Sitake and staff unveil 2016 BYU football recruiting class

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Left to right: Ty Detmer, Kalani Sitake, Ed Lamb and Ilaisa Tuiaki speak to the media on Signing Day. The Cougars picked up 24 scholarship recruits. (Natalie Stoker)
Left to right: Ty Detmer, Kalani Sitake, Ed Lamb and Ilaisa Tuiaki speak to the media on Signing Day. The Cougars picked up 24 scholarship recruits. (Natalie Stoker)

The BYU football program welcomed 24 new commits in the 2016 recruiting class Wednesday, National Letter of Intent Signing Day.

“We’re excited to announce our 2016 signing class on National Signing Day,” said BYU football head coach Kalani Sitake. “We are really pleased with the talent we are bringing in to our team. We got a lot bigger, a lot stronger and then also got lengthy. We also got some speed involved in our team.”

Sitake said recruiting goes beyond playing football and into the overall experience at BYU.

“The most important part is highlighted by them meeting our players in the house and meeting the team and feeling like they can be part of (the BYU) family here,” Sitake said. “Seeing themselves here, not just in the 12 games that they’re guaranteed on the schedule, but importantly, the 353 days they have to spend here.”

Sitake didn’t have a hard time recruiting at BYU for the first time and enjoyed sharing his personal experiences doing so.

“Being in the home and talking about it and telling about my experience, I think it was just natural for me,” Sitake said. “Like talking to a friend or a family member. It was easy.”

Sitake also put an emphasis on LDS athletes and doesn’t take anything for granted.

“They shouldn’t feel obligated just because they’re LDS to come to BYU,” Sitake said.

Click here to view film from each recruit.

Here’s a look at the Cougars’ 2016 recruiting class:

“Handsome was a kid that we recruited at other places and he ended up having a really good connection with Kalani,” said defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki. “And I think a lot of kids that made decisions late were because of their relationships with Kalani as well as the rest of the staff.

“Troy, on his own, merits recruiting and being the top guy for us — there’s no question about it,” said assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Ed Lamb. “But I don’t think I can discuss him without putting into context of his brother… Who we choose to identify with and emulate is such a huge part of our future success. And obviously he has his brother as that role model.”

“Hank Tuipulotu is the guy we’re excited about,” said offensive coordinator Ty Detmer. “I played with Peter all five years and I think a lot of his family. Hank’s a great kid and can do a lot of things for us at that position.”

“I’ve worked with him at camps the last few years and know Jaren well,” Detmer said. “The character he has, the leadership ability, the athleticism, I think will go a long way.”

Lamb recruited Wilcox while still coaching at Southern Utah University.

“I felt like he was an NFL prospect,” Lamb said. “He had the tools—we have certain checklists that we look for in terms of develop ability. And I think his best days are far out in front of him.”

Sitake referred to recruiting as “the lifeblood of college football.” The staff won’t be taking a break – recruiting continues tomorrow.

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