Will BYU retain Fred Warner’s commitment?

Fred Warner

San Marcos, Calif. — Every recruit is fair game until they send in their National Letters of Intent.

Case in point is BYU commit Fred Warner who has received a crushing amount of interest since committing to the Cougars in early April. The 6-foot-3, 210 outside linebacker prospect now holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, Cal and even from USC with other offers likely on the way.

Since receiving the offers  — particularly his offer from USC — Warner has indicated he’ll carefully weigh all options.

“USC made a little bit of an impact,” Warner told USCfootball.com in a June 8 article. “I still have some things to think about.”

When asked by USCfootball.com what it would take for a school to sway him from his BYU commitment he provided the following answer:

“I’m not really sure,” Warner said. “That is kind of a hard question, but if I thought it is was the right school for me and it was what I really wanted in a school and a program, that would be the deciding factor. That is something I need to learn in the future.”

“There are some schools showing me stronger interest than others,” Warner continued. “Like Washington is showing me some love. I’m not really in the position to say whether a school is pulling me away from BYU right now. I’m just getting barraged by offers right now and there is a lot to think about. I’m just going with the whole recruiting process right now because it only happens once. The future will tell.”

The above quotes were published by USCfootball.com the day after Warner returned from BYU’s junior day.

In quotes given to totalbluesports.com following BYU’s junior day Warner has indicated resolve to hold his BYU commitment.

“Being there at BYU really assured me why I made my decision to commit to BYU in the first place,” said Warner. “It just confirmed to me why I made my decision. It really is a special place and it was just fun. I got that feeling that BYU is a special place. I got that spiritual feeling and just look forward to playing there.”

“Yeah, I’m pretty excited about it, and I just was to reassure BYU fans that BYU is a special place,” Warner continued. “I’m going to come out there and dominate as an outside linebacker. They shouldn’t be worried at all. BYU is the place for me.”

The conclusion drawn from both articles is that Warner fully intends on holding his BYU commitment, but will explore all options. How hard Warner will explore those other options and how hard those other options will work in swaying him to their respective programs certainly has yet to play out.

Who can blame Warner or any other recruit for wanting to consider all of his offers?

Deciding which school to sign with is an enormous and, indeed, a life-changing decision for any recruit.

Warner expressed surprise when offered by USC due to scant attention the Trojans had given to him prior. He’s yet to visit the program as an offered prospect and, if he does, the Trojan coaches will likely work to make him feel as at home as BYU coaches have successfully done. The same can obviously be said for the other schools that come forward with offers.

So, in light of the recent avalanche of interest received, will BYU be able to retain Warner’s commitment?

Several key points need to be factored to accurately assess an answer to that question:

-BYU has lost its share of commitments to other programs. As recently as last year the Cougars lost both Johnny Ragin and Tanner Shipley late in the process to Cal and to Boise State respectively. Those two programs generally offer less sway over some of the elite Pac-12 programs currently after Warner.

-Warner committed to BYU relatively early in the process, unlike both Ragin and Shipley. With how BYU presents itself during the recruiting process, those who choose to commit early almost always hold those commitments in light of the program’s highly unique aspects relative to other programs. Warner, who is LDS, has stated that BYU’s unique social environment was one of the biggest factors in his commitment.

-Warner has yet to be pursued all that heavily by any of Pac-12 programs who have extended offers. The grand majority of his recruiting contact has come from BYU and he’s made two unofficial visits out the the program.

-USC isn’t USC anymore in the eyes of many Southern California recruits. In the past, when the Trojans offered any local, it was pretty much game over with regards to other program’s chances. USC has seen recent struggles under coach Lane Kiffin and those struggles have already negatively impacted the program’s recruiting.

In my own interviews with Warner I was impressed with his maturity and how he’s handling the process. Wherever the young man ultimately decides to sign, that decision will only come after careful and thoughtful consideration and will likely be the best possible decision for him personally as both a student and as a potentially great collegiate football player.





  1. BlueCoug

    Fred Warner seems like a very classy young man; I wish him well whatever he decides, but hope he sticks with his commitment to BYU. He won’t regret it.

  2. Higgins

    I think BYU can keep him, especially if they remind him about all of the defensive talent that has come through Provo (Morris, Poppinga, Keisel, Denney, Buck, T. Hall, Ansah, Francisco – who am I missing?).

    It won’t hurt to remind him that BYU had one of the best defenses in college football last year, either. And that all of his games will be on ESPN (big time exposure) and he’ll get to play all over the country with a legacy brand team.

    Other selling points include but are not limited to good coaches, good academics, Utah Lake, BYU creamery, and BYU co-eds.

  3. Hobbes1012003

    Higgins- you are forgetting our current defensive stud! Kyle Van Noy! projected first round pick for next years draft. Go Cougs!

    • Higgins

      I knew I was forgetting someone. I was so focused on trying to think of talent in the NFL that I forgot our current All-American candidate.

      In my haste, I also forgot to mention a few other selling points: the mountains (Bridal Veil Falls), the Wilkinson Center, 65,000 raucous fans. And did I mention the Creamery?

  4. Who am I, sir?

    Yes, IF: 1. It is important to have a chance to be on the “all-independent” team (After 2014 that means beating out an Army player)
    2. It is not important to know the teams you will be playing against (About 15 of the 48 games during 2014 – 2018 season are known at this time)
    3. You like the chance to play at the next level being one draftee every three years (based on the past three years experience)
    4. You are happy to look to the left and then the right and know that 2 star athletes “have your back” (based on a recruiting class ranked 70th last year and dropping lower each year of independence)
    5. You believe football history began in the late 60’s and 1984 was the benchmark year of football.
    Yes, there is a chance!

    • Tators

      You forgot to mention that playing at BYU at least allows you to play in post season bowl games… something that Utah can no longer claim. In fact, it’s become very apparent that all of Utah’s claims to quality football are now history, and quickly fading.
      Oh, and also that by being at BYU, you don’t have to worry about being in the cellar of any conference, no matter how big that conference is.

    • Tators

      You forgot to mention that playing at BYU at least allows you to play in post season bowl games… something that Utah can no longer claim. In fact, it’s become very apparent that all of Utah’s claims to quality football have now become history, and are quickly fading.

    • Nelson

      I’d be willing to bet your IQ that none of the items on your list are important to Warner or any other recruit. But whatever floats your boat.

      • Roscoe


        Re-read #3 from Who am I’s list. You don’t think recruits favor programs that put players in the NFL over programs that don’t?

        Think again.

    • drvinneyboombahtz

      I am a little perplexed that Tators’ reply to your points are about Utah. Are you a Utah fan? I don’t get the reply.

      Your points are well taken. Some of the listed selling points to recruits listed by Higgins crack me up. Did you see the names? Trying to remind a recruit about anyone or anything that happened in your program more than 3 years ago is ancient history to a high school Jr. The article states that USC’s recruiting prowess has fallen due to their recent slide. Their recent slide has just been the past few years. Recruits could care less that Utah won the 2008 Sugar Bowl and finished 2nd in the country 5 years ago, and yet BYU wants to try to sell them things from 30 years ago? Recruits don’t sign with USU because they had HOF Merlin Olsen who played there, they may sign because USU went 11-0 last year. Recruits may sign because of BYU’s schedule this year, or they like the campus, the coaches, or they like some of the players that will be there in 2 years. They certainly don’t care that Jason Buck (a one time pro bowler) went there 30 years ago. In fact no one younger than 40 even knows who Jason Buck is except his nephews. BYU has some great points that coaches use in selling recruits. None of them include anything that happened 30 years ago. As fans, it’s time to realize what your program really is an what it isn’t.

      BTW: Co-eds are a huge selling point, but every school has them.

  5. Who am I, sir?

    regarding number 2 of my post. I really haven’t looked for a schedule beyond 2015 (don’t know if it is available) but I suspect it is more like 50-75% of the games might be known at this time. Still a lot needs to be filled in ie. 2 for 2014, 4 for 2015, ….)

    • What


      What recruit would choose pathetic Utah over other PAC-12 schools it is now competing with? Utah is losing the recruiting uniqueness it once had (even if it was for a very short time). Utah is getting worse every year and everyone sees it.

  6. flynn is the coolest

    @ Who am I

    How about talking smack after one of Utah’s recruits turns down a USC offer.

  7. CougFaninTX

    I really dislike the college recruiting process. It weighs heavily in favor of the athlete and leaves universities at a huge disadvantage. Tanner Shipley is case in point. Once he committed to BYU, BYU stopped recruiting some of the other WR they were looking at. Then he de-commits and BYU has to start the recruiting process over. This happens to all universities, not just BYU.

    Solution: Change letter of intent day to anytime after the athlete has finished their junior year of high school.

    Also, should change recruiting to where universities cannot offer until after the athletes sophomore year. UCLA just offered an 8th grader a scholarship. There’s something not right with this.

  8. Harrison Lapahie

    BYU and USC are the best choices for Fred Warner. USC is ranked 24th, and BYU is ranked 68th, nationally. USC is an international school. Many asians and middle eastern people!

    This is what is bad about USC! USC is surrounded by a very poor minority run-down neighborhood of Mexican illegals and African-Americans, and an area with a very high crime rate. It is probably the 2nd most dangerous area of Los Angeles! South Central (now called South LA), just south of USC is the most dangerous area of Los Angeles! USC buses its USC students Friday and Saturday evening or late afternoon to Universal City Walk about a 11 mile distance from USC and picks them up about 10 pm. Universal City Walk is a clean and safe area for the USC students to eat, shop, and go to the movies! It is not safe for an Anglo-American to walk from USC to downtown Los Angeles which is just about a mile or a mile and a half away. There is a 100% chance the Anglo-American USC student will get mugged or pushed around, therefore USC students don’t walk outside their USC protected area of the University Park campus and fraternity/sorority housing row. USC bicycle police, marked and unmarked USC police cars, protect their area.

    Actually downtown Los Angeles is near dead. Nearly all the movie theaters have been closed down with only the classic movie theaters as the Los Angeles Theater and the Orpheum Theater opened only during special events. A new multi-movie theater has opened up across the street from the Staple Center though!

    In the evening, in front of the USC General Library, a lot of students just ride their bikes and socialize. It is a nice place to be and to just sit and relax in the cool evening and watch the young students ride their bikes! Also USC has an LDS seminary about a long block away from USC that is very active with USC LDS students that want to learn their LDS gospel!

    I grew up until I was 17 years old in downtown Los Angeles, and went to school at BYU. I also own a home in Los Angeles and worked at USC as a Programmer Analyst III. I know the downtown area of Los Angeles which includes USC.

  9. James Poll

    I have this image of a Ute in the gym standing behind a bar loaded with 500 lbs. Doesn’t lift it but brags that he loaded the weight. Then he mocks a Cougar lifting less than 500 lbs. Lets be real. Neither program has taken off. BYU has struggled but Utah has tanked. Maybe they’ll turn it around this year and Whit will save his job. Not a hater (except for hating the hate but don’t expect “reaction” from this Cougar fan). Finally, BYU appears to be poised to capitalize on a great opportunity. Utah keeps saying, we like the low expectations that football anyalysts have ofthem to inspire them. Maybe that’ll work this year. They will be better this year but they are against a tougher sched than last and may go with out a Bowl of desert. Almost, forgot, It’s very flattering that so many Utes follow BYU. 😉

  10. James Poll

    With Warner’s friend, Tyler Cook committing to BYU, I suspect this strengthens the likelihood that both players will stick and sign their NLI.

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