"[Raymond] came off his mission and he kind of was leaning more towards walking on at Utah," said Jordan High School head coach Eric Kjar. "He called Coach Doman a lot before he left on his mission. When he got back he called Coach Doman and just said, ‘Can we talk?' The next thing I knew, he was telling me that he was going to walk-on at BYU. I know Coach Doman had a big affect on him going down there. I know he trusts him big-time when it comes to knowing football, and I know Cody really liked him when he was recruiting him before his mission."
One reason why Coach Kjar feels Raymond chose BYU over opportunities to walk-on someplace else is because of the person Raymond is.
"Cody is a good fit for BYU and is a good, strong LDS member," said Coach Kjar. "His faith is very important for him and faith and football is what BYU is all about. I think it's important to him and probably one reason why he had decided to go to BYU. I think he will be a great fit for him."
Coach Whittingham at Utah wasn't the only one that lost out in securing Raymond's services. As soon as Kjar found out that Raymond had returned home from his mission, he began hunting him down in an effort to make him a member of Jordan High School's coaching staff. Being away from the game for two years didn't matter to the Beetdigger head coach.
"I tried to get him to come on our staff because he is so smart with the game," Coach Kjar said. "He helped us out with our receivers and really helped our kids out before he left on his mission. He was a valuable asset to our program in terms of understanding how the game is played and I just felt he could help us again. Unfortunately, Cody just couldn't do it. He just didn't have enough time because he was focused on trying to walk on."
Once Raymond returned home from serving his mission, he went right to work so that he could reach his goal of playing college football.
"He is just unreal with how focused he is," Coach Kjar said. "His brother got married, and after that he was back in the weight room working out. He was out running and catching balls soon after coming off his mission. He's been putting in full workouts since his return home from his mission around October 8th.
"He knew that I was hunting for him to come be a part of our staff. I know he really wanted to, but he was stretched already with no free time. He was getting up at 5:30 lifting and working two jobs to save up money to walk on at BYU. He's just really focused in whatever he does and that's why I wanted him to be on our staff. It's just he didn't have any time."
The 5-foot-10-inch, 190-pound Raymond now sets his sights on doing for BYU what he once did while a record-setting receiver for Jordan High School. As a three-year varsity player, Raymond racked up 197 catches for 3,326 yards, which placed him second all-time in Utah prep history to Austin Rought of Freemont High School. Raymond also tied the Utah prep career receiving touchdown record with 41 touchdowns.
"Cody was just a very competitive player when he was playing for us," said Coach Kjar. "I've never been around anybody that loves to compete like he does, so that in conjunction with his work ethic really made him a special player. It was why he was such a dominant football player and why he was able to accomplish what he did in football.
"I know he's thinking he wants to be a starter on the football team," Coach Kjar continued. "That's just the mentality that he has. I've never talked to him about that, but that's his mindset. Some people are like that and that's how driven he is. He wants to go to BYU and earn a scholarship and be a first-string contributor within that offense. Coach Doman was kind of that way coming up and I think Cody is very similar. Cody was a real gritty player that was the underdog, and I think Coach Doman kind of sees that same gritty, underdog aspect in Cody that he has. I think that's why the two had formed a good relationship."
Raymond was initially a running back in high school, but switched to wide receiver as a sophomore. It was obviously a good move.
"He broke some of our school records and I know he was a three-time First-Team All-State player, and that doesn't happen very often, especially in this league," said Kjar. "George Felt wrote for the Deseret News and did all the historical facts and data out here for Utah, and he said that [Raymond] was the first to accomplish that at the 5A level ... He's a good guy and a good leader. Guys kind of draw themselves around him."
Despite his productive high school career, Raymond didn't attract much attention from Division I schools.
"He had a couple of offers form Snow and some other FCS schools, and SUU offered him," said Kjar. "I think his height is something that everyone worried about. Everyone wants the 6'2" player. I think a lot of football has gone away from the performance on the field to things that don't really matter. You look at guys like Wes Welker and Danny Woodhead with the Patriots, [the latter] who was a D-2 player. He didn't get drafted and was a free-agent player. I just think the physical measurements have to be there, I understand that. With Cody, his physical measurements are there and I think he can play. He's more competitive and has a lot of heart and that's something you can't measure. He's smart and has a big football IQ and a lot of football knowledge. He'll be a great asset to BYU in more ways than one."