BYU has been hitting the recruiting trail hard so far this summer. It seems like every day on Twitter the last few weeks we’ve heard of at least one new offer from BYU. It’s an exciting time and it’s good news for the Cougars. I love to follow recruiting. I think watching kids start out in high school, get recruited by many schools across the country and then deciding to enroll at BYU to start their football careers is fascinating. That said, even though I try to keep tabs on recruiting, I am not anywhere near a ‘recruiting insider/expert’ and I don’t claim to be. I’m sure that if Geoff Martzen saw my “Big Board” he would laugh in my face and tell me I was wrong. But, be that as it may, I want to take a stab at what I think BYU’s recruiting Big Board for the class of 2015 looks like. I will try to keep this board updated as the summer goes on. (Also, mark this page so that we can look at it on signing day in February and see how wrong I was.) I believe that BYU has a handful of needs in this class.
- Offensive Line- There is no secret about it; BYU’s offensive line has left a lot to be desired the last few seasons. They have had some talent the last couple of years, but our Cougars always need more talent in the trenches.
- Defensive Back- Craig Bills, Robertson Daniel and Jordan Johnson will all graduate following the 2014 season. Not only does BYU need defensive backs, they need defensive backs that can play immediately.
- Running Back- Depth. Go Fast, Go Hard is intense. Depth, depth, depth.
- Quarterback- Christian Stewart graduates this year. Walk-on (and third string) QB Hayden Griffits will likely go on a mission following the season. That leaves BYU will just Taysom Hill. Tanner Mangum and Trent Hosick should both be arriving in Provo prior to the 2015 season, but I think they need another QB.
- Wide Receiver- Not a huge need, but depth.
With those needs in mind, here is my best attempt at what I think BYU’s big board looks like as they head into the summer recruiting season. (The six committed players are listed first because obviously BYU wants these players most, they’re already *almost* here.) *Note: I excluded some of the ‘bigger names’ on this list because I believe BYU has essentially moved on as their recruitment has taken off.
- Dayan Lake- Probably the jewel of the class. Longtime defensive back commit from Northridge High School in Layton, Utah. Likely headed on a mission after graduation.
- Mika Tafua- DE/OLB prospect of Hawaii. Looks like Bronco Mendenhall’s linebacker corps is loaded going forward.
- Will Sedgwick- MLB prospect out of Laguna Hills, CA. He’s a tackle machine. BYU’s MLBs are required to be tackling machines.
- Devin Kaufusi- DE/OLB prospect from Brighton High School. He’s a Kaufusi. Do you need me to really say anything else?
- Khari Vanderbilt- JUCO defensive back (I think he plays safety at BYU) from San Jose City College. Shoutout to Robertson Daniel for selling BYU to this kid.
- David Lui- DE Pittsburgh CA. The guy can play. His recruiting hasn’t taken off as much as it should have yet, and it might not now that he’s committed. But don’t kid yourself, he would have had a handful of PAC-12 offers had he let the process play out.
- Steve Miller- OL Gilbert, AZ. The athletic lineman has had a BYU offer for a while now. He’s an excellent talent and would make a huge impact at BYU.
- Kevin Estes- OL San Marcos, CA. BYU needs offensive lineman. Estes is another athletic prospect.
- Branden Bowen- OL Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah. Personally, I think this 320 athlete is the most talented lineman BYU is after, but I also think it’s a long shot for the Cougars.
- Kody Wilstead- QB Pineview High School, St. George, Utah. He’s mobile enough that he’d fit in with Go Fast, Go Hard and this kid can sling the football.
- Mufi Hunt- OLB that played at Brighton High School last season. This kid looks like a young Alani Fua. He’s a finesse player, but he’s got a dangerously tall ceiling he could reach.
- Quinn Fabrizio- S/OLB Alta High School, Sandy, Utah. He’s a big defensive back. He looks like a linebacker playing safety.
- Charles West- RB Speedy back from Coppell, Texas. He camped at BYU earlier this month and seemed to have a good time. BYU is really working on opening that Texas pipeline.
- Cameron Scarlett- RB from Central Catholic High School in Portland, OR. He’s probably a higher rated back than West, but I think BYU has a better chance with West. Hopefully Dallin Leavitt can help bring Scarlett to Provo.
- Sam Mays- WR from Houston, TX. He’s a big, fast receiver with good hands. I’m not sure how likely it is BYU can land Mays, but if Guy Holiday can inspire a kid in person the same way he inspires me on Twitter, BYU may have a chance.
Tevita Mounga- DT from Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta, Texas. Tyler Cook, if you’re reading this, please get your former teammate to come to BYU. Bronco’s defense needs an anchor at the tackle position.
- Gabe Reid- DE/OLB prospect out of Timpview in Provo. The kid can flat out play. I like BYU’s chances here.
- Riley Burt- DB/RB from Box Elder High School in Brigham City, UT. Burt and Lake are friends. I have a great feeling about BYU’s chances with Burt. The biggest question in my mind is what position does he play? Elite level athlete hidden in northern Utah.
- Elias Miller- RB from Las Vegas, NV. You probably haven’t heard much about Miller yet, but you will soon enough. He has elite level speed and will be a force during his senior year. Cross your fingers, BYU fans.
- Adrian Miller- WR from Houston, TX. He has a long list of offers and a longer list of interest. I think it’s a long shot for BYU, but he’s a great player. Would have a big impact in Provo.
- Jeremiah Ieremia- LB from Hurricane, UT. There were rumors he nearly committed a few weeks ago before changing his mind. I still like BYU’s chances. The hard hitting linebacker belongs on Bronco’s defense.
- Britain Covey- WR/QB from Timpview. If Covey only had a few more pounds on him I think he would be the top prospect in Utah. His is absolutely dynamic. Yes, he’s small, but he is a football player. He’s JD Falslev with more upside.
- Thadd Daniels- JUCO CB from Cerritos College in Norwalk, CA. He should probably he higher on the big board. He has a Utah offer. Utah knows CBs. Daniels is the real deal.
- Reggie Daniels- WR from Hendrickson High School is Pflugerville, TX. I am optimistic on BYU’s chances with Daniels. Guy Holliday is really working hard in Texas.
- James Empey- OL from American Fork, UT. Though he doesn’t have an offer yet, I’m confident he’ll get one soon. He’s a great athlete and reports said he stood out at BYU’s camps recently.
There are more players that have reported offers and there are more players that are receiving interest from BYU. As I said earlier, this is just my best guess at what a big board looks like inside BYU’s recruiting office. This will change frequently. If BYU can get half of these guys and fill the positions of need, then we’re looking at an even better class in 2015 than we saw in 2014.