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Jay Drew
Jay covers BYU athletics for The Salt Lake Tribune. You can follow him on Twitter @drewjay.

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Football: BYU getting some dandy prospects from the Northwest, it appears

Interesting article out of Oregon today about how BYU has received oral commitments from three of the top football recruits in that state, defensive back Dallin Leavitt, lineman Brayden Kearsley and receiver Tanner Shipley.

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We've reported on these commitments previously in this space, but coincidentally I spoke to Chris Fetters, who is Scout.com's Northwest Recruiting Analyst, on Monday for an article about BYU's recruiting and Fetters raved about Shipley and one of BYU's recruits from nearby Washington, quarterback Billy Green.

Regarding Shipley, Fetters said: "I have seen a lot of wide receivers in the Northwest so far, and he is by far, to me, the best wide receiver in the Northwest. ... As a pure wide receiver, Tanner Shipley is going to remind BYU fans of some of those great possession receivers, great route runners, they have had in the past. He will get open. He hasn't been stopped all camp season long, as far as I have been able to tell."

Regarding Green, Fetters said: "The kid arguably has the best arm in the entire state, and that includes Max Browne, who is going to USC. He can sling it all over the place. ... I have seen Billy Green at a number of camps and I think he competes favorably with any of the quarterbacks coming out of the Northwest right now.

Fetters said BYU coaches like the idea of landing a non-LDS quarterback such as Green because they know he won't be leaving on a mission and that they will have him for four, or five, straight years.

"He just looks the part of a guy who is going to mature into a leader. ... I think Billy Green has a chance to be really, really successful down the road," Fetters said.

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I actually called Fetters to get his take on why BYU already has 19 early commits after coach Bronco Mendenhall said in January that they were going to slow down a bit on getting so many early pledges.

"You look at Michigan, you look at Texas, they also have a bunch. Washington just picked up seven commitments for 2013 on Friday and one for 2014. Washington has about 15 commitments right now," he said. "A lot of guys are trying to make commitments before their senior seasons so they can focus on their high school careers. ... It is happening earlier and earlier every year."

A couple of BYU followers have emailed me recently with concerns that the coaching staff is packing it in, so to speak, and clearing up recruiting so they can enjoy their July vacations a bit more.

Fetters says those fears are unfounded.

"People may look at the ratings and rankings and think they are the be all and end all," he said. "But ultimately it comes down to the quality of evaluators that are on the staff, and the confidence level that the staff has in their evaluations. ... and Bronco Mendenhall has certainly shown in the past that he's a pretty good judge of talent."



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