Aside from coaching, there isn't a bigger factor in college football success than recruiting—almost everything stems from how successful coaching staffs are in drawing high school players.
And considering the Honor Code that BYU has to work with, the Cougar coaches have eclipsed most reasonable expectations.
But yesterday's triumphs can't win today's battles; BYU has another star-studded group to pull in. The Cougs have offered over 40 players in the 2014 class, 10 of which are 4-star recruits, and they have gained commitments from 17, per ESPN.
But the work is far from over. With less than three months until national signing day, head coach Bronco Mendenhall and his staff still have a lot left to do before their final class will be assembled. There are a lot of gaps that they will want to fill with new players, and with this season's ending approaching, here's an update on BYU's recruiting efforts.
Key Needs: LB, TE/WR, DB
The biggest blow to BYU's team, on either side of the ball, will be at the linebacker position. Only one linebacker in BYU's starting rotation will be back next season (Alani Fua), and although there are plenty of young players that have the experience to step in to a first-string role, it should be an emphasis in recruiting.
The receiving corps will also be taking big blows when Cody Hoffman, JD Falslev, Skyler Ridley, Richard Wilson and Kaneakua Friel leave. Like the linebacker position, there are players including Devin Mahina, Eric Thornton and Mitch Mathews ready to step in, but a crop of young recruits would be good for the offense.
BYU's secondary has faced more problems this season than any other unit, and although a lot has stemmed from injuries, a strong recruiting class to strengthen the secondary could be a huge asset. BYU will lose key players including Daniel Sorensen, Mike Hague and Skye PoVey, so young players will play a big role next season.
Most Important Commits
|Isaiah Nacua||****||DE||6'3"||240 lbs|
|Fred Warner||****||OLB||6'3"||205 lbs|
|Zac Dawe||***||DT||6'4"||265 lbs|
|Sione Takitaki||***||ILB||6'2"||235 lbs|
|Matt Bushman||***||TE||6'5"||215 lbs|
|Cedric Dale||***||RB||5'8"||168 lbs|
|Trey Dye||***||WR||5'8"||164 lbs|
|Teancum Fuga||***||DT||6'1"||310 lbs|
|Chandon Herring||***||OT||6'6"||265 lbs|
|Tyler Cook-Nolan||***||OLB||6'3"||212 lbs|
|Michael Shelton||***||CB||5'8"||170 lbs|
|Neil Pau'u||***||QB-DT||6'4"||206 lbs|
|Austin Chambers||***||OT||6'5"||297 lbs|
|Kavika Fonua||***||S||6'0"||203 lbs|
|Earl Mariner||**||OG||6'3"||300 lbs|
|Nick Kurtz||NR||WR||6'6"||205 lbs|
Of all the players BYU has gained commitments from, Fred Warner could be one of the most important to secure. With Kyle Van Noy and Spencer Hadley, the Cougars' top two outside linebackers, Warner could make a quick impact in Provo. He may not be the fastest OLB in the country, running a 4.8 40-yard dash, but he definitely has potential to be a solid player.
The most familiar commit to BYU fans may be junior college receiver Nick Kurtz. He hasn't received the most hype from recruiting outlets, but he got scholarship offers from teams from the PAC 12, SEC and the Big Ten, among others. At 6'6" and a playmaking machine, he could help fill the void filled by Cody Hoffman.
Lastly, a big duo of recruits to keep an eye on is that of Isaiah Nacua and Zac Dawe. The two in-state defensive linemen could add to a solid, run-smashing D, something that Coach Mendenhall loves to assemble. With the pair complementing Bronson Kaufusi on the line, BYU could have a great threesome next season.
Most Important Targets
|Solomon Thomas||****||DE||6'3"||256 lbs|
|Damien Mama||****||OG||6'4"||370 lbs|
|Tyler Luatua||****||TE||6'3"||243 lbs|
|Dalton Schultz||****||TE||6'6"||235 lbs|
|Andrew Mike||***||OT||6'6"||278 lbs|
|David Moa||***||DE||6'3"||236 lbs|
|Isaiah Kaufusi||***||OLB||6'2"||180 lbs|
|Uriah-Dillon Leiataua||***||DE||6'3"||232 lbs|
|Courtland Sutton||***||S||6'3"||195 lbs|
|Quinn Bailey||***||OT||6'5"||265 lbs|
With the struggles at the tight end position for BYU in recent years, Tyler Luatua could be a huge player to pick up. Per 247Sports, BYU is a longshot to land the SoCal tight end, as Texas, Notre Dame and Alabama, among others, have offered Luatua. It would be quite the accomplishment if Mendenhall and his staff could land the nation's top tight end, per ESPN rankings.
Courtland Sutton would be another giant asset to BYU's defense, aiding a struggling secondary. Per 247Sports, The Brenham, Texas resident has Big 12 and Pac-12 teams on his tail, but with Daniel Sorensen losing eligibility after this season, BYU could be a great fit for Sutton.