BYU's football program has received some surprising commitments from high school football stars throughout the years, but the one coach Bronco Mendenhall got this weekend might just rank among the most shocking ever.
Logan High linebacker Chasen Andersen, son of former Utah State coach Gary Andersen -- who is now at Wisconsin -- said Sunday evening that he has committed to play football for BYU.
"I did, yup," Andersen said. "I wanted to go down there and check it out. I just felt very comfortable down there and felt like it was the right place for me."
So what happened when he called his dad to tell him the news?
"He was excited," Chasen said. "He was really, really excited. He's all for it."
Chasen, 6-foot and 220 pounds, said he has enjoyed meeting BYU assistant coaches Kelly Poppinga, Nick Howell and Paul Tidwell and that those coaches convinced him he can flourish in BYU's defensive system. He will play one of BYU's two inside linebacker positions: buck or mike. The Cougars see him eventually performing like all-independent LB Brandon Ogletree, who is graduating.
"My mindset is to go play four straight years and see what I can do," he said. "I may redshirt if that's what they decide, but I will go in there hoping to earn some playing time right away."
Andersen blew out his ACL, MCL and meniscus the third play of the first game last fall, so he wasn't recruited as heavily as he might have been. As a junior, he led Class 4A in tackles with 156 and was a standout at BYU's camp last summer, drawing a surprise scholarship offer from Cougar coaches.
Utah State offered him last fall, and he committed to the Aggies. But things changed, obviously, when his father took the Wisconsin job.
Chasen said he still had the offer from new USU coach Matt Wells, along with offers from Weber State, Montana State and Montana Tech. Wisconsin offered him preferred walk-on status.
Former Sky View star JD Falslev, BYU's senior receiver, hosted Andersen in Provo this weekend
So how will all this go over in Aggie Nation?
"I was worried about it, but I think people will understand," Chasen said.
Andersen was one of 23 or so recruits who visited BYU's campus this weekend. Most of the visitors have already committed to BYU, but about a half-dozen had not.
The Cougars also received a commitment from Josh Carter, a transfer from Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher, Ariz.
Carter, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound lineman, recently returned from an LDS Church mission to Salt Lake City. He was highly recruited out of the Tucson, Ariz., area before his mission, but not so much after.
Another junior college player on campus this weekend, linebacker Auston Johnson of El Camino College in the Los Angeles area, left without receiving a scholarship offer and mentioned on his Twitter account that he felt disrepected by the process. The 6-foot-1, 240-pound prospect had said before the trip that he would likely commit if offered.
A defensive end, Zach Barnes of Loganville High in Grayson, Ga., visited BYU this weekend as well and reportedly received an offer, but did not commit. Barnes originally committed to Tennessee, but is apparently taking some other trips. He learned about BYU, and BYU learned about him, through former Cougar Lenny (Gomes) Gregory, who is one of his high school coaches.
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