The last few years, football signing day at BYU has been about as predictable as a Nicholas Sparks novel. Surprises were few and far between, and suspense was at a minimum.
On the eve of Signing Day 2014, that does not appear to be the case this year.
The Cougars have 15 known commitments, and 14 appear to be as solid as can be. The one that coaches are holding their breath about is linebacker Fred Warner, the three-star stud from San Marcos, Calif., who made a midweek visit to USC last week.
Warner said Tuesday afternoon that he will announce his final decision at 11 a.m. MST at his school on Wednesday, causing some consternation in Provo.
However, perhaps there is more drama, and more surprises, in store for BYU fans on Wednesday than ever before. That’s because as of Tuesday afternoon, the Cougars were still hoping to land up to five more prospects, guys who were believed to be uncommitted less than 12 hours before signing day kicks off.
UPDATE: Tuesday evening, after this post appeared on the Tribune's website, the mother of Timpview High defensive end Isaiah Nacua called me to report that her son will be signing with BYU on Wednesday. Penina Nacua, of Las Vegas, said Isaiah was assured by BYU coaches that his scholarship offer is still on the table.
Nacua committed to BYU last summer after playing for Las Vegas' Bishop Gorman High School in 2012, but apparently re-opened his recruitment during the past season while playing for the Thunderbirds. Nacua's name has been added to the list below.
Here are a half-dozen or so prospects that BYU was still in the running to get on the eve of signing day:
* Offensive guard Damien Mama from Bellflower, Calif. (St. John Bosco H.S.). The 6-foot-4, 370-pound phenom is given five stars by Scout.com, four stars by Rivals.com and would be a huge get for the Cougars and offensive coordinator Robert Anae, the point man for BYU’s recruitment of the LDS prospect.
Although Mama visited Provo last weekend and reportedly enjoyed the trip, most national experts believe he is already a "secret commit" to USC and will sign with the Trojans and former BYU quarterback Steve Sarkisian on Wednesday. Mama will announce his intentions on ESPNU Wednesday morning around 9 a.m. MST in a ceremony at his high school.
His final three include USC, BYU and Alabama. Some services call him the top offensive guard in the entire country. His signing would take a mediocre-to-poor signing class at BYU to something slightly above average. By most accounts, Mama is a game-changer.
* Defensive back Courtland Sutton, from Brenham, Texas (Brenham H.S.) The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Sutton visited BYU during September when the Cougars were hosting Texas. Several recruiting services have reported that he will sign with BYU or Southern Methodist. Colorado might still be in the mix for the three-star safety (Scout.com).
Mendenhall and assistants Nick Howell and Guy Holliday visited Sutton at his home on Jan. 16.
He is also expected to wait until signing day to announce his choice.Next Page >
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