BYU Sports

BYU football: What Kalani Effect? Sitake’s first full signing class eerily similar to Bronco’s last few

First Published      Last Updated Feb 02 2017 12:47 pm

Signing Day for BYU football came and went on Wednesday, so it seems like an appropriate time to recap and analyze coach Kalani Sitake and his staff's efforts with their first full-cycle haul since taking over the program in December of 2015.

Besides, it is Groundhog Day.

And that is appropriate, because BYU's 2017 Signing Class is eerily similar to last year's. And the year before that, and the year before that. You get the picture.

BYU fans saw the so-called "Kalani Effect" on the field last fall, as the new coach energized the fan base and brought newfound passion to the program. The Cougars went 9-4, defeated some Power 5 opponents, and edged Wyoming in the Poinsettia Bowl. Most BYU fans I've talked to were happy with the season, but not totally satisfied because the Cougars lost close games to their two biggest rivals, Utah and Boise State.

Recruiting is supposed to be Sitake's forte, but on Wednesday the Kalani Effect didn't exactly pay dividends, despite the coach saying, "Today happened to be really, really good."

Yes, the Cougars landed three prospects who were supposedly uncommitted heading Signing Day — Timpview's Chaz Ah You, West Jordan's Alden Tofa and Hunter's Lorenzo Fauatea — but that didn't totally make up for what was shaping up to be one of the lowest-ranked classes of the past decade.

I took a look at what I consider the three major recruiting services on Saturday, then compared them to what they look like today as far as BYU is concerned.

On Scout.com, which generally rates BYU's recruits higher than the others, BYU went from No. 64 Saturday to No. 58 today.

On Rivals.com, BYU went from No. 72 on Saturday to No. 62 today.

On 247sports.com, BYU went from No. 71 on Saturday to No. 66 today.

All three sites have BYU with two four-star recruits (Bingham's Langi Tuifua and Timpview's Ah You), while 247sports and Rivals have BYU with eight three-star guys and Scout has BYU with 16 three-star prospects.

To recap, BYU finished 58th, 62nd and 66th in the recruiting rankings this season.

Bottom line is the Kalani Effect has not improved BYU's standing from what Bronco Mendenhall brought in the last three or four years of his 11-year tenure in Provo. However, it is probably safe to say that Mendenhall would not have beat Utah and other Pac-12 schools for the three guys Sitake got Wednesday (Ah You, Tofa and Fauatea) and would not have even been in the running for five-star Bingham DT Jay Tufele, who chose USC.

Here's BYU ranking the past five years in the three services:


2017: No. 58

2016: No. 51

2015: No. 61

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