Provo • With one exception, BYU’s dismissal last month of offensive coordinator and Cougars quarterbacking legend Ty Detmer does not appear to have weakened the recruiting class it hopes to sign Wednesday as the new early signing period begins.
Detmer’s nephew, Zadock Dinkelmann, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound quarterback from San Antonio, Texas, reopened his recruitment days after the announcement after having committed to the Cougars last summer.
It was a significant blow to BYU’s recruiting efforts, but it was lessened Saturday night when Stacy Conner, a 6-5, 185-pound QB from Wylie, Texas, flipped from UNLV to BYU. Conner visited BYU last week and not only committed but said he will enroll in January and be available to participate in spring camp. He was a former high school teammate of BYU receiver Micah Simon, who was Conner’s host and an integral part of his recruitment.
THREE WHO MIGHT SIGN EARLY
Chinonso Opara, DE, Juan Diego Catholic High School • Cougars hope this late-blooming Nigerian who picked them over Utah is the next Ziggy Ansah.
Dallin Holker, TE, Lehi High School • Committed last March then helped lead Lehi to a state championship last month. Probably a mission-first prospect.
Stacy Conner, QB, Wylie (Texas) High School • Three-star quarterback from Texas flipped from UNLV to BYU last Saturday, will enroll in January.
Meanwhile, the Cougars jumped in on the recruitment of Corner Canyon QB Zach Wilson, who de-committed from Boise State last week. Wilson canceled a planned visit to Iowa on Friday and instead visited BYU. He also plans to sign Wednesday and enroll at a school in January.
Conner’s shift toward BYU meant the Cougars had 19 commitments from members of the Class of 2018 as of Friday evening. However, that number includes four-star linebacker Brandon Kaho of Reno, Nev., who has offers from the likes of Alabama and USC and has said the pledge he made to BYU in June 2016 is a “soft” one.
Of the other 18 committed recruits, the player the Cougars will have their fingers crossed the most for is Gunner Romney, a 6-3, 200-pound receiver from Chandler, Ariz., who committed to them over Arizona State and Utah last July.
Romney re-evaluated his recruitment after Detmer’s dismissal, according to various reports, and took a phone call from new Arizona State coach Herm Edwards last week. He tweeted Thursday that he is making an official campus visit to Tempe this weekend.
Neither Kaho nor Romney plans to sign Wednesday.
Because this is the first early signing period for football — it was instituted last spring by the NCAA — Cougars coaches aren’t quite sure what will happen or how many prospects actually will sign.
However, assistant head coach Ed Lamb has said BYU expects to sign as many recruits as it can Wednesday so coaches can reassess their needs and hone in on a couple of prospects before February’s traditional signing period begins.
“Anybody that is committed, we won’t consider it a valid commitment unless they sign with us that day,” Lamb said.
BYU coach Kalani Sitake said the Cougars’ 4-9 season has not been a “catastrophe” as far as recruiting goes. Most of the seven prospects who have re-opened their recruiting after originally committing to BYU did so before the season began.