BYU football inked 23 recruits on National Signing Day 2015, a recruiting class coaches and fans hope will boost the program.
The team signed nine players from Utah, six from Texas, four from California, one from Kentucky, one from Hawaii, transfers from Washington State and Snow College, and one from Tonga.
“What we were looking for was young, exceptional talent that belongs at BYU and is qualified to fill existing holes and move forward,” Mendenhall said. “These young men are talented individuals who will help us get better as a program.”
The Cougars showed they were capable of competing for some of the nation’s top recruits, signing nine players who had scholarship offers from Power Five conference schools. Notable programs BYU beat out for recruits include Ohio State, Oregon, Florida State, USC, Arizona and Missouri, among others.
The 2015 class is comprised of 12 offensive players and 11 defensive players. Seventeen of the new signees are either three or four-star recruits, including defensive end/outside linebacker Mika Tafua, who is listed as ESPN’s No. 22 defensive end overall.
Liberian-native Dayan Lake also appears to be a big acquisition for the Cougars. Lake played his high school football at Northridge high in Layton, where he became the No. 7 overall prospect in Utah and the No. 50 cornerback prospect in the nation.
Another notable player, Motekiai Langi, hasn’t actually played football. The 6-foot-7, 410-pound Tongan was spotted playing pickup basketball by Defensive Line Coach Steve Kaufusi on his recruiting trip to the islands. He is also the first cousin of a current BYU football player, linebacker Harvey Langi.
“(Motekiai Langi) was light on his feet and could play football,” head Coach Bronco Mendenhall said.
Motekiai and eight other new recruits plan on serving missions before they join the Cougars. The team anticipates 14 newly returned missionaries to be competing for positions this fall, including Rival’s 2012 No. 3 quarterback Tanner Mangum.