National Signing Day 2010: BYU and Jake Heaps at No. 1 in the MWC

Bobby ChambersCorrespondent IFebruary 2, 2010

This past weekend I checked with some football buddies and asked what they thought about BYU’s recruiting class. Consensus reply: “I have my doubts.”

I couldn’t believe my ears!

“Have you read or heard about it?” I asked.  Of course they had, but to them it was hype.  All I kept hearing was stuff like, “BYU always gets good if not great QB material and the receivers that go with.”

As well as, “How could they possibly be ranked the 24th best recruiting class in the nation?”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from these guys.  BYU and Jake Heaps are at No. 1 for all non-BCS teams.

Maybe the the masses need to be enlightened, less they’ve forgotten! 

From 1979–2009 BYU produced:


1 National Championship (1984)

1 Heisman recipient (Ty Detmer–1990)

1 Doak Walker Award recipient (Luke Staley-2001)

4 Davey O’Brien Award recipients (McMahon, Young & Detmer)

2 Outland Trophy recipients (Jason Buck-1986 / Mohammed Elowonibi-1989)

6 Sammy Baugh Trophy recipients

18 Conference Championships

25 Bowl appearances (10-14-1)


The rest of MWC combined doesn’t even come close!

It started 25 years ago: The 1984 Championship Game controversy with Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer and NBC’s Bryant Gumbel making condescending remarks toward BYU on network television, which probably gave the Cougars more national press than they would have otherwise garnered at the time.

Washington (then ranked No. 4) refused to play No. 1 ranked BYU at the little known Holiday Bowl, and instead opted to play No. 2 ranked OU at the Orange Bowl (more money).

BYU beat Michigan at the Holiday Bowl and had to wait to watch Washington soundly beat OU 28-17, helping Switzer eat his words and making it easier for all to vote BYU No. 1.

From that day forward, BYU’s recruiting classes have been phenomenal, all things considered! (BYU’s recent victory over OU continues to help in the same way.)

In the past five years, BYU has been consistent with the recruiting numbers:


2005 – 2 Blue Chip Recruits, No. 7 ranked in the top 150

2006-  2 Blue Chip Recruits, No. 6 ranked in the top 100

2007 – 4 Blue Chip Recruits, No. 17 ranked in the top 100

2008 – 3 Blue Chip Recruits, No. 20 ranked in the top 150

2009 – 4 Blue Chip Recruits, No. 20 ranked in the top 150


This year’s recruits are like manna from heaven!  Though for most, the chatter has been about No. 1 QB Recruit, Jake Heaps from Washington. But don’t forget his newfound receiver, Ros Appo of Arlington, Texas, middle linebacker Zac Stout from West Lake Village, California, and some help up front from Graham Rowley from Hawaii (that’s two from the Pac-10 and one from the Big XII).

Including Heaps, Appo, Stout, and Rowley, the 2010 Class includes 20 ranked recruits in the top 100 of their position.  Watch for these young men to impact BYU’s game on both sides of the line in two years time, if not sooner.

What really gets my attention is BYU’s ability to recruit nationally, not just in their Pac-10 backyard.  From Hawaii (DE Kona Schwenke, No. 33) to Maine (CB Jordan Johnson, No. 94), southward to Georgia (S Kori Gaines, No. 124) and Alabama (RB Drew Phillips, No. 141), across the heartland of Kansas (DT Travis Tuiloma) into Arizona (C Blair Tushaus, No. 15) and in Utah, BYU has recruited its very best pool of young men ever!

Not only do they continue to fill the offensive slots that every school envies year after year, but they smartly found a way to recruit as effectively on the defensive side of the line. 

Names like Bronson Kuifusi, Kona Schwenke, Tuni Kanuch, Jordan Black, Jordan Afo, and Travis Tuiloma may be a mouthful to say and remember today, but they are BYU’s reason to look forward to busting into the BCS and leading the MWC onto more victories and another national championship.

These guys won’t be passing and catching the ball, but they’ll be beating up on the opposing offenses and winning with their defensive disciplines.

TCU and Utah may have their BCS Bowl games under their belts, but they struggle to keep pace when it comes to recruiting against the Cougars.  Combined, they only have 22 recruits that rank within the top 100 of their position.

The rest of the conference has a ways to go.

BYU will continue to be the top program to beat in the Mountain West on the field, recruiting, and with getting most of the media doubt about it!