Eleven days after receiving a release from his National Letter of Intent to the University of Utah, Caleb Lohner is on the move to the Utes’ archrival.
Lohner, a 6-foot-8, three-star recruit from Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, committed to BYU in a tweet Friday evening. The move to the alma mater of his father, Matt, was expected once Utah granted his NLI release.
“Insanely excited to announce that I will be playing for BYU!! So excited and blessed to be in the position I’m in today. Ready to get to work!,” Lohner tweeted. “I am grateful to Mark Harlan and Coach Krystkowiak for their willingness to grant my release. I have a lot of respect for both of them.”
“Caleb Lohner is an incredibly talented young player with a ready-made college body, a deadly stroke and an intense competitiveness that will be a hallmark of his BYU career,” Cougars coach Mark Pope said in a statement to announce the signing. “He is going to bring a unique persona and swagger to Provo that will endear him to Cougar fans. Caleb has lofty aspirations for his basketball career and a steely determination that will help him reach those goals with his teammates here at BYU.”
Lohner offered a verbal commitment to Krystkowiak on Aug. 21, 2019, then signed his National Letter of Intent on Nov. 13 of that year, the first day of the early signing period.
On June 4, the Deseret News reported that Lohner, who transferred in the middle of his junior year from Flower Mound (Texas) High School to play for his mother’s cousin, Dave Evans, at Wasatch Academy, had requested a release from his letter of intent at Utah.
There was no evidence that Krystkowiak and Harlan intended to hold Lohner up if he wanted out. Such a move almost never plays well in the public forum, even in a case like this where the recruit intends to play for the in-state rival. No matter how things proceeded, Utah was going to come out on the short end.
Lohner could see immediate rotation minutes on a reloaded BYU team, which will include Utah Valley point guard transfer Brandon Averette and 7-foot-3 Purdue transfer Matt Haarms. Both are immediate-eligible graduate transfers expected to help the Cougars remain in contention in the West Coast Conference.