Notes from Interview with Deseret News’ Brandon Gurney


We had technical issues on this week’s podcast while interviewing the Deseret News’ Brandon Gurney.  Here’s a text-summary on some of the things Gurney mentioned to Mitch in the interview.

  • Impressions from 2011 Season.

Didn’t go as expected. Riley has some up-and-down moments but it works.  Defense was very solid, and looks to be even better in 2012.  Alani Fua and Ezekiel Ansah will be interesting to watch. Ansah has seen a lot of hype from sacks in Fall Camp last year.  Most interested in Russell Tialavea to see how he performs in his Senior year off a mission.

  • Who is 2012’s Daniel Sorensen?  Returning from a mission to make an impact.

Safety Craig Bills. Played as a True Freshman, not easy thing to do. Bills is one of the hardest hitters Gurney has ever seen out of High School. WR Brett Thompson, a good bodied receiver at 6-3, 215. WR Mitch Mathews was someone Gurney liked out of Camp in 2009. Might be 6-7 now.  More fluid and better lateral quickness than Marcus. True WR while Marcus is a better fit at the Y Receiver spot.  DL Bronson Kaufusi doesn’t get back till real late, hard to expect to perform in 2012. Returns in June or July.  Curious to see if he goes to blue (offense) or white (defense) jersey. 6-6 240. OL Terry Alletto performed very well as True Freshman.  At BYU, always a bevy of RMs, Bronco highlights with incoming newcomers.

A strength to Bronco’s recruiting in his tenure is getting top athletes. Last year 3-star guys, no headiner. This year has good stories. Tanner Mangum, co-MVP at Elite 11. Was THE Elite 11 MVP according to many however. WR Josh Weeks committed for a long time, hopefully annother Cody Hoffman or Ross Apo. Maybe Gurney’s favorite is LB Butch Pauu, plays for Servie a powerhouse in Southern California.  Gurney walked around Servite facilities, and he realized how Pauu commands respect from the people within the Servite program, and is THE man on campus.  Pauu the right attitude.  The players who have the most success at BYU completely buy into what Bronco Mendenhall is subscribing too.  Pauu had some high profile Pac-12 offers.  Troy Hinds obviously top recruit out of Utah.  He is a phenomenal talent.  All of these guys leaving for missions.  Fans will see good production when they return in the future.

  • Signing Day 2012

BYU has hardly any players they holding out on.  Gurney talked with WR Dylan Collie, trying to pick his brain.  All the commits were there at same time.  Only Pine View WR Jake Arslanian was non-committed guy at official visit.   Offensive Lineman Hiva Lutui a 4-star prospect is a guy BYU offered after Lutui visited on an official visit. #3 Offensive Line prospect nationally by Originally a UCLA commit. After Rick Neuheisel was fired, Lutui is looking elsewhere, a Non-LDS kid from Euless, TX.  Genuine interest and took official visit this past weekend.  Lutui is cousins with Butch Pauu.  More on Lutui from Talo Steves at  LOI typically not an exciting day for BYU recruiting.

  • Who in 2012 Class can contribute next season?

First off, hardly anyone from 2011 class contributed in their first year.  Austin Heder was basically it seeing time on Special Teams and early in the season at Fullback.  RB Jamaal Williams from Fontana, California most likely the 2012 impact guy.  WR Dylan Collie is another one.  Collie simply knows the program very well,  very good athlete, and he’s a Collie.  His drive won’t be a problem.

Always some surprises that come out of nowhere who end up being starters early in their career like Ian Dulan and Jan Jorgensen.

  • Adam Hine (In response to Jamaal Williams discussion)

Very anxious.  Saw him a little bit.  Impressed with how he moved.  Shortly removed from mission.  Obviously scout team players hype one another.  Never truly know though until they are in actual practice setting and games.  Gurney loved Hine in high school.  Never seen a kid do more for his team then Hine.  Absolutely dominated.  When evaluating recruits you want them to jump out at you.  That was definitely the case with Hine out of Snow Canyone High School in St. George, Utah.

Many people feel BYU would have been well served to go after JUCO Running Back, Gurney’s sources at BYU say they are not.  That could always change if they are very high on a particular prospect.  But it might also say that BYU likes what they have in Alisa, Hine, Quezada and Williams.

Thanks to BYU Insider and Recruiting Guru from the Deseret News, Brandon Gurney for joining the Cougar Center Podcast.  We apologize again for the Technical Difficulties.