BYU football: Analyzing BYU's 2013 signing class

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  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    July 10, 2012 12:05 p.m.

    "With only four scholarships available, BYU won’t be competing for a lot of the top national talent this coming January and will likely receive one of its lowest cumulative rankings for a recruiting class." -- Brandon Gurney

    Even lower than LAST season's recruiting class? Wow! Tough break cougs.

    "Mendenhall surely doesn’t care how national pundits will rank his class, but should fans?"

    Not necessarily. Sure, the Y hasn't been bringing in stellar recruiting classes ever since they announced their intentions to play their football in the WAC, but then again, you don't NEED top talent to play WAC football. And if there's one thing that has been made abundantly clear from the cougars' fanbase, it's that it doesn't matter who they play. All that matters is Ws. And how could you not get a lot of wins playing in the WAC?

    If the cougars continue to beat Idaho, NMSU, SJSU, et al, the fans will be appeased, and Holmoe gets to keep his job. It's a win-win....well, at least it is for those in cougar nation who aren't paying very close attention to their football program.

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum Dallas, TX
    July 10, 2012 12:02 p.m.

    @ Spokane Ute,

    The kids that go to BYu have dreamt of that fate since they were 4-5 years old. BYu has such a narrow pool of prospects. They always sign early.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    July 10, 2012 11:48 a.m.

    A top recruiting class and $1.00 will get you a bottled water. However, I would rather have a highly rated class, than one that is not. I'm surprised BYU has a number of players who didn't even have another offer. I'm also surprised at how early they have basically wrapped up their class. Then again, all of these comittments are verbal; some will change.

    @ just the Fax
    Something wrong with Utah fans commenting on a BYU article? Like that never happens on a Ute article. The pointed, obnoxious comments flow both ways; don't kid your self.

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum Dallas, TX
    July 10, 2012 9:06 a.m.

    The bottom line is this.......Utah is in the big time, and BYU is NOT! The TRUTH is what it is.

  • Just the FAX Olympus Cove, Utah
    July 10, 2012 7:43 a.m.


    "In my opinion the difference is coaching..."

    hedgy claims it's all about recruiting

    So, if Whittingham is such a genius...

    Why did he lose to two 10-loss teams?
    Why did he lose to every bottom-dweller in the MWC?
    Why didn't Utah win the pathetically weak PAC 12 South?
    Why has Whittingham only finished in the Top 25 three times, while Bronco has cracked the Top 25 FIVE times, with supposedly inferior talent?

    More puzzling,

    Why are so many Utah trolls hanging out on a BYU recruiting blog discussing a recruiting class that Utah has no interest in ever competing against on the playing field - at least according to the trolls?

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    July 10, 2012 7:39 a.m.

    There is a big difference between not being able to sign 4 star players and not wanting to recruit 4 star players. I think the question on the table is really the latter.

  • JustGordon Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 10, 2012 4:32 a.m.

    I don't believe Bronco will ever be able to recruit more than a few non LDS players to his program and those players will not be of the same quality as his LDS players.

    As for LDS players, with Utah now in the PAC12 and USU in the Mountain West, LDS kids will have other choices and both schools understand how the mission process works, so the Y has a lot of competition from better or rising programs.

    July 10, 2012 1:08 a.m.

    Sometimes the debate and analysis is just too much! Too many all-knowing fanboys both for and against BYU who choose whatever stats support their position.

    Proof is always on the field, on the field, on the field! Excited for the games to begin!

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    July 10, 2012 12:11 a.m.

    That would be the same UCLA that went to the first ever conference championship game instead of U?

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2012 11:04 p.m.


    UCLA can't compete with Utah either. In my opinion the difference is coaching....

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 9, 2012 10:46 p.m.

    @serenity now:

    I think most comments are in agreement with you timeframe of comparative recruit ranking between the Y and the U. Could "independence" and PAC-12 status be a factor? I think recruiting and season ticket renewals are two measureable standards upon which to evaluate Independence. The quality of teams the Y is able to schedule is a third measureable standard. (I know they have some twenty games scheduled against good teams; but that is out of some 120 games in a ten year span. The Y has had close to two years since they declared independence to schedule future opponents. 2014 has some good home games but beyond that lettle is known. Just like Utah's 2012 recruiting I home good news is soon on the horizon for both schools.

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    July 9, 2012 10:13 p.m.


    "So it sounds we're in agreement that star ranking does matter."

    We're in agreement that according to your "star theory," Utah will never have a chance of winning the PAC 12 South, so Utah fans can lay off all of the talk about ever having a chance to play in a Rose Bowl, much less, ever be selected to play in the 4-team playoff.

    The Utes will be a perennial middle of the PAC team, with a high water mark of 2nd in the division.


    ESPN Recruiting Class Rankings for the Last 8 Years

    #6 USC
    #21 Wash
    #24 Stan
    #25 Ore

    #12 Stan
    #13 USC
    #18 Ore
    #19 UCLA
    #22 Cal
    #23 Wash

    #4 USC
    #14 Ore
    #18 Cal
    #21 Stan
    #24 Wash

    #7 USC
    #10 UCLA
    #15 Cal
    #18 Stan
    #20 Wash
    #22 Ore

    #4 USC
    #17 UCLA

    #7 USC
    #14 UCLA
    #17 ASU
    #24 Colo

    #1 USC
    #23 Ore

    #2 USC
    #19 UCLA

    If UCLA can't even compete with USC, what makes you think Utah can?

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    July 9, 2012 9:08 p.m.

    Beyond that, this class has done an alright job at addressing the needs of the team. It looks like BYU has recruited the D-line position well, but BYU could probably use another offensive or defensive lineman for this class. I think that the greatest 2013 need by far is the secondary, again, particularly the corner position. I hope that Tre Flowers and Jarveon Williams, as well as Carroll Washington get a strong look since all of those guys are needed to contribute at corner right away. Other than that, BYU has filled in at depth pretty well.

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    July 9, 2012 9:00 p.m.

    There are quite a few layers to the recruiting science.

    For the believers in the star system, a lot of people have said that BYU's "all time best" recruiting class was only ranked so high because of Mr. 5 star himself Jake Heaps. I did the math and even with Jake Heaps out of the equation, BYU's 2010 class still had enough star power to be ranked at 33rd in 2010 instead of 22nd, which is right around what Utah's first "mighty Pac-12" class was ranked this year. So make no mistake, BYU has star power waiting in the wings.

    That's the other thing to remember, because of so many missions and redshirt years we have to basically wait 3-4 YEARS before we can see these players significantly contribute. There are still recruits on the roster from 2006, Bronco's first recruiting class! While there isn't loads of star power in this class, there seems to be more speed and athletic ability. Utah has thrived off diamond in the rough athletes for years. As long as BYU keeps winning and stays relevant, BYU will have a chance at better recruits in the future.

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum Dallas, TX
    July 9, 2012 8:43 p.m.

    BYu is on a roll.......another top notch WAC class. Gooooooooo big blue!

  • Serenity Now Highland, UT
    July 9, 2012 8:41 p.m.

    Bronco has earned my respect by producing winning teams over the last 7 years, but the last two years of recruiting have been a bit disappointing when going solely by the rankings--which is the only objective criteria to go by until several years into their college careers when they start performing or flaking out. 3 years ago BYU had that great recruiting class that Jake Heaps helped put together, getting Apo, Stout, Quesada, Jordan Johnson, Fua, Van Noy (who came a year earlier but delayed enrollment a year), and several others. At the time and for the 3 years prior, BYU had out-recruited Utah for the top players in the state, as Utah focused on recruits in Texas and California. During the last 2 years (since the PAC 12 announcement), however, Utah has re-focused in the state and is probably level with or slightly ahead of BYU, with Utah recruits---Hopefully BYU can pull ahead again with in-state kids (Utah HS football gets better each year) because there aren't enough talented, out-of-state LDS players to make up for a shortfall with in-state recruiting.

    July 9, 2012 8:32 p.m.

    We shall see. The 'star' ranking do make a difference based on the higher percentage of 4 and 5 stars that end up as pros but the quality of a recruiting class won't be known for 2-4 years. The Y got a bunch of quality kids but they may or may not be able to compete at a high level down the road. Not knocking these recruits but Stanford has some similar standards and year in and year out has a better recruiting class.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    July 9, 2012 8:11 p.m.


    So it sounds we're in agreement that star ranking does matter.

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    July 9, 2012 7:44 p.m.


    "getting into the top 10 is the big hurdle. No question about it, it's going to take winning and winning games that count. USC at the RES is the first step"

    You just blew your entire theory completely out of the water suggesting that Utah, without a single Top 25 recruiting class, could beat USC at RES.

    Utah hasn't had a single Top 25 recruiting class in the past EIGHT years (per ESPN).
    USC has averaged Top 5.5 recruiting classes the past EIGHT years!

    According to your own recruiting class ranking theory, Utah has an insurmountable hurdle to even challenge USC, let alone beat the Trojans.

    We'll check back as often as you'd like.

    Only in your wildest dreams will the Utes ever surpass the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, USC, Alabama, LSU, Florida, Clemson, Auburn, Notre Dame, Florida State, Miami, Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M to finish in the Top 10 even once.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    July 9, 2012 7:13 p.m.

    "Even with Utah's supposed improvement in recruiting, the Utes will be lucky to have a Top 25 recruiting class once every 10 years"

    Utah was a top 25 class just last year (per rivals). Getting into the top 25 isn't the challenge....getting into the top 10 is the big hurdle. No question about it, it's going to take winning and winning games that count. USC at the RES is the first step.

    Bascially the next generation of athletes from Cali will need to view Utah as a PAC12 power instead of just the new guys. Check back in 5 years.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    July 9, 2012 7:03 p.m.

    For decades the BYU fawning media has extolled the stars in BYU's recruiting classes...

    The media nearly exploded over the stars of one Jake Heaps...

    Now Gurney is selling the spin that stars don't matter?

    The apocalypse is surely upon us.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    July 9, 2012 6:03 p.m.

    Alot of early comits does not mean much. You can sign all you want but without elite athletes it means nothing, it is just a numbers game.

  • MUSSing with U Baltimore, MD
    July 9, 2012 5:49 p.m.


    "Hate to break it to you but...stars matter...a lot. Every National Champion in the BCS era has had consistent top recruiting classes."

    Then you can forget Utah ever competing for a national championship, because the Utes will NEVER have consistent top recruiting classes. Even with Utah's supposed improvement in recruiting, the Utes will be lucky to have a Top 25 recruiting class once every 10 years.

  • Juice Box Eureka, UT
    July 9, 2012 5:44 p.m.

    Well, let the season begin! Utah up, BYU down. Looks great to me!

  • UtahBronco Lehi, UT
    July 9, 2012 5:33 p.m.

    @ Winglish 3:55pm

    correction - Boise State had SIX players taken in this years NFL draft (two in the first round), plus several undrafted FAs. NONE of these players would have been considered NFL prospects when they were recruited by the Broncos.

  • Benderman1 Layton, UT
    July 9, 2012 5:25 p.m.

    hedgehog - I'm surprised at how normal you are being in this comment board. You're usually not as objective as you have been. I actually agree with most of what you have said. BYU has a decent recruiting class but not near what it will take to win a national championship. Sad thing is, Utah will never get the type of recruits they need to win a NC either. Being in Utah, the Utes are at a disadvantage compared to all the other PAC teams. Top recruits will always choose the So. Cal schools, Oregon, and other warmer weather schools before even considering the Utes. The Utes are still regarded as a bottom tier MWC school that got an invite. I'm not trying to rip the Utes, I'm simply pointing out fact. Utah will practically have to go undefeated in the PAC before they will earn any sort of respect and recruits will continue to flow to other teams until that happens.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    July 9, 2012 5:22 p.m.

    Wow, Bronco admits openly that he doesn't care about the quality of his recruits and you people fall all over yourselves trying to say why he's right to aim so low. Why can't you have kids that live good standards, are academic all-stars as well as top athletes? What kind of kids are we raising in the Church? I'm not saying we have to be "Tiger Parents" but the day we accept mediocrity, we lose it as a culture. Too many of you are just happy we show up and field a team.

    What about Stanford? They don't give up anything to recruit the smartest and best athletes. They were in the BCS last year and have been contenders for some time. I frankly don't want the "exposure" we will get with so-so players on ESPN vs. the Notre Dames and Georgia Techs of the world.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    July 9, 2012 5:19 p.m.

    Our defense will be stellar in 2012, maybe the best front seven in school history. But I'm very worried about the defense in 2013. We will lose our entire two deep defensive line, and we'll likely lose 3 of our 4 starting LBs - Uona and Ogletree to graduation and Van Noy will likely be a first round NFL pick if he leaves early. Hopefully, we can fill these gaps. Overall, the recruiting class looks solid.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    July 9, 2012 5:12 p.m.

    So, let's summarize:

    1) every year there are teams that are under-achievers, based on their talent.
    2) every year there are teams that are over-achievers, based on their talent.
    3) BYU is challenged by the Honor Code. Most fans are very pleased with that.
    4) BYU recruiting is challenged by the ebb and flow of missionaries. So is Utah, but BYU much more so. Most fans are very pleased with that.
    5) Bronco prefers 40% talent and 60% hard work to the other way around. Some fans are not happy with that.
    6) Bronco has priorities that are perfect for the eternal perspective, not so much if your obsession is a New Year's day or better bowl.
    7) For BYU fans, hope springs eternal. For many Utah fans, this is a constant source of delight and derision.

    If those are my choices, color me Cougar Blue.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    July 9, 2012 4:55 p.m.

    Chicken McNuggetville UT - anyone from there probably knows what he is talking about.

  • 54-10 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2012 4:52 p.m.

    Highland, UT

    The true definition of a nerd is someone who acts like they know everyone and has all sorts of insight into athletics and athletes because they state that they live by them or went to school with them. In reality, they know very little as is evidenced by their posts. They also end many of their posts with LOL.

  • UU32 Bountiful, UT
    July 9, 2012 4:37 p.m.

    Two of Utah's most prominent NFL players right now - Alex Smith and Eric Weddle - weren't top rated recruits. The recruiting service rankings are interesting, but not the end all be all.

    I'm no Bronco lover, but he has done a really nice job of recruiting "BYU players" to BYU. He is largely recruiting mostly LDS kids and his recruiting success year after year will be a how good that pool is. Some years, there are a lot of great Mormon kids, the next year, the talent may be sparse. All in all Bronco does a pretty good job putting a decent team on the field. I really appreciate that he has priorities when it comes to recruiting that he won't compromise.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    July 9, 2012 4:23 p.m.

    Brandon Gurney's writing is much improved since his early days writing for the DN. Keep workin, buddy, you're getting better. It would be "number" and quality of offers...not "amount" and quality of offers.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    July 9, 2012 4:22 p.m.

    'My guess is that there is very little correlation between high school ranking and college success"

    Blue Husky,

    Actually Rivals had a great article last year showing the correlation between star rankings and players drafted into the NFL. Really no suprises.

    A higher % of 4 andr 5 stars are drafted into the NFL than any other group.

    There are more 2 and 3 star players in the NFL simply because the 2/3 star universe is four times the size of the 4/5 star universe.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    July 9, 2012 4:19 p.m.

    Recruiting is not a science, it is an art. Sometimes four star players don't pan out. Nevertheless, the idea that "star" players are not wanted does not seem to be good logic. In all organizations, better talent provides better results. It makes me wonder why someone would want to focus recruiting on walk-ons, "no stars", and left-over JC's. I don't think one can point to a place where this strategy has been effective. I'm disapppointed that BYU does not seem to want to be the best. (The basketball programs, men and women's, seem to be going in the opposite direction by trying to get the best talent they can sign.)

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 9, 2012 4:12 p.m.

    I think the recruiting sites probably get the very top recruits identified correctly, but there are not very many of those and anyone that can see can do that. Were they fail is in the vast middle, the kids they rank 2 to 4 stars. We've all seen far to many 2 stars become stars and 4 stars not become much of anything to not realize it is all conjecture and opinion.

    For instance what is the difference between a kid with 3 stars and a kid with 4? Probably not much, just the opinion of the site doing the rankings.

    I have to laugh at the hedgies of the world that somehow think they know stuff simply because they see it online on some recruiting site. Those kinds of people are the same sort of nerds that read comic books and play video games and for some reason think it is important. They are the types that cheered loudly at the spiderman movie the other night that I took my 11 year old to see. It's just a MOVIE, it isn't real. In otherwords things that aren't real are the things they consider important.


  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 9, 2012 4:04 p.m.


    Do you always just make stuff up and hope no one will call you on it? They didn't even have recruit rankings like this back in the 80's. In otherwords not one word of your post was true or accurate but it was hilarious to read. I actually spit root beer onto my keyboard when I read it and saw the ridiculous falsehood you were tryingto claim as truth.


  • Winglish Lehi, UT
    July 9, 2012 3:55 p.m.

    @hedgehog- Boise State had 5 players drafted into the NFL this year. I would say their success came from having NFL level talent combined with great coaching. Other than that, I agree with your post. BYU has not been successful in recruiting many NFL caliber players lately. That 1984 team had 12 players get drafted. That's half of the starters! I don't believe we'll ever see those kinds of numbers at BYU again.
    I am a BYU fan and I think we need to realize who we are: a top level WAC or MWC team. That's good enough for me. I simply love watching football. I can enjoy a 9-3 record just fine. It's enough to know that the Utes are too scared to play the Cougars every year.

  • CT98 Saint George, UT
    July 9, 2012 3:55 p.m.

    Oneil Chambers in the Defensive Backfield? When did he rejoin the team? That is Great news. I have always hoped Oneil would come back. The kid is a pure athlete.

  • flatlander Omaha, NE
    July 9, 2012 3:54 p.m.

    Having the entire defensive front two deep all be seniors doesn't look good for the next couple of years. That group needs to be spread out in future classes

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    July 9, 2012 3:42 p.m.

    Funny how Texas with all their star recruits,could only beat BYU by one point on their home field.

    Alabama wouldn't recruit the utes best players--Barry Switzer.

    Recruiting is not an exact science with alot of bias.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    July 9, 2012 3:39 p.m.

    High School rankings are just fan boy concerns. Yes, there are a few standouts who go to the big schools. If I cared enough, I could probably put together a dataset for statistical analysis. I don't, but if one of you guys want to do it, here's what I would need:

    HS Position.
    Year ranked.
    Number of Stars.
    Year graduated.
    College offers.
    College chosen.
    College position.
    Years started.
    Years played.
    Year graduated.
    College honors? What?
    Pro drafted?
    Pro walkon?
    Pro team.
    Pro position.
    Years played.
    Allstar team?

    Probably some site out there with these data. Download and send them to me.

    I'll let you know what's what. My guess is that there is very little correlation between high school ranking and college success.

  • Yerffoegn Maricopa, Az
    July 9, 2012 3:38 p.m.

    BYU is the destination for Kids and their families that want an LDS lifestyle. They never have and ever will get the best of the best. Thats what makes it great because we win with those just like us. It's us against the world. It's awesome to have the hedgehogs of he world denegrate us, then crawl in a hole when we win. BYU is one of 11 schools that have finished the season ranked in the top 25 five of the last six years. The Ute's are not on that list. Go bronco! Go BYU!

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    July 9, 2012 3:31 p.m.


    "Recruiting rankings are almost utter nonsense."

    That's not what we were hearing out of you guys in the 80's when BYU's recruiting classes were ranked so much higher than Utah's. Where do you think the term "February championship" came from? It came from the haughty laughter of BYU fans after LOI day and another great recruit class was in the bag.

    So in summary, when BYU was raking in highly-regarded recruits, rankings meant everything. But now that BYU's recruiting has tanked, rankings are "utter nonsense." Does everyone understand now?

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    July 9, 2012 3:19 p.m.

    BYU aggie,

    Hate to break it to you but...stars matter...a lot. Every National Champion in the BCS era has had consistent top recruiting classes. Although I love BSU, their success comesform great coaching in their one or two big games per year. The jury is still out on wether they could do what they do on a weekly basis.

    The reality is bYu never has had (and never will) the talent to win a BCS era national championship. What happen in '84 could never happen today. It's time to just be happy you have games on TV.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 9, 2012 3:12 p.m.

    Probably one of the best ever. For sure.
    We don't ever loose recruits.

  • BYU_Aggie LOGAN, UT
    July 9, 2012 2:43 p.m.

    Recruiting rankings are almost utter nonsense. Like 3grandslams mentions, Mangum wasn't even in ESPN's maxpreps' top 150 (or whatever) until he came out as the #1 overall MVP in the Elite 11 (he had already committed to BYU). Jake Heaps rings a bell (top overall QB recruit that year), and he couldn't even hold his starting spot, despite multiple chances.

    Notre Dame has, year in and year out, one of the highest overall recruiting rankings, and where have they been the last few years? What about all those stellar Boise State years? Did they have all the five-star ranked talent back then? Of course not.

    Point is, recruiting rankings are pointless.

  • Ironhide Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2012 2:36 p.m.

    As much of a fan as I am of BYU, it will be very difficult for them to get to the bcs or the coming playoff with the players they recruit. It's just not a priority to get the best players in the country because they can't get them. Like the article said, they have very different parameters to recruit by and those requirements take top talent out of the mix. After Scary Crowton, the church won't tolerate bad media coming from fools on the football team, and his teams were awful anyway. So Bronco is meeting that expectation first, to recruit dudes that will live by the honor code, and if they can play football, great. Somehow Cougar fans need to get comfortable with the past 7 seasons ending win totals, because that's as good as it will get. That's no disrespect, because the team as performed well when compared nationally, as far as win totals. With better teams on the schedule after this last year of the weak sauce wac, ten wins going forward should be celebrated. If they make it to the playoffs, I'll be happy to eat my words.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    July 9, 2012 2:20 p.m.

    Gurney's just throwing a bone to ute fans and giving them a chance to take cheap shots...which they will.

    Plenty of excellent talent coming into BYU and no, it's not going down in quality, only committing earlier. National rankings don't consider that, there best guess is who is getting the calls. They have nothing to go on, case in point, Tanner Mangum. BYU found him and committed him way before "recruiting services" did. Now that he's shown his stuff he's a hot commodity.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    July 9, 2012 2:18 p.m.

    Wow! I've got to give Gurney credit for being objective and honest. I agree that bYu fans are now left with only prayer in hoping bronko knows what he's doing.

    Gurney is smart enough to know where this class will end up being ranked on signing day. Stratigically it was a smart move to soften the crushing failure by informing bYu fans early in the year that this class will be one of the worst in the past 10 years.

  • Kosta Fesenko Chicken McNuggetville, UT
    July 9, 2012 1:27 p.m.

    If you look at the recruiting services, BYU's recruiting class has gone down in quality each year recently. Hopefully, Bronco is able to turn this around. Despite Gurney's rallying the troops, this is trouble if it doesn't change.