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More from BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall on class of 2014 recruiting efforts

First Published Jan 31 2014 04:24PM      Last Updated Jan 31 2014 04:24 pm

Saturday’s The Salt Lake Tribune sports section will include our annual pre-signing day football recruiting package of stories, including an update on how BYU’s recruiting is coming along leading up to Wednesday’s start of the signing period. We will also have a list of BYU’s 14 known commitments. There will be stories about Utah and Utah State’s recruiting as well.

The Cougars are hosting around 15 prospects on campus this weekend. Most of those guys have already committed, but there are a few — such as five-star offensive guard Damien Mama — that remain uncommitted. Mama is in Provo today, ending a strange week in which the native of Bellflower, Calif., cancelled his visit to BYU and instead said he was tripping to UCLA. Two days later, Mama apparently changed his mind and kept his original promise to visit BYU, which is in his top three, along with USC and Alabama.

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p class="TEXT_w_Indent"> Mama has said he won’t make an official announcement until signing day — he’s apparently going to do one of those pick-a-cap ceremonies for live television — but most national recruiting experts say he is going to sign with USC.

BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall talked to three beat writers via teleconference on Thursday, and you probably read some of what the coach had to say about recruiting, the 2013 season, position changes and more on the blog I posted yesterday.

Here are more of Mendenhall’s responses:

On whether BYU coaches deal with a lot of negative recruiting and whether they have to clear up issues and misconceptions because they are recruiting in some parts of the country they generally haven’t been to before:

"Each year, it is a little bit different that way. As you go into new areas … We have cast a wider net. Part of when you cast a wider net is education. And it is interesting, the lack of knowledge about BYU, and the [LDS] Church, in those areas. Or, the misconceptions. Sometimes even animosity toward members of the church, and our faith, and especially in areas that maybe we haven’t been in as much before.

So a lot of times having to [address] anti-LDS sentiments more than anything is what occurs. So I would say on a number of occasions that has happened this year in areas that we hadn’t been in quite as frequently, or as much.

So the education process, I would say, is what is happening in those areas. We have had to spend more time on that than maybe we had to before."

On how recruiting is going overall this year as opposed to last year when the coaching situation was being worked out:

"I am really encouraged by not only how efficiently our recruiting has been going, but by the quality of players, the quality of people that have been attracted to BYU. I think when you consider recruiting, you have to consider a number of different things.

 

 

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