Dick Harmon: BYU's football team could use a little Texas recruiting

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  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Jan. 10, 2013 4:17 p.m.

    Some thoughts regarding some of the above posts: Recruiting non-LDS players is part of the gospel program - what better way to introduce them to the gospel, by recruiting them to BYU FB, BB, etc. I like the idea of hiring Detmer to come to BYU as QB coach - the OC problem is now solved with bringing back Anae. If this is the last year for Mendenhall (his contract is through 1913), as some believe, why not bring Detmer in as QB coach and prepare him for OC in 2014, moving Anae up to head coach.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 31, 2012 7:02 p.m.

    "I think Coach Mendenhall and his staff have lost many of the recruiting connections Lavell Edwards used to take advantage of every season. Not only do the Cougars no longer have the strong presence of good Texas players, but also many from the islands. I would like to find out why Coach Edwards had such a broad recruiting pool and that is no longer the case with Coach Mendenhall."

    Because Hawaii and California has good surfing and Texas does not. Just kidding...but with the focus for coaches at BYU on having more quality time at home with their families there has to be a give and take. More time at home with families means less time on the road recruiting or recruiting more in conveniently located places like California and the PacNW.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Dec. 31, 2012 2:26 p.m.

    Having gone on a mission to the Dallas area prior to 1980, I can say that we never did any work on Friday nights during Football season. No one was home. We went to football games in the fall. In 1978 I attended all of the Trinity High home games in Useless. Got more referals from being at the football games than three weeks of tracting.

    There are a lot of good kids there. Many, like Detmer would have no problem with the honor code. In fact they would fit right in, Mormon or not. Seems like the most trouble with the honor code is from Mormons lately (Unga, Davies).

    Dec. 31, 2012 9:09 a.m.

    I get that this is probably not a direct solution to BYU's problems, but the underlying point is that is it is difficult to be great with average recruiting (it can still be difficult to be great with above-average recruiting, but that is not the debate intended by this article).

    Texas goes 100 deep without hitting a player with less than 3 stars (Florida does the same). The 98th ranked player in TX held offers from 5 PAC-12 schools, 5 SEC schools, and Oklahoma before selecting TAMU. The player in the same position in Florida holds offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Nebraska, and West Virginia. BYU has zero players committed for 2013 from either state.

    So, how are the Cougars faring at home? According to Rivals.com, BYU got only 2 of Utah's top 10 players (#9 and #10) and is only in the running for one of the uncommited players in that group. Note: There is not a single 5-star athlete in the state of Utah.

    The lack of success in TX is unacceptable since data, according to commonconsensus.org, lists BYU as the 5th most popular team in DFW and 9th in Houston.

  • Y Grad Pumping Gas Beaver, UT
    Dec. 30, 2012 8:42 a.m.


    Is dead on, non-LDS football stars are not going to look at BYU. Its a different world in Texas, The community all goes to the Friday night games, the team has its own, misters, portable tunnel with smoke to run out of, the High School Bands are top notch equivalent to College, they sell season tickets in a sold out stadiums the size of two year colleges, the rivalry teams play in Cowboy stadium and fill it half way! Lived in Carolton, saw it all.

    There is No Way BYU can recruit the blue chip non-mormon players.

    Stick to the locals, legacies and family lines, that all BYU has now. Other than cool T-shirts

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Dec. 29, 2012 7:56 p.m.

    I read in this paper that we should never critize the coaches? BYU does not want 4 star players, the prefer walk-ons who talk loud and pump their fist a lot. Players from Texas might be too good and we would not want that.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 29, 2012 4:24 p.m.

    Sooner Ute
    What is wrong with going after non-LDS talent with similar values? Recruiting non-LDS is "selling your soul?" Really?
    Hmm. And to think I "wasted" 2 years trying to convince people that what BYU represents--The LDS Church--was for everyone.

    Are you really that concerned that BYU might close the gap a little in the advantage Utah enjoys in their recruiting base?

  • TheNun Granstville, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 3:40 p.m.

    Since most of the recruiting at byu occurs in Provo, at the MTC, it doesn't matter where they attended high school.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 3:15 p.m.

    Is there some large untapped pool of LDS football talent in Texasm or is Dick Harmon suggesting recruitment of a bunch of non-LDS players? That sounds like selling your soul to obtain some football fame. Interesting value.
    An 18 year old kid may think he understands the BYU honor code, but every year one or more prove they didn't fully get it. Sure, the news writes a story about the honor code, but is that really the national attention they want?

  • Benhur Everett, WA
    Dec. 29, 2012 2:12 p.m.

    Doesn't matter who you recruit if you don't change who designs the offense and who calls the plays. NFL ALL PRO players would be hard-pressed to win with lame offense & play calling we have now.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 12:39 p.m.

    As I recall, the stadiums at junior high schools in Texas are much larger than the high school stadiums in Utah. And in Texas, they fill them with fans for the games.

    Dec. 29, 2012 12:12 p.m.

    Totally agree, but really the emphasis needs to shift a little more to offensive players. As we can see from the players that have committed in the last year BYU is doing okay recruiting defensive players because they see how good BYU's defense was this year. But I just don't see the good offensive players, likely for the same type of reasoning! What offensive player wants to play for a team that has struggled offensively for years? No great offense to go to, no great offensive coach, so no attraction for offensive players. I think it starts with a great offensive coach!

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 11:07 a.m.

    While Texas has a gold mine of talent it is shortsighted to think that a roster full of Texans is going to just solve BYU's problems. Good players are good players regardless of where they are from. The University of Texas recruits 90% of their roster from Texas. Is the super duper amount of Texas talent solving their recruiting woes? Texas A&M made a slam dunk with Johnny Football but they still went 9-3. Heck Baylor got RGIII and they still went 9-3. So to think that Texas football players are the answer isn't necessarily the case. Ross Apo has taken awhile to develop and will probably be a good receiver, but guys aren't guaranteed freshman all-americans in college just because they are from Texas.

    You might be familiar with a guy named Percy Harvin who was an elite triple-threat for the University of Florida. He was from Virginia. So good players are good players, whether they are from California, Florida Texas, the East Coast, wherever.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 29, 2012 9:52 a.m.

    Opening up a pipeline in Texas by bringing on a Texas connection to the coaching staff actually makes a lot of sense, same as having a Polynesian connection. There are great football players in the state of Utah, but it really doesn't compare to the gold mine that is Texas.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Dec. 29, 2012 9:18 a.m.

    Those of you who question Texas high school football, don't know Texas high school football. I was blown away when I moved here a couple of years ago. I echo everything Lone Star Cougar said. I'll only add one other point - as a general rule, I think it's also easier to find non-LDS kids who won't find a problem with living the honor code than some other areas. The "Bible belt" teaches these values, just like Mormons do.

    I also like Flashback's idea of bringing in Ty as QB coach. He would open doors to Texas, but it would also take pressure off Doman and let him focus on the big picture. With young, talented QBs coming in, we need someone who can focus on them.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Dec. 29, 2012 8:47 a.m.

    Don't forget the state of Florida. They also have a great football tradition in their high schools.

  • rafinsure Elk Grove/U.S.A., 00
    Dec. 29, 2012 8:41 a.m.

    I think Coach Mendenhall and his staff have lost many of the recruiting connections Lavell Edwards used to take advantage of every season. Not only do the Cougars no longer have the strong presence of good Texas players, but also many from the islands. I would like to find out why Coach Edwards had such a broad recruiting pool and that is no longer the case with Coach Mendenhall.

  • Lone Star Cougar Plano, TX
    Dec. 29, 2012 8:14 a.m.

    3. There are many, many 4-A schools and on down that have incredible players too. Texas is loaded with players that can play Division 1 ball and there are many LDS players too.
    4. Yes, if kids move to Texas from California or Washington or where-ever, they will be taught a very high level of football so that high level will be instinctive to the player.
    5. I have seen personally several times players from Texas go to BYU football camp and dominate in all aspects and not get a chance at BYU. Why? these guys played with and competed successfully against some of the most elite college players in the USA when in high school.
    I am a diehard BYU fan but BYU is missing the boat by not proactively recruiting from down here. I know several high school coaches who would love to have a BYU connection. I truly hope BYU is more active down in Texas in the future.

  • Lone Star Cougar Plano, TX
    Dec. 29, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    Having grown up in the middle of Texas football and raised my kids in it, let me answer a few questions from above. Yes, Texas football IS that much better.

    1. Remember that incredibly great Bingham team that went down to Texas to play a very good Trinity team? Yes, Trinity smashed them 42 to 21 only because the 2nd and 3rd string Trinity players were on the field. Please note that there are about 10 to 15 5-A teams of that caliber every year that fight for the championship and about 30 more that are just a level under Tinity.
    2. Football in Texas just does not start in Jr. High, Most players play full pads little league with very, very good coaches who train them to think and react like football players. Boys who join football in 7th grade in Texas are usually relegated to the B-teams.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 7:02 a.m.

    I'd buy a house right across the street from Trinity High in Useless, TX and recruit all the LDS Tongans and Samoans that go there.

    Bring Detmer in as the QB coach and that pipeline opens back up.

  • dumprake Washington, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 6:39 a.m.

    Dick, I hear you but your reasoning fails me. You mean if the Bingham high school players all moved to Texas, they would be better football players? And how do you explain Steve Young (Connecticut), or the long list of great players from Hawaii, and California, and...everywhere else? I'm all for recruiting the best players, but to simply point to Texas as the solution to all that ails BYU is odd reasoning. And if BYU recruits from all those LDS people who just moved to Texas, does that really make them Texans?

    And then you need to do a followup article on all those "great" LDS athletes who did not go to BYU, but were not happy out there in the big bad world and either transferred later to BYU (after missions, etc), or did not thrive as a bench warmer in some other hotbed of football or basketball. If other schools are desperate to recruit Utah players, why should BYU go to Texas to find players?

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Dec. 28, 2012 10:04 p.m.

    Howard S.

    Nope, nowhere near. This was merely fond memories and wistful thinking.

    But thanks for visiting and sharing, as usual.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 8:58 p.m.

    Careful Dick.

    This is perilously close to critisism of BYU's program.

    Such attitudes are frowned upon from within the BYU bubble.

  • Jazzsmack Holladay, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 8:16 p.m.

    What BYU need to do is figure out how to recruit the premier blue chip LDS talent.

    Year after year be it basketball or football, the premier talent goes elsewhere,

    be it burgess, jacobsen, jabari, or ngata, or manti teo, among many others,

    even a mark madsen or mark pope went else where,

    it seems this way ever since they recruited sean covey over scott mitchell,

    (and mitchell wanted to go to BYU!)

    and were unable to hold on to shawn bradley or ben olson or pollard.

    If they can't land the premier LDS talent or keep them, then what difference can they really make in texas? What has Apo done?

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 8:11 p.m.

    I'll send this to a family in Austin with a 6'5" freshman right tackle and d-line. His three brothers will be about the same size. Loving Texas football in huge stadiums. Good coaching and discipline.

  • Dick Harmon
    Dec. 28, 2012 7:08 p.m.


    Yes, Gifford grew up in Utah, but he has lived in Houston longer than he ever lived in Utah. He now serves as Area President for the LDS Church in Houston, Texas. He may have TV sports broadcaster and key figure in a lot of charities. BYU could use him as a resource.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 28, 2012 6:51 p.m.

    , Gifford Nielsen grew up in Utah.