Will the hiring of Cary Whittingham dry up BYU’s Timpview pipeline?

Since the news broke of Timpview hiring Cary Whittingham to replace Louis Wong as its football coach I’ve been asked frequently how the move will affect BYU recruiting. It’s not a question that anyone could accurately answer until we see how it plays out in the coming years.

Since I started covering recruiting back in 2002, Timpview has sent almost all of its division-one prospects to BYU. There have been some notable exceptions such as Xavier Sua-filo and Chris Badger, but the general rule is that if you’re a division-one quality prospect playing at Timpview, you’ll go on to sign with BYU.

Timpview has produced an impressive amount of talent over the past ten years with the following having signed with the Cougars:

-Dallas Reynolds (2003)

-Brian Soi (2003)

-Harvey Unga (2005)

-Luke Ashworth (2005)

-Matt Reynolds (2005)

-Stephen Covey (2005)

-Famika Anae (2007)

-Houston Reynolds (2007)

-Eathyn Manumaleuna (2007)

-Kevan Bills (2008)

-Michael Alisa (2008)

-Tui Crichton (2009)

-Craig Bills (2009)

-Bronson Kaufusi (2010)

-Corbin Kaufusi (2011)

-Colby Jorgensen (2011)

Sixteen players in all with over half of those having direct family relations to coaches or players that were in the program at the time of their signing. Subsequently, direct family relations may underscore the real reason BYU has seen so much success in recruiting Timpview more than anything else.

Timpview is very much a BYU community with its area populated with BYU alumni, employees and most of all, fans of the Cougar football program. Utes are rare within the community which makes it nothing short of ironic that Timpview’s new head football coach is the very brother of Kyle Whittingham.

But will Cary dry up Timpview’s pipeline to BYU?

It’s been my experience that most High School coaches don’t play favorites in helping their players decide on where to play at the next level. Most coaches will intervene when asked, but largely leave the decision completely up to the player and his family.

Granted that there are some notable exceptions. A current BYU player, who played for a Salt Lake area high school, was mocked incessantly by members of his coaching staff for having committed to the Cougars. Such actions by coaches are rare, counterproductive  and certainly not the rule.

It’s highly doubtful that Cary Whittingham will create this sort of atmosphere at Timpview, but it is reasonable to assume that Utah will find more success recruiting at the school.

Over my years covering recruiting, Utah has seldom even tried recruiting Timpview athletes. This will almost assuredly change as conversations between the Timpview staff and the Utah football staff about their prospects should continue and even increase. I mean, they are brothers, after all.

How this affects BYU in attracting Timpview prospects remains to be seen, however. Will players that would normally choose BYU opt for its in-state rival or will it not change at all? It’s something that I’ll be sure to note closely in the coming years.

At this current juncture it’s safe to say that Utah will likely benefit from Cary Whittingham being the head coach at Timpview. For a lot of BYU fans, Utah finding any success anywhere hurts their program and especially when that success is found in BYU’s own backyard.

 

 

48 comments

  1. Darren

    I can’t believe this is worthy of mention. This hand wringing by every perceived slight of BYU is getting tiresome. From rivavlry games to conference affilition to this.

    Since Cary Whittingham played for BYU (I think that is true) should we be equally concerned that Cary might be funneling his players to BYU. Secretly Bronco might be nudging his players to transfer to Oregon State, maybe someone should look into that?

    • G

      You took the time to go to the BYU section and then select a BYU blog article. There was no handwringing in the article, nor was it insinuated. It was meant to address “how the [coaching] move will affect BYU recruiting”. If you think about the process of getting a high school athlete to commit to play for a university, it comes down to who the coaches know and who the player trust. Its therefore logical to realize the newfound connection (and implications) from Timpview to Utah that wasn’t previously there.

      • Darren

        not true. It was a twitter link that directed me to this page. It simply mentioned how BYU Fans were upset at Carey Whittingham’s hire, and I couldn’t understand why?

      • Josh

        I agree with Brandon. I went to Timpview, and this is a real concern. And Timpview has been a major source of recruits for BYU, so it is an extremely intriguing topic to discuss.

    • Mike Ellis

      Great logic, maybe Kyle will start encouraging top players to go to BYU since he played there also.

      • John

        Mike,
        Where Kyle played his college ball is now irrelevant. He coaches at Utah and earns his livelihood as well as his legacy there. Despite where he played, he and the majority of his family are now firmly entrenched Utes. If anything, BYU is an obstacle for him now. It is definitely within his interest to get the best recruits possible. You don’t think it is important that he now has a better connection within one of the more productive programs in the state that has traditionally been a BYU pipeline?

  2. Austin

    I met Cary three months ago. He is now a Ute fan. He was dressed in all Utah gear. He told me now cheers for Utah because of his brother. I believe him. I hope this move doesn’t effect too many future prospects.

  3. Alpine Blue

    At this point in time, it really does not matter anymore, as BYU Football is on the very edge of irrelevance. It has become glaringly obvious that BYU will soon be on the outside looking in as the Big XII has seemingly turned its sights elsewhere (FSU/Clemson/Miami)and forgotten the Cougars. Afraid that the Administration and Tom Holmoe played “too hard to get” overvaluing the Cougars value. At some point in the near future the brethren will take note of this and discontinue all intercollegiate athletics at BYU-similar to what they did in Rexburg a decade or so ago. At that time Coach Whitt and his band of Utes will be the “only game in town”. Contemplating this and given the choice of becoming a Utah fan, assume that I will no longer follow college football at all. A sad day.

    • CrimsonTrue

      Alpine Blue, I rarely comment but the idea of BYU fans just going away gets me pretty excited. I never thought about it like that, but thank you for giving me a reason to stay positive about the BYU program disappearing. When I see a Y fan who would rather not watch any football at all instead of even considering the idea of rooting for a team with what would surely become the nations highest ratio of mormon players, coached by a mormon who is a former BYU National Championship* Team member, at a school founded by Brigham Young and attended by a large number of highly prominent church leaders (those brethren you speak of) it goes without saying that I agree that it is best if you would just go away. In fact, why wait for the inevitable, you should just go now.

      • Troll

        You are right crimsonblue. I remember the brethren back in 1844 told everyone to leave Nauvoo. This was pretty incredible considering it was a town with the highest ratio of mormon people, with a mormon mayor, founded by a Latter-day prophet*, Joseph Smith, with a population of many of the prominent church leaders at the time (the brethren), so yeah it was pretty incredible.

        Huh?

      • John

        CrimsonTrue: Kyle did not play on the BYU National Championship team. However, Cary and Fred Jr. were on the roster that year.

    • Joe BYU

      Please – I am begging all of you – to please, please please STOP telling us how the “Brethren are ready to cancel BYU football.” It is the lamest speculation of all. The University continues to place a high value on Athletics. They build new facilities. They focus a TV network around people being able to watch these games.

      I am begging on my knees for you foolish people to please stop saying this. Say BYU is lame, Say that we are irrelevant, you can even mock us because the Utes are in the Pac 12 and we are not but just stop acting like you have some secret insider information and give it a rest.

    • John

      AlpineBlue,
      Except that BYU is doing the opposite. Coming off of their highest revenue year ever, they are upgrading the Marriott Center to be more basketball friendly, have plans for a basketball practice facility, and are upgrading the football stadium video scoreboards.

      These are pretty bold steps for a department that, according to you, is on the verge of discontinuing all intercollegiate athletics.

      Dream on.

  4. Ed

    Much ado about nothing other than this might open the door for a few players to go to the Utes. There are a lot of Y influences in play and those won’t go away.

  5. bublnet

    Apline Blue, sports at BYU is here to stay. In fact because of the way it approaches sports, it will continue to grow and attract talent from across the nation (already happening). That’s a huge influence and isn’t going away. In fact, BYU is just beginning to tap into it’s future and it is very, very bright.

    If C. Whitt wants to channel his players to Utah, great, if he does it unethically, he will be gone, remember parents care and at Timpview, they have a huge say.

  6. gdog3finally

    Cary will not shuttle his players to Utah. He will be happy for his brother if some of his talent chooses to go up to the hill, but he won’t push the issue. I think Cary would be proud to see his players go to BYU as well. Look, C. Whitt will work hard to serve Timpview. I hope parents and players look to respect Whittingham’s leadership.

    • John

      Thanks gdog3finally, your comments are the most realistic. Kyle will have better insight into Timpview players, but his brother will likely focus on his own programs success and be happy when his kids play in college, wherever it may be.

  7. Jason

    I don’t think BYU has anything to worry about. When it all come down to is that players on that team will decide where they want to go too. I doubt the coach will have an impact where his players want to go. The only thing that would upset the BYU faithful is if in any given year they have a diamond of a player and they decide to go to Utah, there would be a lot of BYU fans would want that kids head on a platter. I’ve seen it happen before, and BYU would be no exception.

  8. Ohio Cougar Fan

    The banter about this article and the perceived slight to BYU or Utah is silly. Give it a rest. I graduated from BYU 30 years ago and now I have a Masters degree and PhD from another school. Let’s enjoy sports and both teams. Let’s see, Utah is coached by a former BYU player and his brother who played for BYU coaches for Timpview. Of course they will want to support one another!

    By the same token, they both know a lot about BYU that the average coach in this country or even Utah wouldn’t know because they both played at BYU. I suspect coach Cary Whittingham will give the Cougars a fair shake if asked by their players about the program.

    Perhaps it’s time to show some class at the game. I went to a BYU Notre Dame game at Notre Dame and the hosts were very gracious. Let’s work on our sportsmanship and in wishing the best for all of the players involved.

  9. Joseph

    Gurney,
    Once again you are showing BYU bias, (which I have come to expect), but which is unbecoming of a “journalist”. You mention a current BYU player who was ridiculed for choosing BYU though the coaching staff is presumably Utah homers. But you never mentioned the other side! BYU puts more pressure on anyone to choose BYU, or if they go in another direction, to choose anywhere but Utah. Harvey Unga originally committed to Utah, but was pressured to pick BYU. BYU plays the “religion” card all of the time with recruits, multiple national articles have been written about BYU using bishops and the church infrastructure as a “farm system” to identify potential athletes and steer them towards BYU as a religious duty. Pointing to one small example to show how Utes use their bias without mentioning the stronger, more manipulative BYU bias is bad form. Ask any of the three Kruger brothers how they were treated while living in a BYU hotbed but choosing the Utes.

    • Brandon Gurney

      Part of the blog was about how high school coaches can work against a specific institution, in this case BYU, so I used an example to illustrate this. I don’t assume for a second that these coaches were directed to act in such a manner by the Ute, Aggie or Wildcat coaching staff. As mentioned, these cases are extremely rare.

      Pointing out assumed “pressure” BYU coaches apply from on top isn’t relevant to the piece.

      Thanks for your comments.

    • A. A Olsen

      As a friend of a former Bishop, I find your comment not only insulting but also very very ignorant. He encouraged all of the youth to attend BYU if they could. It has nothing to do with football. It has everything to do with the environment the kids will be in. He went to OU. Football is only going to be a minor part. You are leaving out the real reasons for why a bishop would have a kid choose BYU over other schools. They are the moral values, serving a mission, and the probability of the individual having the opportunity to meet a potential spouse. You know about this just as much as anyone and yet you say something completely out of line! But then again you wanted to be negative…..GOD FORBID HAVING A SPIRITUAL LEADER CARE ABOUT THE FULL WELL BEING OF TODAY’S YOUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dave

      Joseph here is the real story of Harvey Unga. You will see that Kyle Whittingham is the one who applied pressure not BYU. Unga was close to starting his collegiate career at Utah, to which he had verbally committed after helping Provo Timpview High win a state title in 2004, when he tested new Utes coach Kyle Whittingham. Coach, I’ve decided to go to BYU.
      “He was pretty upset,” Unga told the Salt Lake Tribune. “Whittingham said, ‘Those guys are going to switch you to linebacker … You’re going to wish you never went there … You’re going to call back and want to go to Utah.’“It turned me off. He flipped on me.” Then Unga, son of former BYU running back Jackson Unga, rang Reynolds and tested him, telling Reynolds he was going to stick with his original plan to be a Ute. “He told me, ‘You’re going to do great things up there … It’s going to be tough when we play you guys … we know you’re going to be a great player,’ ” Harvey Unga told the Tribune.“I thought, ‘These are the kind of guys I want to play for.’ ”

      • Tort

        “Testing” is one way to phrase what you claim he did–one might also call it “lying”. Is a heat of the moment overreaction more egregious than calculated deceit? Also the kid was essentially telling Whitt that he was breaking his word and telling Reynolds he was keeping his word–not really apples to apples.

      • Mr. Law

        Thanks for posting this! It’s amazing how petty Ute fans have been here on this comments section. Or, at least, it would be, if I weren’t used to their lack of class and dignity by now!

      • Tort

        You are most welcome! It’s amazing how quickly Cougar fans will resort to name calling instead of putting together a simple rebuttal. I guess that’s how one rolls on the high road!

      • Duckhunter

        I’m sure Tort and any other utah “fan” would feel exactly the opposite way in the reverse. The Chase Hasen situation is a pretty good example. BYU coaches told Chase he would not be playing QB for them, he was going to be moved to defense. utah coaches told him he could play qb for them while knowing all along he was going to be moved to defense. It is understandable that fans look at situations with bias toward the institution they follow but utah “fan” hypocrisy is dominant trait. It is interesting to observe and I think is founded in an ingrainded inferiority complex and victim mentality brought on by years of being dominated overall athletically.

    • John

      Joseph: Since “multiple national articles have been written about BYU using the church infrastructure to identify potential athletes and steer them towards BYU as a religious duty”, it should be easy for you to provide a few references (but I won’t hold my breath).

  10. JT

    This article lacks some critical information…. First of all, Cary Whittingham is also a BYU alumni. Sure Kyle is, as well, and that didn’t keep him from accepting the Utah job. You could discount Cary’s loyalties to the Cougar program he played for, but have to look at the second big issue the blog entry. (I won’t call it an article due to its speculative nature.) Cary Whittingham was ALREADY on the Timpview staff as an assistant coach. Nothing has changed in his relationship with his brother over the last week, so you can assume that if Utah was going to pull recuits that would otherwise go to BYU… it would already be happening.

    As my friend DJ always used to tell me… don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. Right?

  11. JT

    If this blog was supposed to be about “how high school coaches can work against a specific institution” then you did not do much with any actual cases to support your theory – other than an unspecified insinuation that a current BYU player experienced this with his high school coaches.

  12. Duckhunter

    @joseph

    And with one fell swoop you upheld the classless and angst ridden reputation of utah “fans”. Well done!

    As for the article itself JT is correct, Cary Whittingham has been on that staff for several years already. While he is undoubtedly a utah fan, his brother is the head coach afterall, he is also now a hs coach who has to look out for the interests of his own players 1st and formost. He coaches at a school that is an absolute hotbed of BYU supporters and isn’t going to do things that are going to turn those parents against him. His job depends on them.

    He is an honorable guy that will do a great job there. I’m sure he’ll put in plugs for his brother and it may result in a kid or two going to utah that maybe wouldn’t have otherwise but he is not going to completely change the culture of Timpview HS just because he is the head coach there, nor do I think he will even try.

    The fact that so many of the BYU supporters/parents wanted him as coach tells us how well he is thought of and respected. The Whittinghams have been around Provo for a long time, they are well known to both the Timpview and Provo High communities. They have earned their reputations as great football guys and good members of the community. I don’t think BYU fans need to worry about anything and I don’t think utah “fans” should assume anything either.

    • motorpike

      Duck,

      Well said!
      A huge smile came to my face when I realized you and I could 100% agree on something. There’s no reason BYU and Utah fans shouldn’t all be able to see this in the same way you stated.

  13. da

    The part of the article that I find most interesting is that Timp view has “produced” this talent. B.S.! These programs like Timp View and Bingham do a great job but they don’t “produce” as much as they “recruit” these talents and their families from other areas with the thought that the players chances at a championship and scholarship increase by attending these high profile schools. I am not throwing the coaches under the bus, I’m sure that the recruiting is done in “legal” and invisible ways. Answer me this, how many of the aforementioned players actually live in the Timpview school boundaries? As far as the college question, If we condem coach whittingham for trying to urge his players to play for the U then we must condem every high school coach for trying to influence his players decision.

    • Carl

      If I’m not mistaken, all of the above referenced football talent live in the Timpview boundaries.

      Tui Chrichton’s family may live in the Provo boundaries, but Provo has open enrollment in the city.

    • Utah teacher

      da,

      I teach at the middle school that feeds into Timpview. Every one of those kids came to our school in 7th grade except Manumaleuna and Crichton. So if you are claiming that the families are MOVING to Timpview boundaries then you are correct. However it isn’t happening just when they get to high school. They are moving to Provo long before that.

      I know people that lose to Timpview like to claim they recruit but unless they are recruiting elementary school players, it just isn’t happening. In my experience, success is the best recruiter.

      • Duckhunter

        Sorry that is simply not correct. Xavier Sia Fua is from American Fork, his family still lives in American Fork. His younger brother, also obviously still from American Fork is currently at Timpview. Their next door neighbor, the Peterson kid, is also at Timpview. And they are not the only ones. I can name more.

        The perpetuation of the fallacy of Timpviews players all being from the Timpview area needs to end. The truth is the truth afterall.

      • utah teacher

        Duck,

        I was referring to the list from the article about BYU recruits. I personally have taught almost all of them when they were in 7th or 8th grade.

        I wasn’t looking at every player that has ever played for Timpview. I’m sure there are some like X that have gone to Timpview from other schools. Like I said, Success is the best recruiter. Players and families seek out the school where their child will be successful but to claim the coach is doing the recruiting usually is just sour grapes.

  14. Provo Gentile

    The constant Timpview recruiting whine gets old. Provo’s open enrollment has helped kids that have talent and need coaching to get to the next level – as you see VERY FEW of them. My neighbor’s kid went to Timpview and transferred to Orem and is now a D1 baseball all-american, so it works both ways when parents do what is best for their children. As for the BYU/UTAH recruiting thing, it may have an effect on a guy here or there, but Gurney hit it spot on that most of the D1 kids come from BYU blood lines and in addition the Timpview area is 99% BYU faithful and their kids are too. An occassional guy might head off to Utah, and I’m sure that CW will be pleased either way. The fact is that if you have a HS program that sends players to college to get a free education, Mom’s and Dad’s like that a lot and support your program that much more. (See Lone Peak basketball, exhibit B) Just a word from a gentile that’s adopted the great state of Utah and pulls for any in state team on the national stage!

  15. Mark Freckleton

    CrimsonTrue, don’t get to excited. Not only is Alpine Blue not a BYU fan, he is not even a BYU fan. In fact, I suspect he inhabits an alternate reality. BYU will drop football (or all intercollegiate sports) because it because a mid-major program? Really? Why did that not happen in 1963, at which time it had hardly even had a winning season?

    I believe the brethren are pretty happy with the exposure the athletic program brings to the Church. Last year was a banner season with Jimmermania. Ricks College > BYU Idaho was a completely different matter – a JC becoming a 4-year school, they didn’t see the sense in ramping up the program. BYU Provo only has to maintain status quo to do what the brethren want.

    Besides, is someone who would refuse to root for the only major program in the state really a football fan? I personally hope that BYU again becomes dominant in football, but if the program faded away, I still love football, and why would I root for some out of state program when the Utes are 40 miles away?

  16. Bluto

    BYU will always have the edge with the LDS kid.
    It is the Church’s Flagship School.

    If a kid wants the BYU experience Utah will never compete.

    If a kid wants a Secular environment, he may choose Utah over BYU or if he wants to play in the Pac Ten and go to a Rose bowl…..

    He’ll be looking at SC, ASU, Washington, Oregon, Stanford or Cal…..
    long before he would consider Utah.

    Utah’s self-imposed puffery is about to be slammed to reality.
    Those 6 good years are a thing of the past.

    Shades of Tom Lovat?

    • Naval Vet

      Bluto:

      “He’ll be looking at SC, ASU, Washington, Oregon, Stanford or Cal…long before he would consider Utah.”

      Not necessarily. That’s just your frantic and emotional wishful thinking doing the talking. In Utah’s 2012 class, Tenny Palepoi picked the Utes over Washington. Moana Ofahengaue picked the Utes over Ariz, ASU, Cal, Colo, Ore. St, and Washington. Vaha Vainuku picked the Utes over Wash, St.

      In 2011, Harvey Langi picked the Utes over Colo, Stanford, UCLA, and USC. Isaac Asiata picked the Utes over Washington. Seni Fauonuku picked the Utes over Wash. St.

      In 2010, Star Lotulelei picked the Utes over Ore. St. Joe Kruger picked the Utes over Ariz, ASU, Cal, Oregon, Ore. St, UCLA, Washington, and Wash. St.

      In 2009, LT Filiaga picked the Utes over Ariz, Stanford, and Washington. Percy Taumoelau picked the Utes over Ariz. and Wash. St. Latu Heimuli picked the Utes over Ariz, ASU, Cal, Colo, Ore. St, UCLA, Washington, and Wash. St.

      And THOSE were just the UTAH kids that chose the Utes over other teams in the Pac-12 in the past 4 recruiting seasons. I could go on, but I think my point has been made.

      We’re getting our fair share of non-instaters as well.

      • Striker

        Yet they can barely even beat most of the other PAC teams, and can’t even beat CO. Pretty weak post and you likely made up most of those teams they denied. I seriously doubt anyone tracks players and schools they denied.

  17. Softbearf

    This is no big deal. Of course Kyle will have an influence on his brothers team, so what!! Yes, Timpview has produced some great players but they have also taken scholarships that could have gone to other players outside of Utah, that could have been just a bit better. Talent is where you find it and if the Timp boys go north, I’m sure they can be replaced by someone either in state or out. There is always more than 1 or 2 good players at each position, the Y will get their share or develope someone like Boise State does.

  18. Softbear

    In all this discussion one thing has not been mentioned. Is Clay going to be the winning coach that he is replacing? With a coaching change also comes record changes. Timpview probably will continue to be a power and produce great players, but we won’t know that until after a few seasons. Hopefully Clay will be very successful. Not being from Utah, I know nothing about his previous coaching experience and success. But if you don’t produce a winner, then your team is less likely to have a lot of visits from college coaches. Time will tell.

  19. ASimp

    Some things will never change…like the fact that most of those players from Timpview would probably live at home saving on costs of all sorts. Unless they were given free everything to Utah, I don’t see how someone that lives that close to the university where they are offered a chance to play would take another offer.

  20. Duckhunter

    It’s always fun to have naval vet show up to insecurely, dare I say “frantically and emotionally”, post utah’s resume.

    LOL!

  21. maddpg

    You can get the LDS experience many places. BYU offers the plan that includes very little free agency. Utah and many western universities offer this experience along with some other choices and a side of free agency. You will be hard pressed to identify any aspect of LDS culture that BYU offers that Utah does not – with the exception that it comes with an element of forced control. If you are able to make good decisions in an environment of free agency, you have several choices. If you have children that can’t tell right from wrong, you may consider the really old plan where they are forced to comply of face outer darkness.

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