BYU Football: Cougars' smallest class still packs some punch
Live signing day updates on the BYU Cougars from Jay Drew on Twitter (twitter.com/drewjay):
Provo • BYU's 2012 football signing class might be one of its smallest ever, with just 17 prospects, but it is the "most qualified class yet" to fulfill Bronco Mendenhall's expectations for the program, the Cougars' coach said Wednesday in presenting the names of 14 high school seniors and three mid-year transfers.
"Our goal is to be the most complete football program in the world," Mendenhall said, reiterating his often-made declarations that BYU searches for not only excellent football players, but quality students with exceptional character. "This group of players helps us get closer to that."
Mendenhall also considers 12 players who are returning from LDS Church missions in time for the 2012 season as part of the signing class, which is the reason the Cougars' typically have fewer "official" signees than any other program in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) under his watch.
Mendenhall and recruiting coordinator Joe DuPaix said BYU only went after 30 or so recruits because of their selectivity and the relatively small pool of players who have Division I talent and can still adhere to the church-owned school's honor code. And the pool could be even smaller next year.
"We are interested in embracing higher standards that we currently have," Mendenhall said.
There were no surprises Wednesday, as the 14 prep players who were known to have committed to BYU kept their word and faxed their letters of intent to the football offices by 11 a.m. MST.
The big names in this signing class are Tanner Mangum, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound quarterback from Eagle High School in Boise, Idaho, and Troy Hinds, a 6-5, 235-pound linebacker from Davis High. Both are expected to serve church missions before enrolling.
Oddly, the player who could make the biggest immediate impact is just 16 years old. Running back Jamaal Williams of Fontana, Calif., who turned down some late overtures from Oregon after committing to BYU last summer, will compete to replace graduated running backs Bryan Kariya and J.J. Di Luigi, Mendenhall said.
Twitter: @drewjay BYU signees
Player Pos. Hometown School Ht/Wt Comment
Phillip Amone LB Orlando, Fla. Dr. Phillips H.S. 6-0/230 Knee injury cut short his senior season
Dylan Collie WR El Dorado Hills, Calif. Oak Ridge H.S. 5-11/175 Brother of Colts' Austin Collie
Matt Hadley DB Connell, Wash. Connell H.S. 5-11/190 Rushed for 6,881 yards in his career
Micah Hannemann DB Alpine, Utah Lone Peak H.S. 6-1/190 First-team all-stater in 2011
Taysom Hill QB Pocatello, Idaho Highland H.S. 6-2/210 Transferred from Stanford after mission
Troy Hinds LB Kaysville, Utah Davis H.S. 6-5/235 State of Utah's most recruited player
Austin Hoyt OL Jackson, Calif. Argonaut H.S. 6-7/260 Also an all-league basketball player
Marques Johnson DT Los Angeles, Calif. El Camino C.C. 6-2/310 Had offers from Indiana, Washington St.
Theodore King DL San Jose, Calif. Valley Christian H.S. 6-3/235 Last player to commit in 2012 class
J. Leuta-Douyerre LB Garden Grove, Calif. Servite H.S. 6-1/235 Rated No. 5 FB by Scout.com
Tanner Mangum QB Boise, Idaho Eagle H.S. 6-3/195 Rated No. 3 overall QB in the country
Ammon Olsen QB Draper, Utah Alta H.S./SUU 6-3/198 Transferred from SUU after mission
Butch Pau'u LB Anaheim, Calif. Servite H.S. 6-0/220 First-team all-state and all-Orange County
Steven Richards DE Sandy, Utah Alta H.S. 6-4/240 Mostly played TE in high school
Rhett Sandlin LB Sandy, Utah Alta H.S. 6-3/225 Big hitter committed a year ago, stayed true
Josh Weeks WR Show Low, Ariz. Show Low H.S. 6-4/200 Set six Arizona 3A prep records in career
Jamaal Williams RB Fontana, Calif. Summit H.S. 6-1/193 Just 16 years old, but could play immediately