Hitting the waves of Utah

Generally during BYU football's big official recruit weekend, the players head out into the backwoods of the Wasatch Mountains for some group fun on snowmobiles. This year the recruits were treated to some fun of a different kind that is a little foreign to the state of Utah. The recruits went surfing and had a great time attempting it while witnessing a bit of a surprise.

Every year BYU recruits hit the mountain trails on snowmobiles, and every year it seemed that at least one recruit would hit a tree or wreck down the side of some slope. It had become sort of a running joke among BYU fans, who often wondered who would be the next recruit to follow suit. Well, this year's official recruiting weekend took a new twist in terms of activities.

"I never thought I would go surfing in Utah," said running back commit Jamaal Williams. "We all went to some indoor surfing place and went surfing. It was a lot of fun."

"Yeah, that was a lot of fun," said BYU recruit Theodore King. "I've never been surfing before even though I live in San Jose, but I didn't expect to go surfing on a recruiting trip to Utah."

So which recruit was the best wave rider of them all? In a unanimous vote, that honor went to Californian wide receiver commit Dylan Collie.

"Dylan Collie was probably the best one," said commit Josh Weeks.

"Yeah, I would have to say Dylan was the best surfer," said Williams. "I tried to stand up but I kept falling down, so I just stayed on my knees most of the time, but, yeah, Dylan got the hang of it pretty quickly and did really good."

Even Cougar commit Phillip Amone, a citizen of the Sunshine State, had to admit that Collie took home the best surfer of the day honors.

"I do a little surfing out here in Florida but I think Dylan did the best out of everyone," stated Amone, who said the activity was a blast. "He really got it going. He really got it going out there."

While Collie may have taken home the award for best surfer of the day, he isn't taking all the credit.

"I have to be honest with you," said Collie. "If I were to take that award I would have to give … my mentor Micah Hannemann most of the credit. The reason everyone might feel I did better was because I was a little more conservative on that thing.

"You had Micah dropping in from the top of the wave and standing up like he was actually surfing out there, so what he was doing was a lot more impressive and a lot more dangerous. He might not have been able to stand up as long because he was trying some crazy stuff, but I will take most consistent."

"Yeah, I think Micah Hannemann and Dylan Collie were probably the best two there," Weeks said. "They were out there with Coach Mendenhall. Even after we were all done they were out there for at least another hour. They had a pretty good hang of it and did pretty well."

One might assume that Collie must be an avid surfer, though that isn't the case. He does, however, participate in another water sport that may have given him his edge.

"I don't surf but I wakesurf though from behind a boat," Collie said. "I do that a lot because if I wakeboard my knees get all jacked up, but when you wakesurf there is no strain on the body. I find wakesurfing a lot more fun than wakeboarding because it's a lot more relaxing on the body and I'm a lot better at it."

While Collie may have been the recruits' version of wave riding phenom Laird Hamilton for the day, Coach Mendenhall was the day's version of Kelly Slater.

"I got the hang of it for a little bit," said Weeks. "Then Coach Mendenhall came out and embarrassed everybody. He grabbed a surfboard and went out there and was just a pro at it. He went out there and just popped right up and started surfing like it was nothing. He's really good."

"Coach Mendenhall ended up getting in and so that was a cool experience to see that," Amone said. "He was actually pretty good and goes surfing quite a bit when he goes to Cali or wherever he goes. He goes quite a bit, so it was really cool that he got in and started surfing. It was really good. About half of us went upstairs and started bowling, so when we came down he was already in the water surfing. We all just stopped and watched him and started laughing. It was really funny."

The future Cougar linebacker was both surprised and impressed by his future head coach's ability to surf as well as he did.

"I was tripping out thinking, ‘Oh man, he's in there surfing,'" Amone said. "He was in there hopping up and riding the waves like a pro. It's pretty cool and it just shows you that he's not just one of the old guys that does nothing but coach football. He's someone that's well-rounded and it was pretty cool. It was good, really good."

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