spurrier:

    "Quarterbacks transfer," Spurrier said. "You sign three or four quarterbacks. Maybe there's a better opportunity for those players to go play somewhere else. That's what they should do."

    Max Hall and Ben Olson know this. QB's change schools- that is just how it goes.

  • A few points
    May 27, 2008 11:23 a.m.

    When Riley Nelson's mission president was called, he was working as a vice-president at BYU. Of course he is going to allow him to correspond with BYU about playing there and probably advise him to go there. I wonder if he would have if it weren't to BYU--or someone who was considering transferring from BYU to USU.

    BYU does not need Nelson. USU does. He has a much better chance of having a great career at USU and becoming a legend for generations at USU.

    I am disappointed that BYU would recruit someone or even offer a scholarship to someone who had COMMITTED to USU (or anywhere) regardless of where the interest began. I thought commitment was important to Mendenhall.

    I know that BYU students and alumni have a very high opinion of themselves and their school, but it is not widely shared. Most view BYU as they do Oral Roberts University. As a doctoral student at a Big Ten university, I was so grateful that I had gone to USU and not BYU. USU is much more respected. There are many of us who choose to go to other schools who could have taken your slot at BYU.

  • Sharon
    May 27, 2008 11:18 a.m.

    Great! Now we get to watch another player from Utah play mid-major teams in a medicore conference.

  • recruiting
    May 27, 2008 11:16 a.m.

    Let's make this one thing clear:

    BYU does not have a recruiting advantage when it comes to LDS missionaries. They do not seek out D-1 football players who are serving missions, and are not privy to any "special list" that these elders would supposedly be on. If they are contacted by the missionary (which in this case they were), then the coaches take a look at him and decide whether or not he is someone who would fit their program. If he is and they believe it is the right fit they contact the Mission President to make sure that their communication with the elder is ok. After receiving permission then they contact the elder, not before.

    So, I understand all the bitterness that comes along with this transfer (as us Coug fans went through it with Ben Olsen), but get your facts straight before you spout off on something you know very little or nothing about.

  • Re:Provo Coug
    May 27, 2008 11:14 a.m.

    And I'm sure the spirit guided him 2 years ago to go to Utha State. Give me a break.

  • Gunga Din
    May 27, 2008 11:13 a.m.

    I'm 5'10" (barely) and he's maybe an inch taller than me. BYU told him in early recruiting he was too small. Now all of a sudden he is 6'1" (nope) and just the right size? Whatever.

    Given all of that...he is as smart as they come and his arm is better than people think. He makes good decisions and makes plays. He benefitted in the system he played in but he transcended the system. He doesn't need a cannon arm for Anai's system, but he does need smarts and he has that by the bushelful.

    I'm a huge Aggie fan and I hate that he went to BYU but I don't blame him. Where football is concerned, that athletic department is as inept as they come. It's like turning the keys to the kingdom over to Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin. Were it not for Stew Morrill I'm sure the Bball program would be in similar disarray. Hacks.

    A great player will get noticed wherever he plays, that is true, but why blame the kid if he can play somewhere that has real football and a chance at winning more than a couple of games?

    May 27, 2008 11:08 a.m.

    Riley chose to play for the Aggies for one reason, and one reason only before his mission? ....He wanted to gain experience playing for the best JV team in the state... before he returned from his mission and played QB for BYU!

  • I Transferred But Who Cares
    May 27, 2008 11:04 a.m.

    I started my education at BYU. I liked some aspects of it and did very well but all in all I preferred a few hours a week of institute rather than six per day (all my classes seemed to have an aspect of Sunday School in the lectures). I tranferred to Utah State and loved it. I met some great (and great looking) LDS girls even though I was warned they did not exist outside the borders of Utah County. I got good grades and went to the top law program in the nation in my chosen specialty. I made these choices for me and my future and it worked out well - and sadly not one of you cared or posted a single word in protest!!! Why can't we just enjoy college athletics and athletes and stop putting it on some pedestal that it does not deserve to be on. Nelson and Olson (and others) made the choices they made for some of the same reasons I did. For those of you who can't see that you really need to get a grip on reality!!

  • Re: Basketkase
    May 27, 2008 11:02 a.m.

    "How many other all-Americans has Utah produced on the football field?"

    ummm, Jim McMahon

    --arguably one of the best quarterbacks, if not the best quarterback, among all of the outstanding quarterbacks that have played for BYU

    --would have broken the record for breaking the most NCAA records if there had been such a record (he broke something like 47 NCAA records his junior year)

    --should have won the Heisman Trophy

    --did lead the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl Championship

    I'm hoping Riley Nelson will be an outstanding quarterback at BYU, but until he proves it on the field, he remains in the Ben Olsen category -- great potential, but unrealized success.

  • Alex Trebek
    May 27, 2008 10:59 a.m.

    RE: Doubtful

    There's no need to wonder. It's not likely a student athlete were to transfer from BYU to USU for athletic reasons, and even if he did he probably wasn't that good to begin with so it wouldn't be very newsworthy.

    RE: Academic?

    Nobody cares about your "academic" decision. This article is about Riley Nelson and his decision. The reason your decision wasn't put in the newspaper is because you can't toss the pig-skin around. So, again, no one cares about your decision to go to USU and Cal. Good for you! Riley Nelson sees it differently and wants to win as a football player, who can blame him?

  • Stunned
    May 27, 2008 10:58 a.m.

    I think it's sad that people are complaining about BYU's recruiting tactics. No one knows the details. His dad couldn't even give a lot of details about the decision.
    I guess if you're looking for faults in others you'll find them, real or perceived. (Most of them are perceived.) Too many people take these rivalries too far, and start making it personal. Austin Collie says he was blessed for trying to do what's right on and off the field and Ute fan takes that personally as meaning that Utes aren't doing what is right. Please, if you need something to motivate you, look at what's happened on the field the last two years.
    Finally, this decision by Nelson will take 4 or 5 years to really show if it even matters.

    "Time wounds all heals"

  • WHY B U?
    May 27, 2008 10:54 a.m.

    Yeah, I don't think the mission president would have allowed him to email any other schools...Most missions have a "one-email per week rule" that I guess doesn't apply to the kitties or their potential recruits

  • Sports Fan
    May 27, 2008 10:50 a.m.

    I hope he does not turn into the next Gary Furness, the Aggies Basketball player that transphered after returning from his mission and seldom played he was also Recruited while on his mission an advantage that only BYU can enjoy.

    I think this will become the new Jaycee Carrol rule BYU can't afford to have am RM excell for another school, better to have him sit on the bench.

  • Come on DNEWS
    May 27, 2008 10:48 a.m.

    Put all the comments on. You lets the kitty faithful slam the aggies, but refuse to put something on here that questions the loyalty and commitment of Riley?? He committed to USU for FOUR year and he committed to a mission for 2. Seems he's having trouble on both ends. I love it when we see these athletes go on a mission and spend their time working everything out.

    Stay home, be a good guy, and play football. Just honor ALL your commitments. It's our whole society. Maybe USU was like a "starter marriage" for Riley!!!

  • BYU Recruiting?
    May 27, 2008 10:45 a.m.

    I seriously doubt that BYU recruited Riley on his mission. My guess is that BYU left the door open for him before he left and that for reasons only Riley knows, he has made this decision, which was no doubt very difficult and wrenching for him. I am a Y fan, but I love USU and the Aggies as well. I sincerely hope they turn things around there.

    I also imagine that he WAS being written all the time by Utah State to determine what his plans were, and that this was a big distraction for him. I believe he consulted with his father and others he loved, including the mission president, and felt that this needed to be done now so he could concentrate on his mission.

    I felt bad when Olsen left, and I know Aggie fans feel the same way about losing Riley, who by all accounts is a class guy and an unbelievable competitor. I understand Olsen's reasons for leaving, and I also understand Riley's reasons. We can second guess or disagree about whether it was the right thing to do, but at the end of the day, it is the athlete's decision.

  • AggieBlue
    May 27, 2008 10:46 a.m.

    I am disappointed Riley is leaving USU. He brought some excitement to Aggie football fans. Thanks for the Fresno St. game. I wish you the best in the future.

    As for ProvoCoug and some other BYU fans, your "holier than thou" attitude is the reason people do not like BYU athletics. It sounds like you need to listen more when you are at church.

    I am a true Aggie fan. I will always cheer for them no matter how many games they win or lose. Go Aggies!!!

  • Re: Questionable Ethics
    May 27, 2008 10:41 a.m.

    The only thing questionable is your logic.

    LDS missionaries are fair game for ANY school to recruit after they've been away from their school for 18 months.

    Please explain how this is a recruiting advantage for BYU?

    Why should any school be prohibited from initiating contact with any available athlete, period?

    And why should a missionary athlete be forced to sit out a year after his mission, since after 18 months he is officially released from his letter of intent and is free to sign with any team he chooses?

    Why punish an athlete for serving a religious mission?

    The same rules that apply to missionary service, also apply to athletes who are called away for military service.

  • Wishing Nelson the best
    May 27, 2008 10:36 a.m.

    All the best to USU. It isn't fun to lose a player. BYU has lost its share. But that is the name of the game. If I were Nelson I would have gone to USU before the mission because of where BYU's program was at, and the log jam at QB. He got valuable playing time at USU. After, I would consider just as he did, whether I wanted to play for a winning program or for a losing one. And he will likely get playing time at BYU under the current circumstances. Seeing how Nelson would have likely chosen BYU before his mission if he would have seen playing time, this isn't an illogical choice.

    BYU followed the rules and its program now offers Nelson what he is looking for. That's it! Missionaries are encouraged to plan for their best futures after their missions, and their is no foul in that. If USU or anywhere else is a better fit for a BYU player to leave to after his mission, that will always smart a little, but BYU is running a program where we will retain players who want to play Bronco-style football. We aren't missing Ben Olsen!

  • Re: ProvoCoug
    May 27, 2008 10:28 a.m.

    Pride cometh before the fall. JC Carroll did see the light, thats why he came to Logan. And if you want to call BYU the best basketball program in the state, try again. I guess we will find out this year because BYU actually had the guts to schedule the Aggies. They probably wouldnt have if they knew Plaisted was leaving. Too bad, I call for a butt whooping at the ESA ... by the Aggies that is.

  • Academic?
    May 27, 2008 10:27 a.m.

    Nelson's father is quoted as saying his son's decision to transfer was based on "emotional, academic and athletic perspective", and that utimately the decision to transfer to BYU was best for him. I can understand the athletic angle. I have no idea about the emotional factor. But I don't get at all the academic factor. After returning from a mission for the LDS Church, I twice decided to decline academic scholarships offered by BYU in favor of opportunities at other institutions. I decided to pursue undergraduate studies at Utah State and graduate studies at the University of California. I made those choices based on academic reasons. Although there are those at BYU who quake when the issue is brought up, BYU continues to face perception, especially outside of Utah, that it lacks academic, faculty, and student body diversity. That ultimately affects that insitution's "academic" picture. Sure, that perception may be somewhat unfair, and the admission standards for BYU remain high, but some have chosen to pursue their academic training elsewhere, including Utah State, for the very reasons BYU gets it academic knocks. The decision NOT to attend BYU was a good academic and professional decision for me.

  • Recruiting Missionaries
    May 27, 2008 10:26 a.m.

    "It is nice to see that BYU uses the 2 years of missionary service to recruit."

    A flat out lie...

    Bronco only started communicating with Riley after he found out that Riley was interested in transferring to BYU. Even then, Bronco had the courtesy to get the permission of Riley's mission president before contacting him.

    I'm sure UCLA, like most schools, never even considered contacting Ben Olsen's mission president and I'm not even sure Utah St. or Utah would bother.

    BYU athletes are constantly being recruited by other schools and BYU would be foolish if they didn't stay in touch with their missionary athletes just to let them know that they still want them coming back to the program.

    But, to my knowledge, BYU does not activily recruit missionary athletes from other schools during their missions unless those athletes have expressed an interest in being contacted by BYU.

  • Jaycee Carroll???
    May 27, 2008 10:26 a.m.

    He did see the light.

    He was 2-1 versus the kitties AND Dave Rose didn't want to play him his senior year!!!

  • SF Blue
    May 27, 2008 10:21 a.m.

    As a Cougar fan this is exciting, but I do feel for the Aggies. My wife went to USU and besides the Cougars I root for the Aggies. I hope that the program can back online.

  • Change of Color?
    May 27, 2008 10:15 a.m.

    I was really looking forward to seeing USU start to climb out of the basement of the WAC when Nelson came home. I am dissapointed, but it is his life. Nelson would have helped this suffering program.
    However, he has been gone for a while now on his mission. MAYBE he has been tricked into going to BYU because BYU wears AGGIE BLUE!!! Those Cougars are tricky!

  • Basketkase
    May 27, 2008 10:14 a.m.

    You guys obviously missed the point in my original post. Let's try again. To the first guy to refute me, I agree that it takes a team effort to make a winning team. That's pretty obvious, right? No one ever doubted that. But to say that one person doesn't make a difference is pure ignorance. Take Kobe off the Lakers this season. They wouldn't have even made the playoffs. I can give similar examples all day. To the second doubter, nice reference with Cael Sanderson, who was a world-class wrestler in high school, but please, since there are so many other athletes who dominated more than Nelson, how about an example. You won't be able to give any. How many other all-Americans has Utah produced on the football field? Heck, in any sport. Shawn Bradley, Garner Meads...and Nelson. Meads didn't shatter the record books, and Bradley only did because he's a freak. Pound for pound, Nelson is the best Utah high school football player in the state's history. Period. And by the way, I was correspondent until I walked away from it, by choice.

  • ProvoCoug
    May 27, 2008 10:12 a.m.

    Rise and Shout Riley Nelson Wanted Out (as an Aggie). This is great news. I guarantee the Spirit guided him in his decision. Now all of you Aggies fans can have something else to moan and complain about until football season begins. Maybe you can use him as a scapegoat for your pathetic football program. That is if you can even call it a football program. Can't wait to beat you by 50 in Logan this year. To bad JC Carroll never saw the light. Then again it does not matter because BYU has the best basketball program in the state.

  • Please! This is great for BYU
    May 27, 2008 10:12 a.m.

    Mis directed energy,

    Yeah, we are really sad about our two latest QB's out of Arizona, and so sad about this pickup of arguably the best QB in the nation if TD's count for anything--oh yeah, they do. Duh!

  • Questionable Ethics
    May 27, 2008 10:11 a.m.

    I can't help but see this as BYU using the LDS Church (which runs BYU) as a recruiting tool that isn't available to other schools. If a kid is going to serve an LDS mission and get a two year waiver from the NCAA, schools should be prohibited from initiating contact with that athlete while they are on their mission.

    I also think the NCAA should change rules to make it so that serving a religious mission (LDS or not) shouldn't be the easy-out of a scholarship commitment. The waiver for religious reasons should only apply to eligibility, not to commitment. Riley *should* be forced to sit out a year of football for transferring schools, as *should* have Ben Olson.

  • Re: WA Cougar
    May 27, 2008 10:11 a.m.

    "He is a great athlete, but not an elite quarterback. He simply does not have the size or the strength to be successful at the college level."

    The exact same thing could be said about

    Ty Detmer

    All he accomplished during his career at BYU was beating the defending national champions and #1 ranked team, Miami, breaking most of the NCAA career passing records, and winning the Heisman Trophy.

  • Mis directed energy
    May 27, 2008 9:50 a.m.

    Too bad the BYU coaches do not seem to look for talent much beyond the Utah state line...Plenty of 6'4 230 lb QB out there, just ready to wear the blue.

  • Be Selfish
    May 27, 2008 9:48 a.m.

    I'm an Aggie fan through and through and would have loved to see Nelson stay. But if I were in his shoes I would have done the exact thing.

  • Doubtful
    May 27, 2008 9:48 a.m.

    Wonder if his mission president would have okayed such communications if it were USU trying to take him away from BYU?

  • Logan Soft?
    May 27, 2008 9:48 a.m.

    Anyone that calls this kid a quitter doesn't deserve him on their team. He is one of the gutsiest HS players I have ever seen. USU has not been able to offer him a chance to compete with an outclassed offensive line, remember how bad Colt Brennan was against superior competition? One guy cannot do it at this level. BYU has talent that will allow him to compete. This solidifies even more the next three years of quality QB's at the Team down South, any fellow Ute fan that isn't at least a little concerned hasn't seen him play enough, His mobility in the spread at the U could've been a good fit.

  • Jeff Hirschi
    May 27, 2008 9:45 a.m.

    Well QB Nelson was my comp in the mish and i'll tell you that there isnt anyone else who has more dedication then him. That kid has success at everything he does, and I garentee he will through it down for BYU!!

  • Brian
    May 27, 2008 9:34 a.m.

    Aggie fans need to be realistic. Brent Guy has shown zero progress in the three years he has been in Logan. Why would Nelson want to return to a program that just had their head coach fired (which will happen at the end of this season). I hate seeing our good players leave, especially to BYU. That being said, can you blame him?!
    In my mind this is not Nelson being a traitor, it's a case of USU ineptitude in advancing their football program. You can only blame your bad fortune on being an independent for so long! You're in a decent conference now so play like you belong. Disgruntled Aggie Fan

  • Re: Let's See
    May 27, 2008 9:24 a.m.

    In your comment, "How will he do vs. PAC 10 or other top caliber teams?" You are suggesting that BYU has top caliber teams that they play against. I don't know that Northern Iowa and Washington would be considered "top caliber".

    It's sad that USU couldn't keep him there in Cache Valley. How do you lose out on Rod Tueller's grandson? The kid has USU connections and they let him slip away. That is unacceptable! USU needs to take a hard look at itself.

    He was the only bright spot for Aggie football.

    He would have a better chance to turn pro staying in Logan (see 2008 NFL draft).

    Also, it is BYU's own Dick Harmon who said that he was a Parade All-American QB. He is trying to make it sound better, we at USU know better.

  • Thomas
    May 27, 2008 9:23 a.m.

    I am very desappointed. As a life ling Aggie fan I am dissappointed that Riley made this decision but I just don't know who I am dissapointed with. Am I disappointed with BYU, Missionaries, Mission Presidents, the Aggies, his parents, etc. Are the Aggies that bad? NO! Are the Cougars that good? NO! Is there a problem between Coach Guy and the Nelson's? I will will root for Riley to do well but I will NEVER root for BYU to do well. RILEY, this is just a verbal. YOU CAN STILL COME BACK TO THE TRUE BLUE AGGIES!!!

  • dingo
    May 27, 2008 9:20 a.m.

    my only concern is his size (barely 6'1" and 200 pounds soaking wet) at this level. there is a major difference between the WAC and the PAC 10 or the other BCS conferences. yeah i know give respect, it dont matter, ty detmer was small, etc etc etc... the fact still remains this kid is small.

    is he a competitor? sure he is but lets be honest high school doesnt amount for squat after you have played in college. it doesnt matter who he beat or didnt beat at logan high.

    as for preferential treatment in the mission field that is up to the mission president not the missionary. if there is an issue the church leadership will handle it.

    BYU has a long history of bringing in a host of qb's and using em and losing em as does every other major university in the country so nothing new there.

    i wish him luck and hopes that he will make a good accounting of himself.

  • B WHY U
    May 27, 2008 9:18 a.m.

    Are there no ethics in Provo? The recent recruiting (stealing) of Riley Nelson from USU while serving a mission makes one wonder. I dont totally blame Riley for being interested in going to another school, but from all accounts he didnt initiate this contact. Only one year into his mission, shouldnt Elder Riley be concentrating on something other that playing sports at BYU. This is definitely a dichotomy of action on BYUS part. Is this common practice by the school that holds itself so high above the rest? I can see this happening at other major big schools, but at the Y? All I can say is dont fly the righteous flag too high if you are going to resort to these kind of tactics that put you in the same league with other universities when it comes to ethics related to the sports programs

  • WA Cougar
    May 27, 2008 9:15 a.m.

    I have strong connections to the Logan Hight football program and if Riley Nelson is 6'1, then I am 7'6. He is 5'9 at best and can barely through the ball
    30 yards. He is a great athlete, but not an elite quarterback. He simply does not have the size or the strength to be successful at the college level.

  • USU Alum
    May 27, 2008 9:12 a.m.

    If BYU was emailing Riley on a regular basis, what was the USU coaching staff doing? Faith without works is dead.

  • Won't play
    May 27, 2008 9:10 a.m.

    At BYU, will forever be a back up!

  • strange
    May 27, 2008 9:08 a.m.

    Shouldn't he have been focusing on his missionary work? Shouldn't BYU have let him focus on his work? It is strange to me that BYU would distract him from his work by recruiting him.

  • Re: Basketkase
    May 27, 2008 9:09 a.m.

    Let me get this striaght you are comparing Riley Nelson to Michael Jordan. Your comparing Utah 3A football to the NBA. I don't care if you do use the excuse "At the level at which he competed". I can name you athletes all over the state of Utah that have dominated their sport far more than Riley Nelosn. so he won one game in college as a freshman. Utah has had freshman that have won the NCAA. If your going to compare other sports like basketball and football, Try Cael Sanderson from Wasatch. There are many more.I take it you were not a sports correspondant for long.

  • Paul Carter
    May 27, 2008 9:07 a.m.


  • Re: Basketkase
    May 27, 2008 9:05 a.m.

    Comparing Nelson to Jordan? Wow, in what world are you living? Nelson is a great competitor and comes from a winning high school program. But even the almighty Nelson only won one game at USU. It takes a team effort to make a winning team. Thats why I think one single player is not going to make a difference. I pity the Y for thinking that.

  • Re:McKay
    May 27, 2008 9:00 a.m.

    3A football players in the state of Utah will never be in the top 5 recruits in the country. Competition is too weak, the state is too small. Try California with 30 million people and one state champ not 5 state championships divided among the state.

  • Ben Olsen/Fisher
    May 27, 2008 8:52 a.m.

    All you BYU fans called Ben Olsen a traitor a liar and a coward for transferring to UCLA. Even when the coach that recruited him from BYU was fired while he was on his misson. Now your all ok about Riley transfering to BYU, what hypocrites. You Jazz fans called Fisher a traitor for going back to the Lakers. You guys are so phoney, if it benefits you it's all ok, anyone else are traitors.

  • USU Fan
    May 27, 2008 8:50 a.m.

    This all seems a little fishy to me. i mean sure it happens (ben olsen). but the strange thing is it's BYU. this school should be promoting missionaries to stay focused on there mission. he still won't be home for about ten months. usually when you get your scholarships in order or you start worrying about housing is towards the end of your mission this kid is just past his one year mark. i sat in front of Riley's Grandma and grandpa at almost every home game last year. it just seems sad his grandma will have to go clear down to provo to watch his games.
    oh well best of luck to you Riley. loved the win against Fresno.

  • Commitment
    May 27, 2008 8:50 a.m.

    I love how Bronco only expects players to honor their commitments to BYU.

  • Dutchman
    May 27, 2008 8:50 a.m.

    Everytime Bronco puts on one of his "firesides" he preaches integrity and sportmanship. He doesn't seem to practice what he preaches or demand it from his recruits.

  • Riley Skywalker
    May 27, 2008 8:45 a.m.

    Riley... why???... you were the chosen one... you were supposed to bring balance to the force... not leave it in such a mess... so long dear brother...

  • RG
    May 27, 2008 8:36 a.m.

    The truth is, Riley wanted to sign with BYU when he came out of Logan High but the Cougs were loaded at the QB position at the time and Riley felt like he had the chance to start by signing with USU. Another big reason he signed with USU was he could play in front of his home town and his family could come to his games. Even though he was a Parade Al American, he didn't have a lot of D1 schools knocking at his door because of his size. Logan did play some of the 5A and 4A powers his senior year and Logan beat most, if not all of them. Someone else out there might be able to clarify this point. Riley is a winner and can beat you with the pass and with his running abilities. Needless to say Riley will be fun to watch no matter who he plays for.

  • Re: ain't nuthin
    May 27, 2008 8:35 a.m.

    How do you know what kind of college player he will be? He was a freshman quarterback playing at USU with no line, no backs, and no receivers. You don't know if he will be special until he gets experience and plays with some talent. Very few quarterbacks ever look special as a freshman. Thanks for your input though Vince Lombardi.

  • Basketkase
    May 27, 2008 8:33 a.m.

    To those who doubt the 3-A ranks, consider this: When Logan won the state title in 2005, they beat eventual 5-A champion Skyline the week before the playoffs started. And they beat them good. When a 3-A school dominates the future 5-A champ, there has to be a good reason, and it's almost all Nelson in this case. I worked as a sports correspondent for a Utah newspaper that season and still believe that Nelson is the most dominant athlete I've ever seen (at the level at which he competed). For example, Michael Jordan never dominated the NBA like Nelson dominated Utah high school football. The kid was absolutely unstoppable. Even in Logan's only loss that season (to Alta, one of the largest schools in the state), it took terrible play by Logan's receivers and defense to give the Hawks a narrow victory. Believe the hype. Nelson is a winner. Go back to the Fresno State game and watch. He was 18, playing his first real college game, and the Aggies got a rare win. I almost pity the Y's opponents.

  • Logan soft?
    May 27, 2008 8:27 a.m.

    One bad season and he bolts? They don't make northern Utah farm boys like they used to. At least the Aggies can console themselves knowing that only selfish players quit on their teams. Let him go compete with the other quitter, Max Hall, for a spot, and go find someone with backbone.

    I would like to see recruiting come to an end in college football. No coach has anyone's interest but his own in mind. Now we're even recruiting kids on missions? This is crazy.

  • McKay
    May 27, 2008 8:25 a.m.

    As a Y fan, I'm happy to have Riley join the team, I watched him play a few times in HS and the kid is the real deal. If he was a couple inches taller he probably would have been somewhere around the top 5 most recruited players in the country his senior year. As for the Aggies; I feel bad for them, I wish they could somehow turn that program back around. Obviously this doesn't help.

  • Zoobie 55
    May 27, 2008 8:25 a.m.

    I was surprised how well Nelson played as a freshman for Utah State. I was also surprised with his ability and leadership skills. This is a very tough loss for Utah State. This shouldn't be looked at as a pie in the face to the Aggies. The fact is the Cougar football success under Mendenhall is getting noticed and many young football athletes want to be a part of it. Success like this has worked the same way for Stu Morrill and Aggie basketball.

  • Critic Sour Grapes
    May 27, 2008 8:23 a.m.

    When Ben Olsen decided to transfer from BYU to UCLA, I fully supported his decision.

    Just as I fully support Riley Nelson's decision to transfer from Utah St. to BYU.

    What business is it of anybody else's to question where Riley decides to go to school.

    Those who want to make weak arguments that it was wrong for Riley to be thinking about such things while he was on his mission are suffering from a case of sour grapes.

    Contrary to someone people's biased remarks, EVERY missionary, no matter how dedicated, thinks about what they're going to do following their mission.

    Those who think that BYU was bombarding Riley with constant emails are wrong.

    Missionaries rarily have an opportunity to check email more than once a week, during their preparation day.

    I'm certain that Bronco is well aware of this and did his upmost to respect Riley's commitment to his missionary service. A weekly email from BYU to Riley, with the mission president's permission, would not have been anymore disruptive than an email from his family.

    Riley, afterall, is a normal, intelligent young man who is fully capable of ignoring any emails that he isn't interested in reading.

  • True Believer
    May 27, 2008 8:16 a.m.

    I watched Riley Nelson play football, and he is definitely one of the best football players to come out of the state of Utah over the last 5 years. He along with Alta's Jordan Anderson are two of the best players I have seen. It is not just enough to have talent and speed, as Riley has both, but the kid is just a flat out winner....Watch for some announcements coming from USU where QB's are leaving BYU to go to USU! Because Riley is a better QB than Max Hall is right now!

  • Boise Coug
    May 27, 2008 8:15 a.m.

    Welcome to the Y, son.

  • Re: 3A
    May 27, 2008 8:15 a.m.

    Riley did play the best in the state. His senior year Logan played Skyline at Skyline and won by about 20 points. That same year Logan won the 3A and Sklyline won the 5A state championships.

  • Martin
    May 27, 2008 8:13 a.m.

    At least he won't have to change his colors, just logos.

  • Two years of recruiting
    May 27, 2008 8:13 a.m.

    It is nice to see that BYU uses the 2 years of missionary service to recruit. I can understand other schools, but BYU should understand the priorities. How can you blame the "church school" when he has the mission president's permission. I wonder if cougar nation will soon be able to find out the latest status of all their prep missionary recruits in a special section of Fortunately now I know what Bronco means when he mentions integrity and abiding by church standards.

  • To 3A??
    May 27, 2008 8:08 a.m.

    Corrections, we are have won the last 2 lower level bowl games

  • Aggies
    May 27, 2008 8:06 a.m.

    Thanks to all the Cougar Fans for not being boastful. As an Aggie Faithful this hurts but one player does not make a team. He's got tons of talent and will probably do well if he is surrounded by the right players. Good luck to him.
    As for my Aggies, they need to show that the program has been improving. They were in a bunch of games last year but couldnt pull it off. This year, they need to win those games and if they dont, Coach Guy wont have to be upset about Riley leaving, cuz he wont be here anymore.
    That being said, I hope we can pull off an upset in October to show that USU is really not that bad of a place to go play football. And if we have another bad season? There will always be basketball and with Plaisted gone, the Aggies will rule ESA. :) Good luck to both schools, just not to BYU when they play the Aggies. :)

  • tstu
    May 27, 2008 8:05 a.m.

    If he wanted to go to BYU, why didn't he just go in the first place? And how is he supposed to concentrate on his mission when he's got recruiters emailing him nonstop? This just isn't right.

  • Correction
    May 27, 2008 8:00 a.m.

    Riley is not 6'1" more like 5'11" also he was not a parade all american as a QB. He was an all american all purpose player!!! because he comes from a small school and played several positions. Let's make sure the facts are correct. He will make a great QB he will be a starter I have watched him several times and he can make it happen. I watched the game when Logan beat Skyline it was great. They did beat up on some 5a teams. Good luck

  • RR
    May 27, 2008 7:59 a.m.

    As one who follows all 3 big universities in football, but mainly BYU football, I honestly felt a little bad for USU. They are a program close to going down a division, and then this happens. This year they have a tough road schedule, and not so easy home schedule.

    I always hope teams like Duke, Florida International, and SDSU can get out of their slumps, but it looks like USU is destined to stay in theirs. I feel for ya Ags.

  • Ross
    May 27, 2008 7:48 a.m.

    It looks like Utah State is again in a position to prop up the BYU football program in the future with Riley. Readers may not remember that Lavell Edwards played at USU and knew enough about football to lift BYU up from an also ran in the WAC to a national contender. But USU is getting stronger and better each year, it takes time to overcome being asleep in offbrand football for 40 years.The Aggies will be back.

  • ain't nuthin
    May 27, 2008 7:45 a.m.

    Man, I watched the kid in high school and the few games he played in college. All I gotta say is good luck byu. This kid was a great high school player, but he wasn't anything special in college. Maybe he'll get better, but who knows.

  • re:3a
    May 27, 2008 7:41 a.m.

    Stop talking like your a Y fan. You're red all over! Weak arguments, this kid is a national talent QB and everyone knows it!

    Funny how U fan rubbed in Olsen bailing on the Cougs (and still do) during his mission, but now suddenly when this happens to the cougs they're screaming "Foul"! C'mon have some backbone.

  • TP
    May 27, 2008 7:31 a.m.

    Wow!!! This a huge blow to the Aggies. Riley Nelson was the future of the program. To those of you who question his skills, wake up. This kid is the real deal and will have no problem working his way into the BYU starting position. Had USU been able to provide any kind of blocking for him as a freshman he would have helped them win even more games. Their is a reason BYU went after him. He is probably the most talented QB in the west. As an Aggie fan it is painful to see this happen but winning will cure alot of pain and winning in Logan just got much more difficult.

  • And the Winner Is????
    May 27, 2008 7:09 a.m.

    It is always amazing that someone has to express some negativity about a player such as Nelson transferring to BYU. Either there is a question about when the transfer occurred or what is the big deal about his coming to BYU.

    If the shoe were on the other foot, such as he decided to switch schools like when Olsen transferred to UCLA(they all laughed then)or the kid decided on USU or Utah over BYU then all the haters would be out kackling about the recruiting coup State or the 'U' just pulled off and, oh by the way, poor BYU(lol)lost a good to great quarterback who saw the light, finally, and came home to one of the truely great teams in the state, especially had it been the 'U'???

    One has to believe that eventually the really good ones will gravitate back to BYU. This guy went to State becaause of the poor state of affairs of BYU football when he signed with USU. Obviously things have improved in Provo???

    I site two 11-2 seasons, two bowl victories and 2 consecutive undefeated MWC seasons.

    Bronco preaches quiet, intelligent consistency.

    I'm not surprised at all.

    Notice Utah wasn't even mentioned???????

  • Go Aggies
    May 27, 2008 7:04 a.m.

    Good job USU. Could you have made the decision any easier for him?

    BYU: 300+lb lineman, plenty of weapons, 60000 fans. Long shot at making it to a respectful bowl game.

    USU: The excitement of playing San Jose St. and the scotsman!!!

    This kid isn't stupid. To 3A??, I watched Riley play at Logan High and he would have started and been the best player for any 4A or 5A team in the state. See the record books.

  • Re: 3A
    May 27, 2008 6:57 a.m.

    Obviously a Ute troll scared that BYU has added another top notch quarterback.

    He obviously thinks that the Utes should stop recruiting players from Utah since only kids from California and Florida have any real football talent.

  • Canada Cougar fan
    May 27, 2008 5:53 a.m.

    This is great for BYU. This kid is nothing but the best. I know this is not easy for all fans in Cache Valley so I will not rub it in. I respect all you great people and it is hard for us BYU fans when the shoe is on the other foot. BTW you really had a tremendous talent and a fine hoop star in J.C. Carroll. He made you all proud. Congrats!

  • Patata Brava
    May 27, 2008 5:29 a.m.

    There will be some people who will complain that this young man got some sort of "special privileges" not afforded to other missionaries by talking to BYU coaches. My grandfather died while I was in Argentina. I found out three weeks later. You know, I am ok with this. I don't mind.

    My mom sent me newspaper clippings about my high school football team. There were some issues that we discussed as I had put my (academic) scholarship on hold, and housing needed to be worked out before I came home again.

    If he feels that he can improve his life by going to another school, how is this different from any other person who wants to transfer schools while in the mission?

    As for the Aggies whose feelings were hurt, the best revenge is winning.

  • BlueCoug
    May 27, 2008 5:08 a.m.

    Welcome to Cougartown Riley!!!

  • 3A??
    May 27, 2008 4:51 a.m.

    Nothing against him personally but just how large is a 3A school? Who has he beaten besides Box Elder? Write a story when we land a top tier QB from California or Florida.

    The real story should be why BYU has never been good enough to play in a top level bowl game or why we can't even win most bowl games in second tier bowls. Why is the program stuck in the mid-majors? Why is our recruiting class no better than it was in the early 1980's??

  • From WA
    May 27, 2008 1:43 a.m.

    Even as a BYU fan, I don't really like it that you can transfer schools without sitting a year after the mission, the whole re-recruiting thing feels wrong to me. That said I wish him and all student athletes the best in all their endeavors.

  • Let's see...
    May 27, 2008 1:25 a.m.

    I wish Nelson success at BYU. There seem to be lots of assumptions on what went on in his 'recruitment'. I've never seen a more judgemental lot of people (aren't you BYU, Ute and USU fans all really mostly LDS?? What do they teach you in Sunday School in Utah these days?).

    All Nelson has done so far is beat up on the best small schools in Utah and scored 13 points on Fresno State. How will he do vs. PAC 10 or other top caliber teams??

  • CougarKeith
    May 27, 2008 1:14 a.m.

    Sorry Utah State, we really are, but such are the breaks! I hope this will be a big benefit to BYU down the road!

  • Boogie man
    May 27, 2008 1:12 a.m.

    First !!! Now ya'll go to sleep