Utah is producing its share of top-notch football recruits

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  • Tdibs
    July 9, 2008 4:11 p.m.

    you cant blame a kid for wanting to go to a better school then BYU or UTAH. Lets say you are given the chance to play in the NBA on any team you want. Are you going to pick the Clippers and Memphis or Boston?

  • kdawg
    July 3, 2008 12:05 p.m.

    The Utah kids are often great. they have convictions, drive and dedication. They also often want to go on Mormon missions for two years. Schools recruiting these guys will have to be willing to hold scholarships for two years while they do this. The three state of Arizona schools are willing to do this (ASU, UA, NAU). Schools that have this commitment know that even if the guys come back out of shape from their missions they come back two years older and wiser. That's why BYU has given fits to other opponents for years with what was perceived as having less talent. They often have the oldest teams in the NCAA. Maturity counts for something.

  • TDub
    July 3, 2008 6:43 a.m.

    To Big Deal: As a former high school coach, I have often wondered what the value of P.E. and athletics really is. Many years ago (I'm now 71) I decided that the reason the USA won World War II was because of high school athletics...case in point: Athletic teams teach leadership and comraderie so that when the captain gets killed, the lieutenant takes over; when the lieutenant gets killed, the sergeant takes over; when the sergeant gets killed...you understand.... Much of this leadership was learned on the athletic fields. Yes, the scholarships provided an education, but the leadership and teamwork are impossible to put a price tag on.

  • Anonymous
    July 1, 2008 12:20 a.m.

    I don't know if the person who posted "Big Deal" is a sports person or a wannabe. I am confused as to why he would be reading these blogs anyways. Anyone who says sports isn't important is wrong. it is important in soo many ways. It briengs communities together, gives people something to talk about, brings friendly compitition between friends and family, but sometimes the compitition becomes bad. It teaches you teammork and work ethics and how to play. Why do you think that sports is one the the biggest entertainment in the world and always has been. Being an engineer and inventor is important but maybe one percent of college althetes go pro but the rest,they got scholorships to go to school, so if they want to become something else, they didn't need to pay for school, isn't that important? BTW, I am glad about all the attention that Highland is getting from this article and from the blogs. Being a formor Ram, let me say GO RAMS. and having played with Hgata I would like to wish him good luck in the NFL.

  • Big Deal
    June 30, 2008 9:50 p.m.

    Wow that's wonderful! Too bad they aren't engineers or inventors. Football is one of the most wasteful sports. We need smart people to solve our energy crisis, not 35 year olds with blown out knees.

  • Anonymous
    June 30, 2008 6:07 p.m.

    Wow Arizona Dave, you have a lot to say, especially since there has never been a college football championship in the state of Arizona. Washington has been in a championship game 3 times. Even BYU has won it more than the overrated BCS conference teams in Arizona.

  • Mike Buys
    June 30, 2008 6:06 p.m.

    It's great to see that Utah High School players are getting the attention they deserve because the quality of player here are better now. I am glad BYU, and Utah are getting thier share of them. I think Byu is getting the better share of them at this point. BYU sleeper offensively this year in my humble opinion will be JJ Diligui, especially since Tonga is gone now. I think this is a blessing in diguise because he is a electrifying player. I have seen tape of his high school days at Canyon High in the foothill league in california. He ran all over people. He reminds me of Barry Sanders. He is not big but strong with good speed, and very elusive. Bronco if you don't play this kid this year it will be really to bad because he is that good. I am almost sure Bronco knows what he has got in this kid.

  • The Real Mike Holmgren
    June 30, 2008 5:40 p.m.

    are you serious? I coached in the Mountain West Conferance!! Of course I look at players there. I love how you guys think playing in a good bowl game matters. We look for the player who is the best for the N F L! Some good college players won't be good in the NFL.

  • Mike Holmgren
    June 30, 2008 4:02 p.m.

    Coach of the Seattle Seahawks on what they look for when drafting: "A four year player from a MAJOR university." MWC does not provide the level of competition needed. Look at the 2008 draft. The MWC had 7 total players drafted, and none till the 3rd round. SEC had 34 drafted, 14 of which were in rounds 1-3. Even the worst BCS Conference, the big east had 19 total players drafted, and 7 in rounds 1-3. The MWC is not the route to take to the NFL, especially if you want a chance to be drafted in the first few rounds.

  • Re: local hype
    June 30, 2008 3:52 p.m.

    Your condescending, arrogant critique would be more convincing if you weren't so illiterate. Learn how to write in coherent sentences, stop mixing your metaphores, and use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation.

    Until then, find a nice little "Big Dawg" blog where you will feel more comfortable discussing football with other rednecks who appreciate what "real" football is all about.

  • To Local Hype
    June 30, 2008 3:07 p.m.

    Your right that there are very few BCS calibre players here in Utah compared to states like Florida, California and Texas. But that doesn't mean the occassional Utah stud can't compete with the very best in the country. Ngata, Havili and others could start for any team and have become or will become solid pros. They are far and few between but it does seem like those types of kids are becoming more prevelent in our little state. We have a few each year now where we used to get one every 4 or 5. Heck, it seems like one comes out of Timpview every season now.

  • local hype
    June 30, 2008 2:45 p.m.

    love the local hype, yes schools are looking at a very very very few here in the "great" football state of utah....pssssssssss...please, calm down sports fan...this local "hype" is still very PETTY on the big screen. One thing comes to mind as I read these little Utah media about there "studs" little chiwawa's trying to be like DA BIG DAWGS.....STOP, your not. Sorry to burst yall's bubble...just telling it like it is.PERIOD

  • re cougar keith
    June 30, 2008 1:32 p.m.

    Wow, wow wow, youre one of the reasons why people laugh at BYU.

  • Utah
    June 30, 2008 10:36 a.m.

    Why is Utah not recruiting Hemuli? He would be minutes from campus coming from Highland and you would think Utah would be smart to give him a look considering the success of Ngata and Victor Felipe, not to mention Stewart Bradley (all 3 Highland guys) as Bradley walked on at Nebraska and was a starter for two years and is now with the Eagles.

  • Coaches make the difference
    June 30, 2008 9:34 a.m.

    This article alluded to an important fact - coaches from this area going to big name schools come back here to recruit. Look at the schools who tend to come after the top Utah hs athletes - USC (formerly Chow and still Sarkesian), UCLA (Chow), LSU (Crowton), Oregon (formerly Crowton), Colorado (Hawkins). I'm surprised there are not more Florida offers to the best. I think the relationships these schools have developed with local hs coaches make a huge difference in who regularly comes here and grabs our best. I don't hear about many Miami, Alabama or Georgia offers to Utah kids. The very top one or two who are also considered 4 star recruits may get those but most come from the BCS schools with local ties.

    And local college kids who are GREAT will be on scouts radars. But the middle of the road kids like Kelly Poppinga will have to get to the NFL through the backdoor because they are not on the radars like they would be as a starter at a BCS school. Being invited to combines and all-star games makes a huge difference between being drafter versus going free agent.

  • CougarKeith
    June 30, 2008 8:47 a.m.

    So lets give a big cheer for these kids who can have their lives ruined by the all mighty buck, the influence of drugs and alcohol and everything else outside of Utah that make Utah's temptations for kids look like a ice-cream stand in comparison to places like LSU, Chicago, USC, UCLA, and other big city schools. Ask Hal Garner, there are more important things to life than MONEY!

    How about playing for the team of your childhood dreams, then a beautiful wife, and family, and keeping FIRST THINGS FIRST! Sadly you hear the words but the lessons just don't sink in do they?

  • Tiny Gnats
    June 30, 2008 8:02 a.m.

    There are a few PAC-10, SEC, and Big East fans who regularly hang out on this sports blog devoted primarily to MWC and WAC teams who are like tiny gnats, pesky nuisances who never have anything useful to contribute. You know who you are.

  • Annonymous
    June 30, 2008 6:44 a.m.

    I'm just happy to see so many guys recruited from Highland.

  • Ute fans
    June 30, 2008 1:50 a.m.

    You guys who think you know everything really irritate those of us who really do! LOL

  • mom
    June 29, 2008 11:20 p.m.

    I just think it is rude. When our boys stay in Utah they are close to their moms and the church. This is the most important thing for these boys. They need to avoid the evil of the PAC-10,SEC, and others and stay in Utah.

  • Seattle
    June 29, 2008 11:12 p.m.

    I believe it is a simple truth that the conference you play will make a difference in your draft status and opportunities. Just because some quality athlets from UTah and BYU also make does not chance that fact.

    THe highly regarded lineman recruit in Utah, Martinez, this year admits that he would go to BYU if he didnt want to go to a top 5 program to showcase his ability. He thinks it makes a difference.

  • inittowinit
    June 29, 2008 9:00 p.m.

    Utes & Cougars in the Pac-10. Until that happens, guys like AZ Dave and So.Cal fan will continue to pop off.

  • Alex Trebek
    June 29, 2008 7:48 p.m.

    RE: So Cal Fan,

    Your ignorace is shining through. Do you really think that the scouts put so much weight into when a prospect played his bowl game? It does have some weight, but for the most part the scouts are focused on whether or not the kid can play ON SUNDAYS! Not before or after New Year's/Christmas/Hannukah. You clearly have no idea of what you're talking about when it comes to NFL scouting. So stick to what you know... being blinded by the TOP PROGRAMS shining lights.

  • AZ Dave
    June 29, 2008 7:06 p.m.

    Big woop, more blue chipper than Washington. What's next, South Dakota

  • Little change in 30 years
    June 29, 2008 6:38 p.m.

    Utah and BYU both recruit from the same (or similar) high schools that they did in the 70's and early 80's. Except for Utah's run in 2004 and fortuitous pairing vs. Pitt, neither program wins bigger games or bowls than they did back then. BYU has one of the worst records in post-season play and this year one two bowl games in a row for the first time since 1983. Not a lot of progress...

  • 2010
    June 29, 2008 5:51 p.m.

    The 2010 class will be good as well

  • So. CAL Fan
    June 29, 2008 12:51 p.m.

    Hey Rock On,

    If these student athletes want to play against the highest level. Then they should leave and play in the PAC 10, sec or even the TOP PROGRAMS in the WAC. Because if they play in the Mt. Worst and they don't have urban coaching they get to play in a bowl game before christmas when everybody else is talking about NEW YEARS DAY BOWL Games or after. EVEN PLAYING at Grambling would at least get them in the Superdome for the Bayou Classic which gets more attention than the vegas bowl. Even the AGGIES have won that bowl game!

  • RockOn
    June 29, 2008 12:45 p.m.

    I have little doubt Havili's chances of making the NFL would be just as good going to Utah or BYU vs. USC. Both schools are already on the radar of every NFL team. There is no way Alex Smith would have been #1 if that was not true. And, there would have been no chance for Alex Smith to be recognized if not for Steve Young, Detmer, Scott Mitchell, McMahon, Nielson, Wilson and even Walsh. Add in the many other good to great players that have come out of the Utah schools (Merlin Olsen, Poppinga, Herrman, etc.) and it's clear the Mountain West is considered a legitimate recruiting ground that agents and scouts seriously examine constantly.

    You cannot compare Grambling to BYU or Utah, although Grambling, because of Eddie Robinson, is well within their scope.

    Slurs against the MWC for someone of the ilk as "Conference" might be fun, but it's just foolishly wrong. Ask Chad Lewis, Scalley, Beck, as well as M. Anderson, Chris Maufalu, and Urlacher. The NFL knows and respects the MWC. That is obvious. We won't have as MANY talented players, but there are enough here that have great talent.

  • Better chance at the NFL
    June 29, 2008 9:16 a.m.

    I agree with the previous poster who said NFL scouts will find you anywhere. It is just that the bigger school you attend the more you will be on scout's radars and the more opportunities you will have to showcase yourself. It may mean the difference of being invited to the NFL combine and pre-combine all-star games (and all the hype that brings) versus having to rely only on a great on-campus visit and work out in order to catch their eye. The bigger the school the more opportunities you have to show you are NFL worthy. And I also think that if you are good enough to play on a big name team you will likely have a better chance of reaching your potential by playing against the best. Yeah, you can go to Grambling and still make the NFL. But your chances are diminished. Stanley Havili will probably be the first or second full-back to be drafted when he is done at USC (as long as he stays healthy). I'm not sure he would have put himself in that same position had he gone to Grambling or BYU/Utah. He has shown he can start on a top team.

  • Conference
    June 29, 2008 8:43 a.m.

    What conference does Utah and BYU play in?
    Oh yea, the MWC. There conference champion plays in the Las Vegas Bowl. The big time.

  • P's and Q's
    June 29, 2008 8:12 a.m.

    The Martinez boy is "John" not Steve (that's his dad's name).

  • RockOn
    June 29, 2008 8:01 a.m.

    Wonderful, I'd agree with at least half of what you say, but, I see no evidence that going to LSU improves your draft prospects over going to Grambling. NFL scouts spend inordinate amounts of time at small schools... ones that don't even show up on the Utah and BYU radar screens. And when they find someone who can help them win, they'll take them from Arizona Penal Academy.

    I too hope these young men and women recruited for colleges seriously look at the local universities first and make their decision based upon which school offers them the best education and environment. Do well. Perform. And if they have talent, the pros will find them and they'll make oodles of cash.

  • Wonderful
    June 29, 2008 2:19 a.m.

    Now only if most would choose BYU or Utah. I am a Ute fan but I love seeing any of our States schools doing well and especially with local talent. I can see how it is difficult for a kid to pass up on big schools who play in big time games with big time exposure. It could be the difference in determining what round you are drafted or if you are drafted.