Recruiting is an interesting thing. At every other school in the universe, there are fans just like me who get really excited about recruits. They know, like I know, that incoming freshmen are the future of their program. Some even make an impact right away, so following the recruits can be an interesting pastime.
At BYU, though, it's a bit different.
On the one hand, BYU has an interesting advantage with a certain group of athletes, namely the LDS athletes. The top LDS athletes around the country have an instant affinity, in most cases, to BYU since it's the premier LDS-owned private school and it has a pretty darn good football history.
BYU also encourages these players to serve missions, while other schools may not like it so much.
On the other hand, that same advantage turns into a liability when a top LDS prospect leaves the game of football behind for two years to serve a mission right out of high school. So a talented, highly sought-after recruit who makes fans like me pump fists of joy in the air when they commit to BYU may not see the actual field for two, three sometimes four years after they commit.
Case in point, I remember in 2007 following a kid named Devin Mahina. He was a tight end prospect out of California, and a BYU commit. I was way pumped when he decided to come to BYU, but then quickly demoralized when I found out he wouldn't even enroll until 2010. He graduated HS in 2007, left for his mission in the fall, and he won't be back until mid-season 2009. So he'll be officially on the team in 2010, and that may even turn into his redshirt season.
Needless to say, it can be frustrating.
I continue to get excited every year, though, and 2009 is no exception. Mostly I guess it gives me something football-related to focus on during the summer.
(Wow- This is becoming less a recruiting guide and more a personal rant)
Here is a list of BYU's prospects and commits for the 2009 recruiting class, and also a little bit of commentary from yours truly.
1. LB Manti Te'o: 5-star, Punahou HI. This is our highest-rated prospect, and arguably the most sought-after recruit on BYU's radar. He has offers from USC, Notre Dame, Cal, UCLA, Colorado and others. This would be a huge commit from a great LDS athlete. He has his choice of schools it seems, but our ace in the hole may be that two of his cousins, Shiloah and Malosi, have both committed to BYU. Chance of committing to BYU: 70%
2. OG John Martinez: 4-star, Cottonwood UT. This is another big-name recruit, and BYU was the first school to offer him a scholarship. The Cougs were followed by Utah, LSU, Ohio State, USC, etc. He isn't LDS, to my knowledge, and I don't think he wants to stay around Utah either. So... he'll probably be going somewhere else. He did say recently, though, that if he were to stay in state he'd probably go to the Y. Chance of committing to BYU: 20%
3. S Craig Bills: 4-star, Timpview UT. Bills committed to BYU as a sophomore, and we should all be very greatful. He's a solid safety, recently winning the defensive back MVP in his position at the Nike Football Camp. Chance of committing to BYU: 100%
4. OT Xavier Su'a-Filo: 4-star, Timpview UT. "X," as he is known, would be another great get from Timpview for the Cougars. Timpview is looking more and more like a farm team for BYU, and if they keep pumping out athletes like Su'a-Filo, I say keep up the good work. He may be attracted to some of the big schools that are knocking on his door, but I think BYU has a good chance of landing this big offensive lineman. Chance of committing to BYU: 75%
5. LB Kyle Van Noy: 4-star, McQueen TX. I don't know much about this guy, other than he's LDS and he likes BYU. Chances of committing to BYU: 50%
6. LB Steven Fanua: 4-star, Milpitas CA. Honestly, I haven't heard anything about this kid. It appears from what I've seen, though, that he has BYU on top of his list. Considering he's a 4-star linebacker, I'd say that's pretty good news. Chance of committing to BYU: 80%
7. QB Josh Nunes: 4-star, Upland CA. Nunes is a pretty hot QB right now getting a lot of attention from Pac-10 schools. I used to think we had a shot at him, but I think this talented player may opt to play somewhere else. Chance of committing to BYU: 15%
8. QB Taysom Hill: 4-star, Highland ID. To take away a bit of the sting of losing Nunes, Cougar fans should be happy to hear we'll probably get Hill, a very good QB in the 2009 class. There was some talk, even, that the BYU coaches would get him to commit after Junior Day this last Friday. Probably with guilt trips and spiritual manipulation (kidding). Chances of committing to BYU 85%
9. RB Adam Timo: 4-star, Snow Canyon UT. This guy is legit. He's breaking records, he's turning heads, he's running over defenses, his name is Adam, and he's already committed to BYU. Chances of committing to BYU: 100%
10. WR Brett Thompson: 4-star, Oak Ridge CA. Thompson comes from the same HS as Austin Collie. In fact, I read somewhere he's dating Collie's sister. Translation: He's as good as Cougar. He's also the first of a crop of tall, speedy receivers in the 2009 class. Chances of committing to BYU: 90%
11. TE Richard Wilson: 3-star, Spanish Fork UT. Wilson exploded onto the recruiting scene. BYU offered him, and then one after another the big boys came calling. He now has offers from the likes of LSU, Tennessee and Miami. He could be the next in a long line of great BYU tight ends, but I think he may look for greener pastures. Chance of committing to BYU: 55%
12. LB L.T. Filiaga: 3-star, Bingham UT. I get mixed reports from this kid. Some say he wants to be a Cougar, some say he wants to play somewhere else. He has family ties to both BYU and Utah, but I think there's a good chance he'll be wearing Cougar Blue when the dust settles. Chances of committing to BYU: 65%
13. OG Tui Crichton: 3-star, Timpview UT. This big boy is committed to BYU. Hopefully he can convince his pal Xavier Su'a-Filo to join him. Chances of committing to BYU: 100%
14. DT Latu Heimuli: 3-star, Highland UT. Related to BYU coach Steve Kaufusi and former BYU great Vai Sikahema. Another good in-state LDS recruit for the D-line. Hopefully he ends up at BYU. Chance of committing to BYU: 77%
15. S Jray Galea'i: 3-star, Kahuku HI. Hard-hitting safety from Hawai'i football powerhouse. Committed to BYU. Chance of committing to BYU: 100%
16. WR Mitch Mathews: 1-star, Southridge OR. Was just offered a scholarship after BYU's Junior Day on Friday, June 13. Older brother Marcus a BYU commit. Another tall, athletic WR. Chances of committing to BYU: 90%
17. OT Brad Wilcox: 1-star, North OK. One star? Not too sure why this kid got a scholarship offer in a class so full of talented recruits. The coaches definitely must see something in him. The fact that he's from Oklahoma and he's 6'7" probably has something to do with it. Chances of committing to BYU: 65%
18. C Terry Alleto: 1-star, Ponderosa CO. Committed to BYU. I wonder if the coaches are regretting the scholarship offer. I'm sure he's a great athlete, I'm just saying... Chances of committing to BYU: 100%
For an official list of BYU's commits, prospects and recruits, visit http://www.totalbluesports.com/