Rhett Sandlin Commits to the Cougars

With the recruiting all but done for the 2011 year, coaches are turning their attention to the 2012 class. This past Thursday, they landed a good one in Alta High School's Rhett Sandlin. Sandlin will be adding his talents to either the safety or outside linebacker position, where his athletic makeup reminds coaches of two current Cougars.

Rhett Sandlin is a 6-foot-3-inch, 200-pound safety/linebacker commit from Alta High School. The way he plays for the Hawks' varsity squad is very similar to how BYU employs Andrew Rich.

"I play safety, but I also play close to the line and like a linebacker a lot of the time," he said. "At BYU it's going to depend on how big I get for coaches to decide whether I should play safety or linebacker."

As coaches started recruiting him intently since last summer, they've constantly mentioned two players on the current roster that Sandlin reminds them of.

"They see a lot of similarities with me to both Andrew Rich and Jordan Pendleton and compare me to those guys," he said. "I'd love to play like both of those guys for sure. Rich is someone I've watched a lot and I'd love to play like him to be sure."

Sandlin claims a 4.55 forty, which is a phenomenal time for someone of his stature and speaks well to similarities he may have to both Pendleton and Rich.

Although he had received early attention from the likes of Stanford and Utah, BYU was the school Sandlin wanted to play for. When BYU came calling and came through with an offer, it wasn't a difficult decision to make.

"They offered me this past Tuesday, but I committed on Thursday after thinking about it some," he said. "I talked it over with my family and thought about it some, but I always knew BYU was where I wanted to play, so I went ahead and committed."

On the day he was offered, Sandlin was able to meet with Cougar head coach Bronco Mendenhall and have a good discussion. As is the norm, Mendenhall focused the discussion on Sandlin's personal growth and on issues other than football that would be important for his development.

"BYU fits me best as a person and my standards," Sandlin related. "I have plans to serve a mission after playing a year, and going to BYU will help me prepare for my mission."

A redshirt is certainly an option for him that first year, but ultimately the hope is that he can contribute his talents on the outside at linebacker or on the inside off the line at safety.

Although BYU is struggling currently, Sandlin likes the direction of the program and particularly likes the fact that they'll be going independent. Following his mission service, BYU should be firmly entrenched in its new independent endeavor.

"I'm excited about it," he said. "I love BYU and always wanted to play there, and when I get back from my mission, I'm excited to see where they're at with being independent. BYU is really the perfect place for me. They require that you live good and it will be a great experience for me for sure."

Alta High School has been good to BYU over the years in providing such talents as Braden Hansen, Jordan Black and Taloa'i Ho-Ching, among others. Sandlin is looking forward to adding his name to that list.

"It's great having some of the guys I played with already on the team," he said. "I'm very excited for the opportunity I have to play at BYU and to help improve the program. It's the only school I've ever wanted to play for, so I'm very thankful for how it's worked out."

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