More uncommitted prospects to visit BYU this weekend

PROVO — BYU is making a relatively untypical late run at several prospects just six days before National Letter of Intent day. At least six prospects are expected this weekend — three of whom already committed to sign with the Cougars.

The committed prospects included Lone Peak’s Talon Shumway (6-3, 210 WR), Thomas Shoaf, who is a 6-foot-6, 265 offensive line prospect from Columbus, IN. and Kalolo Manumaleuga Utu, who is a 6-foot-2, 250 linebacker/defensive line prospect from Compton, Calif.

The uncommitted prospects include Kahuku’s Aofaga Wily, who is a 6-foot, 195 running back prospect. Wily has narrowed down his options to BYU and Hawaii after becoming Kahuku’s all-time leading rusher his senior year.

Tim Duran is a 6-foot-4, 290 offensive line prospect from Cabrillo junior college in southern California. BYU first contacted Duran just two weeks ago.

“I didn’t know much of anything about BYU when they first contacted me, but I’m anxious for my official visit,” Duran said. “I know BYU is a different school and a Mormon school and has some strict standards, but I”m anxious to see if I fit in there being not being Mormon and all that.”

Duran transferred from Gilroy junior college to Cabrillo last season and saw a lot of success. The Puyallup, Wash. native has seen late interest from several smaller programs including San Jose State, but is intrigued with what BYU has to offer.

“BYU is a big school that plays a lot on national TV, so I definitely like that,” he said. “I really like the new offensive line coach — coach (Garrett) Tujague and what I know about him. He’s big on technique and likes his players to be aggressive, so I love that.”

Duran played at both left tackle and left guard last season and is open to playing anywhere along the offensive front.

“Hopefully BYU offers me and, if they do, then I’ll have to make a quick decision with my family,” Duran said. “We’ll see if it’s a good fit for me this weekend, but I’m definitely excited to have BYU as an option. I feel I improved a ton last season and I’m so thankful that a big school, like BYU, took an interest.”

BYU did make a late run at Cal commit Garrett Hughes, but it was recently learned that he won’t be expected to make the trip out to Provo this weekend.

BYU is making a run at former Utah and Arizona State commit De’Ondre Wesley. Wesley is a 6-foot-7, 305 offensive line prospect from Diablo Valley Junior College. Wesley committed to Utah in late September before committing to Arizona State in December. The Sun Devils withdrew their offer to Wesley late for undisclosed reasons while Utah moved on and recruited over him.

We’ll have more on Wesley when he becomes available for comment.




  1. Who am I, sir?

    Many say, and I agree to some extent, following recruiting is a waste of time. (You don’t know how good the players are going to be until about season of playing) However, I love to hope certain players will sigh, have feelings when a commit de-commits, follow star ratings etc. Finally, going to the celebration signing party, seeing recruit “clips”, and hearing the coaches talk about what a great class! In this regards, is there any truth that this year the Y will have their announcement party at the Odoke Mexican Grill (even though the Rancherito has better ringside seating – especially near the kitchen area) and have visitors stay at the Knights Inn? (All are two star rated!)

  2. Naval Vet

    “I didn’t know much of anything about BYU when they first contacted me, but I’m anxious for my official visit.” — Tim Duran

    We sure seem to be hearing this a lot. Cody Hoffman had never heard of the Y before either, and I believe just last week, some other Y recruit who I never heard of, was considering Wyoming since he didn’t know anything about the Y either.

    I bet Y fans always cringe whenever they read about another recruit who didn’t know anything about them. It really damages any argument you all can make about your “national brand” and ESPN exposure. Sure you were on TV, but it doesn’t sound like there were a lot folks watching.

    • SloppyJ30

      Nah, Naval Vet . . I don’t cringe. You could fill volumes with information people should know, but don’t. Which NBA rookie was it that was shocked to find out there is no “Christmas break” in the League? I guess he didn’t watch much basketball. I’m sure a large percentage of collegiate athletes wouldn’t even be able to tell you where Utah is on a map.

      Some JC kid who doesn’t know much about BYU is not surprising at all. It’ll take a little more than that to hurt my feelings.

      • Naval Vet

        It doesn’t really surprise me that much either whenever a recruit says he’d never heard of the Y before. What surprises me is the volume of Y fans that think they have a “national brand” when even their own recruits hadn’t heard of them.

    • ESPN + BYU = National Brand

      Joe Schad, who is ESPN’s national college football reporter, isn’t surprised by those numbers.

      “Those statistics are interesting. I think BYU is certainly a national brand, in the same ilk as Notre Dame,” said Schad, who provided color commentary on ESPN radio during the Cougars’ recent appearance in the Poinsettia Bowl. “They have a national recruiting base and a national following.”

      Navel Lint,
      For every one jc recruit who doesn’t know much about BYU, I could list a dozen, prominent ESPN or sport journalists who very much know BYU’s brand.

      • REALITY

        As an employee of ESPN, which is currently still under contract w/byu, wouldn’t you be in absolute shock, had he instead said anything contrary to it?

  3. Chem_E_Ute

    When I look over the BYU recruiting class; I only see two players (Kearsly & Peoples) total, I think the Utes would rather have than two of there own commited players. I only see 1 more player the Utes even truely wanted (T. Shumway), maybe two (Lotulelei), at all but I don’t think the Utes would drop a recruit to add then.

    The Utes recruiting class is not great, it will probably end up 35 to 40 overall nationally, but with 7 or 8 PAC-12 schools ahead of them.

    However…it is clear to see that BYU is fading bach into a 2nd tier of D-1 football programs; continually batteling schools like SDSU, Hawaii, UNLV, Nevada for recruits & continually losing recruits to Boise St. and BCS conference schools.

    • boscatar

      BYU has never had top recruiting classes. The best recruiting class they ever had (according to Recruiting Services) has seen two of the top recruits leave the program – Heaps and Stout. And Apo has been good, but inconsistent. Recruiting rankings and comparisons are fun, but don’t really translate well to onfield performance. For example, Tennessee was ranked as a recruiting juggernaut for years…until the rankings realized a Tennessee commitment isn’t what it used to be.

      A good example of this is Tanner Shipley. He was a 2-star recruit when he committed to BYU. When he flip-flopped to Boise State, he became a 3-start recruit. Nothing else changed. Rankings by the recruiting services are lame.

      • RBN1

        That being said, this year looks worse than normal. A beat writer at the “other” paper today indicated:

        “Admittedly, it is not a glowing review of the Cougars’ signing class; In the seven or eight years that I have paid close attention to BYU’s football recruiting, this might be the weakest class coach Bronco Mendenhall will sign, in my opinion.”

  4. Ardent9

    The criticism of BYU’s relatively obscurity with regards to recruiting is fair. I believe this is mostly due to being too long in the void of the MWC’s television package (dare I call it that?). BYU has essentially lost a generation of athletes due to this void. Being on ESPN certainly helps, but we need to start winning, and consistently, to recapture the fans and children of alumni that tuned out on BYU when virtually no-one could view any games. Rocky Beagle’s son (his name evades me) is a good example. As a prominant BYU Alum, his son should have seriously considered BYU, but growing up in Wisconsin without the ability to watch games left him without any tie to BYU and consequently he committed to Wisconsin – a nearby team that he followed rather easily. I predict that if BYU can win consistently, they will regain the next generation. We still will have a relatively limited recruiting pool, but it will become much larger as more and more athletes can watch BYU play – every week.

    • outside view

      BYU has always had a limited recruiting pool but the fact of the matter is they do seem to be losing ground to Utah and others. It is a matter of BCS conference and the money that goes with it vs religious affiliation and how strongly you feel about that. Recruiting is never as good or bad as the star ranking make it look. It just gives people something to trash talk about.

      There will always be LDS recruits who want to stay close to home and play for their top local teams. No harm in that. Lets just see how it goes over the next few years.

  5. Bluto


    Duran was speaking of details regarding the school, which can only be discovered with an actual visit, not that he had never heard of them.

    Duran also said, which you convienently left out…

    “BYU is a Big School that plays a lot on National TV, so I definitely like that,” he said.

    This is Utah’s biggest nightmare, that BYU continues to have every game on National TV, on avg. 10 ESPN games a year and Utah is nowhere to be seen.

    Exposure……Utah simply does not now, nor will they ever, have it.

    @Chen E

    BYU is a Big school with a Brand and Legacy. Utah will never have such a luxury.

    And you need to realize that Utah can’t even compete within their own conference, let alone Nationally.

    Such Wannabees

    • Naval Vet


      Actually, he said — and I quote — “I didn’t know much of anything about BYU when they first contacted me…”

      That just about says it all right there. I’m sure once the Y contacted him, they let him know about your ESPN deal, but prior to that…he “didn’t know much of anything” about you. The question you should be asking yourself is, if the Y had been featured on all those late night ESPN games, how come he didn’t know about them?

      And the answer is simple. Just because it’s on TV, doesn’t mean folks are eager to stay up late to watch it. Plus you’ve been playing WAC football, and nobody but WAC teams care to watch that.

      “This is Utah’s biggest nightmare, that BYU continues to have every game on National TV, on avg. 10 ESPN games a year and Utah is nowhere to be seen.”

      The fact that this simply isn’t true has got to be every Y fans biggest nightmare. If I can watch Utah Football all the way back here in Philadelphia, I don’t know why you can’t right there in Utah. In fact, I’m betting you caught every Utah game, but just too afraid to admit it.

      “Such Wannabees”

      This coming from a fan of a school who “Quest[ed] for Perfection”, threw tortillas out on the field back in 2002 before their 1st game of the season (as a nod to their pending invitation to play in the Fiesta Bowl), and failed in every attempt to obtain an invitation to both the Pac-10/12 and the Big 12. Talk about a “wannabee”.

      • Mohammed

        Stop trying to put BYU down and pretend their fanbase is not national.

        Even on the east coast where I come from, BYU is well known even if the finer details about their program and religion are not.

        I have known about ND most of my life but couldn’t tell you many specifics about their program.

      • sky2k1

        @Naval Vet – In a different BYU article you managed to comment on you mentioned how BYU fans don’t use facts and only opinion. Yet you are guilty of not using facts (excluding what the recruit said about BYU playing on national TV) and you used something that was an opinion and shared it for your argument –“I’m sure once the Y contacted him, they let him know about your ESPN deal”– Please hold yourself to the same standards you are insisting the Cougar fans follow.

      • ESPN + BYU = National Brand

        Funny how Ute fans love to bring up the WAC teams BYU has played during the first two years of Independence. Tom Holmoe clearly declared that the first two years were a scramble and year 3 would be the first “real” schedule of independence.

        Guess what? BYU just released their “year 3” schedule and it’s impressive.

        Texas, Virginia, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Boise State, Georga Tech, to name a few.

        Hats off to Tom Holmoe for coming through on his promise!

    • Chem_E_Ute

      BYU has alot of football games on ESPN…..So what?
      What has the ESPN TV exposure done to improve the team so far?

      If: 1 )The more talented recruits are not signing with BYU.
      2) BYU is only somewherege between bad & average, yearly, at best.
      3) BYU still is irrelevent in the BCS championships games.
      4) BYU football is making farless money through TV than schools in the PAC-12 for example.
      5) Taken away the possibility of winning a conference championship & BYU’s is stuck in same bowl every year.

      The only thing all BYU’s exposure (& conference isolation) has accomplished is broadcasting some of the most boring games ever played in college football;….remember Boise St. Utah St. or Notre Dame ect.?

      • Billium

        I see your points but I’m not really sure how most of them are relevant. Starting with the TV deal, in the MWC, BYU was getting around 1.3 mil/year and now they are getting 1.3 mil/HOME GAME. Seems like a pretty big increase to me. Add on the fact that they control their own content and can distribute it to fans all across the world and they are getting what they want. The Trib summed it up well:

        Although Utah got invited to a “bigger and better” conference, have they been relevant? Due to said, lack of winning, Utah is irrelevant in BCS championship games. Are better recruits signing with BYU because they’re on TV? I’m sure some are. Folks at least have the chance to see BYU where they didn’t before. I’d call that a win. Nobody ever considered Utah before their 2 BCS wins. Why? Because of the exposure. Stuck in the same bowl every year? Is that so bad? A bowl is a bowl that isn’t the BCS. That being said, BYU gets ALL of their allotted money by not being affiliated with a conference. Another increase in revenue. I don’t think you’re considering all points of their move. They are in control of their media, and they have increased exposure. Just because a JUCO player doesn’t know much about BYU because it’s been on national TV for a whole 2 years, doesn’t really mean anything.

  6. Geeoff

    I was a byu fan living in Maine at a young age before I knew anything about Mormons, Joseph Smith, etc. bought a hat at olympia (and it wasn’t on clearance). went to the Ole Miss game. Never saw such a Mormon gathering like that down south. I don’t know how to explain the national fanfare that is there if its not a national brand?

  7. Meckofahess

    I would love to be able to watch Utah football games but Direct TV does not (I don’t think) offer the Pack 12 network? I am so grateful that BYU is on TV either on ESPN, BYU TV or others. I would be a hurting fan without the BYU games. I think both BYU and Utah are good programs but Utah needs to figure out how to win in the Pack 12 and BYU needs to figure out how to beat the upper tier teams they play. I think a new quarterback and offensive coordinator will help the offense (already great defense) start winning more games next year. Good luck to both programs!

  8. Medmoy

    Navy vet, the Cougars are so insignificant you find the time to comment on there articles hmmm. Do you like to read what you want into the things you read? When someone says they don’t know a lot about the program doesn’t mean they’ve never heard or know the program. Are you really that clueless? Utah wouldn’t have been able to go independent because they do NOT have the name and following the Cougars have. And the ONLY reason there in the Pac 12 and BYU isn’t is because BYU won’t play on sunday, so get off your high horse. You can tell a lot by a teams following and the fact that the Cougars have more than double the following the Utes have should tell you a lot if you have common sense that is.

  9. 86 & 90 UTE

    I still wouldn’t consider a bunch of people showing up at BYU away games to cheer on BYU as evidence that BYU is a national brand. How many of them are NOT Mormon? Almost zero? The LDS church may be a national brand, but I would bet a bunch of those showing up at away games in Mississippi or Atlanta aren’t hardcore, football-loving BYU fans, but are devoted Mormons supporting their church sponsored team. Most certainly, even the annoying Laker fans who show up at the Jazz games to root for their Lakers possess more knowledge of the game they are attending than the those BYU fans. I wouldn’t even be surprised if the local wards in those states “encouraged” the faithful to attend the game and root for BYU. Among true fans of real football, BYU is not a national brand!

  10. Ocoug

    BYU is more than a national brand, it is a worldwide brand. This is due to the fact that the LDS Church is a worldwide church. Do people who are not members of the LDS Church recognize the Y? Yes, I think recognition waned for a few years, but was definitely strengthened by the Jimmer. To base an argument/opinion on kids’ quotes, with which we don’t know the full context is ignorant. I’m willing to bet that the national fan base is strong (just look at the number of comments per article from out of state readers).

  11. Alternate

    I am disappointed that one who professes to be a “veteran” is constantly posting negative and hateful comments toward both BYU and its parent religion. I am sure other “veterans” are also disappointed.

  12. truecoug1

    Don’t pay any attention to Naval Vet. The poor guy is just in full meltdown mode since his beloved Utes, after having had two years of PAC 12 recruiting with all of those ‘BCS recruits’, have been steadily declining over the last two years and it doesn’t look like things will change any time soon.

    Only thing he can do is come comment on big brother’s board to stamp his feet and try to get attention and make us think that BYU is somehow irrelevant because a commit said he didn’t know much of anything about BYU.

    It’s cute, in a pathetic kind of way.

    As for me, I’ll take Joe Schad’s opinion over some random “Naval Vet” any day.

    But thanks for your service.

    Go Cougars!

  13. That guy

    86&90, and all those U fans showing up at away games…..wait they won’t even show up to home games. Look at your bball attendance. Yes, the people showing up are probably Mormon, WOW, way to go out on a limb. I thought most were Southern Baptists. I would bet most the 60,000+ fans at home games are Mormon also. Maybe have a non-Mormon night at the Marriott center to see who the true fans are. They would still out draw the team on the hill.

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