Utah football: Polynesian connection continues to thrive for Utes

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  • Coach Biff Lehi, UT
    June 20, 2012 1:18 p.m.

    I'm a Coug, but I have to agree that Utah is doing a great job at recruiting the Poly boys. What amazes me is the number of Polynesian's on rosters when you consider the minority that they are. Basically, two small island nations are filling college roster spots everywhere. Gotta love Polynesians!

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 19, 2012 12:35 p.m.

    "I bet some of you byu and ute's fans don't know any of our people (tongan, samoans,) other than those who represent your school on the football field . . ."


    I'm afraid you'd lose that bet, even with ducky egging you on.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    June 18, 2012 10:27 p.m.

    @simply me

    That was good stuff and earned a big LOL! Thank you for pointing out what should be obvious to the self conratulators.

    LOL! again.

  • simply me SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 18, 2012 6:58 p.m.

    I bet some of you byu and ute's fans don't know any of our people (tongan, samoans,) other than those who represent your school on the football field, so spare me the welcome to our school comments.

    June 18, 2012 6:00 p.m.

    CA Reader, your memory of college football history in the state of Utah is almost as bad as the national scale. Despite Edwards' teams breaking a lot of records during that era, no, they did "bring the passing game to college football," or even "bring football prominence to the Intermountain West." Utah had a head coach in the hall of fame when LaVell was only 26, fifteen years before he ever became a head coach. Utah had also been using a pass-first offense since the 1950's, most notably with Lee Grosscup at QB. You may live in Cali now, but I suggest getting out of the bubble mentally as well.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2012 3:04 p.m.

    CA. Reader.

    I hope you're not serious when you suggest that BYU brought passing to college football. That honor goes to St. Louis back in 1906. Notre Dame followed their lead several years later.

    As for the first team to recruit poly players on a large scale; I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure that would be Hawaii.

  • Kosta Fesenko Chicken McNuggetville, UT
    June 18, 2012 2:58 p.m.

    CA. Reader. Why are you here? This is an article about Utah. Take your BYU chest thumping elsewhere please.

  • U 90 Corona, CA
    June 18, 2012 2:52 p.m.


    Coach Edwards did a very fine job at BYU but had very little, if any impact, on how Utah runs it's defense which is the hallmark of the Ute football program.

    Case in point, Utah's defense is built around having speedy cover corners with NFL talent that allow more risk taking by linebackers, safeties and the D-line. Speedy cover corners with NFL talent never has been a trademark of BYU. Nice try but your smack talk is way off base.

  • Utahute72 Tooele, UT
    June 18, 2012 2:02 p.m.

    I think all the bantering back and forth about where the coaches come from only highlights the diversity of the Utah program. We take quality individuals to play, coach and support the team no matter where they started. They are all Utes now.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 18, 2012 11:56 a.m.

    ". . . legendary Coach Edwards, the father of the Ute football program."

    Kind of a provocative statement, until you consider ALL the facts and take it to its logical extension.

    LaVell got his graduate degree from the U of U (on his own nickle), so if Edwards was helping the Ute program in the roundabout way suggested by mtn, he was just giving back. Moreover, we come to the logical conclusion that a Utah Man is the father of byu football. You're welcome.

    Go Utes!

  • CA. reader Rocklin, CA
    June 18, 2012 8:25 a.m.

    As a person who loves Polynesians in general, I am very happy that these young men have the opportunity to get a good education and a chance to play in the NFL, regardless of the fact that they are playing for Utah. However, this is another of the many trends in college football originated, in large part, by BYU.

    Who brought the passing game to college football? Who brought football prominence to the Intermountain West? (You are welcome Boise State, Utah, USU, et al) Who first recruited Polynesian player on a large scale into college football? That is right, the Brigham Young University Cougars.

    Admittedly, BYU has fallen behind in recruiting Polynesians, but it seems like every prominent college football program in America is now recruiting them. Hopefully BYU will focus once again on these great young men to the advantage of both patries.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    June 18, 2012 1:32 a.m.

    Yeah, I am a huge Ute fan, but Utah is not second at putting players into the NFL. They are second to USC in putting Polynesians into the NFL.

    That said, come play ball on the hill if you are polynesian, have talent, and character.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2012 6:47 p.m.

    "All except in the coaching ranks, mostly former BYU players having been taught by legendary Coach Edwards, the father of the Ute football program."

    Coach Edwards is a fine man, was a legendary coach, and yes his success contributed to putting the state of Utah in college football on a national scale, which the Ute program has benefited from also. I deeply respect Lavell Edwards. But I don't think that even he would claim to be the "father of the Ute football program." Give credit to the past Ute players and especially Coach McBride for starting it.

  • GoGetter Sandy, UT
    June 17, 2012 3:50 p.m.

    Glad to see it. Things keep getting brighter and brighter being a Ute.

    Go Utes!!

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 17, 2012 3:43 p.m.

    If your Polynesian and are serious about the NFL then USC and Utah are the places to play.


    The father of the current Ute football program is McBride. KW gained his coaching experience over 10 years under McBride.

    The only thing BYU is teaches now is how not to become NFL prospects.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2012 3:40 p.m.

    Mountanman claims Utah's coaching staff is "mostly former BYU players having been taught by legendary Coach Edwards"
    Of the 13 staff members, 4 list BYU as their alma mater versus 5 for Utah. In the big city of Salt Lake, we would say the staff is "mostly former Utah players", but maybe words have funny meanings in Hayden, Idaho.

  • Joey K Sandy, UT
    June 17, 2012 2:35 p.m.

    Wonderful article. Kyle Whittingham has a diverse coaching staff and recruiting pool. He has built a program that turns young men into good citizens and good NFL players. If I were a Polynesian recruit I can't imagine another coach I would want to play for.
    Even better, coach Whittingham has Polynesians in positions of authority, on the coaching staff and as his second in command, (Defensive Coordinator). It is good to see that in a time when many just do lip service to diversity or hire coaches for their recruiting ability but not coaching, that Whit hires diverse coaches for their brain power as well.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 17, 2012 2:04 p.m.

    @Who am I sir?

    Utah'95 is definitely correct. Utah isn't even close to all the top NFL producing programs. That doesn't mean they're way down the list, they're climbing up with the big boys, but certainly not number 2 behind USC. That simply applies to Polynesian draftees.

    However, your statement about Utah doing more with less has been well documented. Utah is the number 1 rated program in the country when factoring in the so called level of recruit they get in comparison with other programs while seeing success on the field and placing players on NFL rosters.

    Local Teams and the TOTAL number of players on a current roster:

    Utah - 31
    BYU - 17
    USU - 13
    Weber St - 4
    SUU - 1

    Side note - USC - 58

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    June 17, 2012 11:20 a.m.

    There is no question that Utah's success in recruiting Polynesian athletes has been a huge part the the football program's noteworthy improvement over the last two decades.

    Thank you, Coach MacBride, for getting the pipeline set up. And thank you, current coaches, for keeping the pipeline flowing.


    Who am I sir?

    I'm pretty sure the article means that Utah is second only to USC for getting Polynesian players drafted in the last decade, not players in general.

  • KamUte South Jordan, UT
    June 17, 2012 11:10 a.m.

    All coaches start somewhere MTN goat. Do you know anything about football?

    Lavell Edwards started at Utah State.

    The beloved Bronco started in Oregon State.

    Kyle played at BYU but learned a lot more about coaching from his father that coached in the pros for many years.

    Father of Utah football is Lavell Edwards? Back in the cave mtn goat.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 17, 2012 9:14 a.m.

    All except in the coaching ranks, mostly former BYU players having been taught by legendary Coach Edwards, the father of the Ute football program.

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 17, 2012 9:12 a.m.

    Every recruit should read this article and understand what it could mean for them. Do you want to play in the NFL? Do you think you are good enough? If so, since you started the second grand there is only one school better than the University of Utah in number of players dradted. "They're second only to USC in draft picks over the past decade." Yes, Utah has been better than Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon..all others except one! Does that mean Utah had the highest recruits? No. It means coach Whittingham (and his staff) have been rated number one in placing lower rated rectuits in the draft. Number one. No one better.

    Will people see you play? In the next 5 years Utah will Play USC, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, and Colorado FIVE time. Utah will Play Oregon and Stanford Three times. It looks liked Utah will play Michigan two time - including the kick-off game in 2015. Not to mention others to be scheduled and teams like Alabama, Georgia Tech in Bowl games. People will see you play and so will the Pro Scouts - they are watching Utah!

  • PAC12Fan South Jordan, UT
    June 16, 2012 10:24 p.m.

    Love the apply connection. Love the Utes.