The State of Utah has several powerhouse high school football programs that tend to pump a lot of talent into the college football ranks. Residents and fans of college football teams in Utah are familiar with schools like Skyline, Bingham and Timpview, which produce a lot of top talent that winds up at BYU, Utah or (to a lesser degree) Utah State.
One of those powerhouse programs, Timpview, has seen almost all of its major talent go to nearby BYU. Some of the former Timpview athletes who went on to do well at BYU include the Reynolds brothers (Dallas, Matt and Houston), current running back Michael Alisa, Eathyn Manumaleuna, Harvey Unga and others.
It is located only a mile or so from BYU's stadium, and its constituents hail from an overwhelmingly pro-BYU area. Utah has been able to snatch very few Timpview athletes away from rival BYU.
However, there has been speculation that Utah is about to gain a recruiting inroad at Timpview and steal away some of its top talent from BYU. The reason? Timpview announced that its new head football coach is Cary Whittingham, brother of Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham.
On the surface, it might seem like having a brother coaching at a powerhouse program that sends most of its top talent to your rival team would be a great blessing for Coach Whittingham. Ute nation should be practically salivating at the thought of finally breaking BYU's stranglehold on the rich Timpview recruiting pipeline.
However, if we look closely, the hiring of Cary Whittingham at Timpview isn't likely to be as big a boon for Utah or as big a curse for BYU as you might think.
How will Cary Whittingham's hiring at Timpview affect Utah's recruiting of Timpview athletes?
For starters, pretty much that entire school bleeds blue throughout. It is rare that a Timpview student, let alone a star Timpview athlete, decides to attend Utah. Rooting for BYU and hating Utah are almost as routine at Timpview as rooting for their own high school teams. The general area the school is in is extremely close to BYU, and so most of the people living there are die-hard BYU fans.
The athletes at Timpview will still be surrounded by an environment that is incredibly pro-BYU. One football coach in a long line of extremely successful football coaches at the school is not going to change that.
Secondly, BYU has a long and intricate history with the Timpview football program. Most of the football players there grew up going to BYU games on Saturdays in the fall and honing their skills at BYU-sponsored training camps in the offseason. They learned how to excel from BYU football players and coaches.
As more of Timpview's top talent went to BYU, those alumni strengthened the program's connection to BYU. When Timpview athletes had former alumni come in to speak or give pointers, it was almost always someone who had played for BYU. When Timpview football players look at the long list of former athletes from their school who went on to have success in college football, nearly every name achieved their glory with BYU.
Finally, the hiring of Cary Whittingham at Timpview isn't suddenly going to give Kyle Whittingham at Utah some magic advantage over Bronco Mendenhall in recruiting Timpview athletes.
Some might speculate that Cary Whittingham would find ways to give his brother unfair advantages, through the use of underhanded or borderline illegal techniques. Those who speculate this are severely underestimating the character and integrity of Kyle Whittingham.
He is an honest, hard-working coach who would almost certainly never stoop so low to use dishonest or illegal methods to pry recruits from Timpview. His record is spotless, and even this die-hard BYU fan knows that Coach Whittingham is a great man of extreme integrity and respects him for it.
Cary Whittingham's hiring at Timpview may allow Utah coaches to be made aware of good talent at Timpview earlier in the recruiting process, but by and large, his hiring will have very little effect on changing the stranglehold BYU has on Timpview's top talent.