Regarding that goal, Mendenhall referred to spiritual, academic, service and teamwork components. He said he wants players that want to succeed in all four of those areas, not just one or some of them.
"When you have two great things to choose from, or three, or four, why not have academics and spirituality and a social life with like-minded peers and top-25 football at a consistent level? Why not get it all? That's what we're after. We're not interested in sacrificing one for the other and we're interested in bringing in young men that will help us do it all."
Mendenhall spoke highly of those recruits that want to succeed in all those areas.
"I have many times been asked by parents or other coaches what's it like to recruit at BYU, and it's a phenomenal experience when you have young men that want all the things that we offer," he said.
While addressing the 2012 signing class, Mendenhall reflected back on what BYU has accomplished during his previous seven seasons as head coach. The purpose of doing so was not to draw attention to BYU's coaching, he said, but rather to emphasize the type of players he has sought to bring to BYU.
The following are the BYU achievements that Mendenhall highlighted:
- One of only nine programs to be ranked at season's end in the USA Today coaches' poll in five of the past six seasons.
- Has gone 66-24 over the past seven seasons, which ranks 15th nationally during that time.
- Tied for fifth among teams with most 10-win seasons in past seven years.
- Has gone to seven consecutive bowl games, and is one of only seven teams to win five bowls in last six seasons.
- Played in 11 games on one of the ESPN networks in 2011. Ranked sixth in the nation for most broadcasts last season available to a national audience (meaning in at least 100 million homes).
"To win five of the last six [bowl games], if it was easy, more than seven would have done it," said Mendenhall. "And sometimes it's nice just to pause for a second and say, ‘How come? Why is this happening here?'"
He also noted that BYU has won three consecutive bowls for the first time ever, despite the school having great coaches and players for a long time.
"It's difficult to be consistent," Mendenhall said. "It takes really special people around you that you don't wonder what they're gonna do – you know what they're gonna do, and you know what they're gonna do daily."
Making it more difficult for BYU to be consistent is the Church's missionary program. Through graduation and missionaries, BYU has more players come and go through its program than any other program nationally, Mendenhall said.
BYU currently has 52 players serving a mission, and a total of 258 have served during the past seven years.
Mendenhall said that BYU has been one of the most consistent programs despite so much turnover because it gets the right type of people.
He said he believes this recruiting class has the right kind of people in it to continue the type of success at BYU that he highlighted, as well as succeed in all areas besides football.
"This particular class I would say is probably, in going home to home over the past two weeks, the most qualified class we've had yet to do it all … I believe this class is the most prepared to continue our program ... If you like the idea of winning 10 games a lot, if you like the idea of finishing in the top 25 consistently, if you like the idea of going to bowl games and winning, if you like those things, then this class will be able to help us continue on that same path, which is what they were recruited for."