National Signing Day 2014: A Look at BYU's Recruiting Class

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National Signing Day 2014: A Look at BYU's Recruiting Class
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Late Wednesday afternoon, BYU announced its completed 2014 recruiting class.

The class consists of 17 high school recruits, two junior college recruits and one transfer player. Two of those 20 total players were early enrollees and had already signed with BYU prior to today.

Here is the player by player rundown of BYU's 2014 signing class.

All recruit rankings referenced are according to ESPN's recruiting rankings unless otherwise specified. High school statistics come from MaxPreps.

 

High School Recruits

Matt Bushman, 3-star TE (Tucson, Arizona)

A prolific receiving threat for Sabino High School, Bushman hauled in 123 receptions for 2,891 yards and 42 touchdowns during his three seasons of varsity football. Last season alone, he caught 63 passes for 1,583 yards and 26 touchdowns.

At 6'5" and 215 pounds, Bushman has yet to fill out his frame. He has plenty of time to do so, as he plans to go on his mission this summer and will first join the program in 2016.

Austin Chambers, 3-star OL (Shawnee, Kansas)

An offensive tackle in high school, Chambers also held an offer from the in-state Kansas Jayhawks.  He is expected to serve his mission before joining the program, so Cougar fans will most likely have to wait until 2016 to see what he can do.

Tyler Cook, 3-star OLB (Murrieta, California)

The 6'3", 220-pound outside linebacker from Southern California was one of the big prizes of BYU's recruiting class. He held scholarship offers from 15 different schools, including Miami, Arizona, Cal, Duke and Vanderbilt.

Over his three-year varsity career, he racked up 226 total tackles, 19 sacks, 18 additional tackles for loss and nine forced fumbles. Cook has been clocked as having a 4.51 time in the 40-yard dash, which could lead to him seeing playing time as a true freshman this fall.

Zac Dawe, 3-star DL (Pleasant Grove, Utah)

A defensive end in high school, Dawe is projected as a defensive tackle in college. He twice won the Utah 5A State Championship in wrestling for the Heavyweight division. He will go on his mission before joining BYU in 2016.  His older brother Parker is an offensive lineman for the Cougars.

Which recruit are you most excited about BYU getting in this year's class?

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Trey Dye, 3-star WR (Abilene, Texas)

Dye is the son of former Cougar great James Dye, who played for BYU in 1995 and 1996 and was arguably the top special teams player in team history.  His electric combination of speed and agility resulted in five kick returns/punt returns for touchdowns, and spawned "You punt, you Dye!" chants among the Cougar faithful.

Trey Dye possesses those same characteristics, as this highlight reel attests. He is electric in both the receiving and rushing games and could see solid playing time as a true freshman due to those abilities.  Depending on how he performs in fall camp, he could fill the hole at slot receiver left by the graduation of gutsy J.D. Falslev.

Kavika Fonua, 3-star ATH (Syracuse, Utah)

Fonua projects as a safety, which is where he started to gain national attention.  While playing safety, Fonua won the MVP award of Nike's Oregon Camp and also turned in an impressive SPARQ rating of 123.30 at the Dallas Combine, good for second at the event.

It is unknown whether he will play a season for BYU before going on his mission or whether he will go on his mission straight out of high school.

Teancum Fuga, 3-star DT (Huntington Beach, California)

Teancum goes by "Tico," but it is his last name that should pique the interest of Cougar fans.  His older brother Romney was the stalwart of BYU's defensive line for much of the past several years.

If his impact at the defensive tackle position for BYU is anything like his brother's, fans have a whole lot to look forward to. Fuga will go on his mission before joining BYU in 2016.

Jaterrius Gulley, 2-star DT according to Scout.com (Hoover, Alabama)

Gulley came out of nowhere to sign with the Cougars, getting offers from mostly smaller regional programs such as Memphis, UAB and Western Kentucky.

However, BYU's defensive coaches got their hands on some film of him about a month ago, and the recruiting process went quickly from there. 

While Gulley is somewhat raw, his size is a big pick-up for the Cougars. He is 6'3", 330 pounds, and that kind of size is something the Cougars could desperately use as they look to replace graduating space-eating DT Eathyn Manumaleuna.

Chandon Herring, 3-star OL (Gilbert, Arizona)

Another offensive tackle that fans will have to wait a couple years to see play.  Herring plans to serve his mission before joining the program in 2016.

Isaiah Kaufusi, 3-star OLB (Salt Lake City, Utah)

The nephew of defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi, Isaiah played both LB and WR for Brighton High School, but projects as a defensive player in college.

At just 180 pounds, Kaufusi will need to pack on some weight if he is to remain a linebacker.  Otherwise, he will most likely wind up in the secondary. He has time to fill out his frame though, as he will go on his mission before joining BYU in 2016.

Tejan Koroma, 3-star C (Allen, Texas)

Koroma is a big pickup for the Cougars.  He comes from one of the powerhouse high school programs in Texas, the Allen Eagles (the high school team with the $60 million stadium).

At 6'0", 250 pounds, Koroma is a bit undersized for an offensive lineman, but the fact that he was named to the Texas all-state team as a center is a testament to his abilities.  If his size proves to be an issue, Koroma is also an extremely capable fullback. BYU's less-than-stellar recent blocking abilities just got a big boost with Koroma, who hopes to compete for playing time right away.

Uriah Leiataua, 3-star DL (Compton, California)

Leiataua provided the biggest surprise for the Cougars on signing day.  After being committed to Stanford, he shocked the country by signing a letter of intent with BYU today. This is a huge steal for the Cougars, as Leiataua can play both defensive end and linebacker.  He will go on his mission out of high school before joining the Cougars in 2016.

How satisfied are you with this year's recruiting class?

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Earl Mariner, 2-star DT (Topeka, Kansas)

At 6-4, 300 pounds, Mariner continues the trend of adding size to the defensive line with this year's class.  He will go on his mission before joining BYU in 2016.

Isaiah Nacua, 4-star DE (Provo, Utah)

One of the biggest gets of the whole recruiting class for BYU, Nacua kept Cougar fans guessing until the end. He committed to BYU last June, but then opened his recruitment back up in November. Eventually, he stayed in the family, as his brother Kai is a safety for the Cougars.  He will go on his mission before joining the team in 2016.

Michael Shelton, 3-star CB (Raleigh, North Carolina)

Shelton is already on campus, as he was an early enrollee and signed with the Cougars back in December.

While his signing may have not made waves nationally, he is an incredibly important pickup for BYU.  Cornerback is the one position that BYU consistently struggles to fill, and often has to go with JuCo players and converted safeties in order to staff the position.  Getting a true corner straight out of high school could pay major dividends for the Cougars for years to come.

Sione Takitaki, 3-star ILB (Romoland, California)

BYU had to beat out Wisconsin, Washington State and Arizona (amongst others) for Takitaki's services. He played mostly outside linebacker in high school, but projects as a defensive end for BYU.  He has the opportunity to come in and compete right away for playing time this fall.

Fred Warner, 4-star OLB (San Marcos, Callifornia)

Warner's commitment was the crowning moment of this recruiting class.

Out of all the high school players in this year's class who could have an immediate impact on the Cougars this season, Warner is the best bet.

An athletic freak with stellar reaction time and quick feet, Warner was being recruited heavily by USC and Washington (amongst others). In the end, he stayed true to the verbal commitment he gave the Cougars last year.  This was the single biggest signing of BYU's 2014 recruiting class.

 

Junior College Recruits

Devon Blackmon, 4-star WR (Riverside City College)

A former Oregon commit and high school teammate of RB Jamaal Williams, Blackmon looks to have an immediate impact for the Cougars.  An extremely agile athlete, Blackmon could have an impact at both WR and on special teams. 

It remains to be seen how the coaches will choose to use him, but expect to see Blackmon on the field quite a bit this season for the Cougars. He has two years of eligibility remaining.

Nick Kurtz, 4-star WR according to Rivals.com (Grossmont College)

Another early enrollee, Kurtz signed with the Cougars in December and is already on campus.

At 6'6" and 205 pounds, Kurtz has elite WR size. He is expected to replace graduating BYU legend Cody Hoffman, and very well could be the team's number one receiver by the time the season starts.

He has two years of eligibility remaining. Kurtz's signing is second only to Warner's in terms of importance for BYU.

 

Transfer Players

Jordan Leslie, WR (UTEP)

Wide receivers coach Guy Holliday reunites with the most prolific receiver from his time at UTEP.

Leslie is a 6'3", 210-pound senior who graduated from UTEP and will be enrolling as a graduate student at BYU. During his career in El Paso, Leslie had 125 receptions for 2,015 yards and 15 touchdowns. Leslie is the other player besides Kurtz who is most likely to be BYU's number one receiver this fall.

 

Overall, BYU focused heavily on the defense as well as the offensive line with this class, while adding a few instant impact receivers.

While they failed to add anyone in the two most high-profile positions (QB and RB), Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams have those positions well provided for at least the next two years, so there was no sense of urgency to fill those positions.  A very solid class for BYU, even if it wasn't the flashiest.

Let us know what you think of this year's recruiting class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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