BYU formally announced the signing of 17 football recruits Wednesday on National Signing Day, as well as the return of 12 players who have finished missionary service and resumed their education at BYU.
The recruiting class is the is first one where BYU was recruiting as an independent football team, a unique opportunity for the Cougars.
“Being an independent really opened doors for us nationwide,” head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “We ranked sixth in the nation for national exposure, and it let kids from all across the country find out about our program.”
The recruiting class is highlighted by incoming quarterback Tanner Mangum, the No. 1 recruit from Idaho.
“It was refreshing to have a recruit be grateful for the scholarship offer instead of feeling entitled to one,” Mendenhall said.
The recruiting class is, “One of the strongest we’ve had,” Mendenhall said, noting it reflects the direction of the football program to find athletes who want to come to BYU while meeting the standards set for the entire student body.
“This is a really strong class across the board, and they are players who understand what they want,” former BYU player Chad Lewis said. “It’s a huge focus for the program to find those players who want to live the standards of the university.”
Quarterbacks Taysom Hill, Ammon Olsen and Tanner Mangum are in the recruiting class. Hill and Olsen had originally committed to other schools before deciding to enroll at BYU while serving missions. Hill committed to Stanford coming out of high school, while Olsen committed to Southern Utah after leading Alta High to a state championship in 2008. Mangum is planning on serving a mission before joining the football team.
Mendenhall also spoke highly of recruits Marques Johnson and Jamaal Williams, two players who will be asked to have an immediate impact on the team.
“We are looking for Marques to provide some depth on the defensive line, this year as well as the next, due to the number of seniors we have this year,” he said. “With Di Luigi leaving, we are looking for Williams to get some playing time as well this year.”
Of the class, 10 are defensive and seven are offensive, with players coming in at wide receiver, defensive back, defensive and offensive line, running back and quarterback.
Even with the increased exposure on ESPN, the Cougars were only able to find one recruit east of the Rocky Mountains, a linebacker named Philip Amone, from Orlando Flo. The other recruits come to Provo from Idaho, California, Utah, Arizona and Washington.
Tanner Mangum (4 star QB, 6’2″, 195 lbs, Eagle, ID)
Of note – Is the number one player, regardless of position, in the state of Idaho on numerous scouting reports.
Troy Hinds (4 star DE, 6’4″, 225 lbs, Kaysville, UT)
Of note – Is the number 14 best defensive end prospect in the nation on Rivals.com
Marques Johnson (3 star DT, 6’2″, 305 lbs, Westchester, CA)
Of note – Johnson is a transfer from El Camino Junior College who is projected to play nose tackle for BYU
Phillip Amone (3 star LB, 6’0″, 215 lbs, Orlando, FL)
Of note – An undersized linebacker who plays at a high speed with great motor according to ESPN.
Dylan Collie (3 star WR, 5’10”, 190 lbs, El Dorado Hills, CA)
Of note – The younger brother of Zac and Austin, both former BYU wide receivers.
Matt Hadley (3 star DB, 5’10”, 190 lbs, Connell, WA)
Of note – Younger brother of BYU linebacker Spencer Hadley
Austin Hoyt (3 star DE, 6’7″, 237 lbs, Jackson, CA)
Of note – A two-way player at TE and DE in high school, he is projected to play defense for BYU
Butch Pau’u (3 star LB, 5’11”, 215 lbs, Anaheim, CA)
Of note – Pau’u is the nephew of Coach Kaufusi, and a cousin to Uona Kavienga and Loni Fangupo.
Rhett Sandlin (3 star DB, 6’3″, 190 lbs, Sandy, UT)
Of note – Was a three year starter at Alta High School.
Josh Weeks (3 star WR, 6’4″, 190 lbs, Show Low, AZ)
Of note – BYU adds another tall receiver to their wideout corps.
Jamaal Williams (3 star RB, 6’2″, 190 lbs, Fontana, CA)
Of note – ranked 62 in the nation by Scout.com
Micah Hanneman (2 star DB, 6’1′, 180 lbs, Highland, UT)
Of note – younger brother of Jacob Hanneman
Jherremya Leuta-Douyere (2 star FB/DE, 6’0″, 220 lbs, Anaheim, CA)
Of note- will be a valuable special teams contributor
Steven Richards (2 star DE, 6’4″, 240 lbs, Sandy, UT)
Of note – Richards will join friend Rhett Sandlin as a defender for BYU
Taysom Hill (3 star QB, 6’2″, 201 lbs, Pocatello, ID)
Of note – originally committed to Stanford, was top recruit from Idaho in 2008
Ammon Olson (QB, 6’3″, 198 lbs, Draper, UT)
Of note – An exceptional athlete in high school, a three-year letterman on the Alta High School basketball team
Theodore King (DE, 6’3″, 235 lbs)
Of note – was also recruited by Fresno State, Nevada, Oregon State, Sacramento State and San Jose State