Physical specimen coming to Provo

Have the Cougars just received a commit from Cody Hoffman part two? Well, according to his high school coach, they just did. On Thursday, BYU coaches received a commitment from three-sport athlete Garrett England.

Skyline High School athlete Garrett England, who committed to BYU on Thursday morning, is a physical specimen according to Skyline offensive coordinator Steve Marshall.

"He's a really good athlete and comes in at around 6'3", 184 pounds, and he's got really good speed, good height and is a really good athlete," said Coach Marshall. "He's a pretty physical specimen and can jump. He's an athlete that can play wide receiver on offense and a player that can play safety on defense. He can play cornerback or safety. If he worked hard enough, he could probably play quarterback if he wanted to."

Not only does England play on both sides of the ball out on the football field, but he also excels on the basketball court and competes in track and field.

"He can jump, I mean, he can two-handed dunk a basketball and plays for the basketball team here at Skyline," said Coach Marshall. "He's probably just under a 4.5 forty kid and his vertical is really good. I don't have the stats off the top of my head, but his standing broad jump is really good and his long jump is really good. He's just a really good athlete and he has great physical tools and he uses them really well."

"Wide receiver is my primary position right now in high school," England said. "I played a little bit of safety, but that's what BYU recruited me as. I run a 4.5 forty and that's what I was timed up at Utah. My vertical jump is in the high 30s and I play basketball and play the three spot. We went to the quarterfinals but lost to Orem."

England was supposed to head down to the New Level Athlete seven-on-seven tournament held in Las Vegas this past March with Bingham head coach Dave Peck. Coach Brandon Matich of East High School, who coached the Utah team with Peck, wanted him on the team. However, it didn't work out.

"He's a really good athlete and, you know, we wanted him to come down with us to the seven-on-seven tournament this year," said Coach Matich. "The problem was it fell on a Sunday, so his parents didn't want him to participate in that, which is common in our neck of the woods, but he's a great athlete."

Coach Marshall compared England's athleticism and style of play to that of current BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman.

"He's rangy like Cody is and has really good speed, but he's not as physically developed as Cody is right now because he's so young," Coach Marshall said. "I would say that Garrett probably has a higher vertical leap than Cody does, but the two play very similar in that when the ball is in the air, they both just go up and get it."

Cougar fans will be happy to hear that. But, the question is if he's such a talented three sport athlete, then why is he so under the radar?

"He went under the radar his junior year because he had an injury that wouldn't allow him to play most of the season," said Coach Marshall. "So he didn't play a lot because of the injury, but when he did, he did a lot for us. Off the field he's just a really good kid and a good student. His conduct in school is really good and the kids admire him and the students really look up to him as a good leader.

"I'm not sure why or how people miss or find out about kids, but Garrett was under the radar probably because he didn't play a lot last year due to his injury. We just wouldn't let him play because we didn't want him to get hurt until the doctors let him go. He worked with a physical trainer and after he was cleared we let him play. He stood mostly on the sidelines, and so I think that's kind of why that happened."

"I had a bad hip flexor, and so I missed a lot of the season," England said. "I missed a lot of games rehabbing that, so I think one reason why I wasn't really noticed as much is because I didn't play as much this past season."

England came back and played in a few games, which was just enough for Coach DuPaix of BYU to catch notice.

"After he came back from his injury he came back and played a lot of receiver for us, but we did put him on the defensive side as a safety," Coach Marshall said. "He can go sideline to sideline as a free safety and can cover a lot of ground really fast. Instinctively, he can cover the pass and we just put him in the hole and let him find the ball and he always found it."

"I just though Coach DuPaix was being nice to me," England said. "He would say hi when he could and was really talking to me at the camps. I had no idea they were that interested in me.

"I went to BYU's Junior Day and I had a really good performance down there, so they asked me to come back for a one-day camp last Tuesday. I worked out with Coach Howell and he really kicked my butt. I had a grueling workout with him and by the end of the day he said that I might have a shot."

After the camp, a surprised England was told to meet with Coach Mendenhall.

"My mom was going to leave, but she saw the coaches working with me and pointing at me, so she stayed," England said. "She's glad she did because afterwards we met with Coach Mendenhall."

It was during his visit with BYU's head coach that he really received an unexpected surprise.

"My mom and I sat in Coach Mendenhall's office and it just kind of came out of nowhere. I wasn't expecting it when I went down there. When they switched me from receiver to safety I thought, ‘There is no way now at all I'll get a scholarship.' So when we were sitting in Coach Mendenhall's office it just kind of came out of nowhere. I was so surprised."

The offer took his mother Laurie by surprise as well.

"My mom just started crying and Coach Mendenhall got up and gave her a hug," Garrett said. "It was a pretty special moment for us all. I was kind of wide-eyed and it really didn't sink in and the situation got bigger and bigger after realizing what just happened when I got home. I was kind of in a daze when it happened and just kind of crazy!

"I'm so excited and can't believe what just happened to me. It really is a blessing for me and an honor. Coach Mendenhall doesn't just pick any athlete to give a scholarship to. He only gives scholarships to specific guys with the talents and morals to represent BYU and the program. I'm just honored that he would choose me to do that."

With England's commitment to Coach Mendenhall, the Cougars received a Cody Hoffman-type receiver who won't actually be playing on the offensive side of the ball.

"When I was down at BYU's camp, I was playing wide receiver but they had me play safety and that's when they offered me," said England. "I'm pretty young but I'm going to be a senior. I'm only 16 years old right now but I'll be 17 in July, but this year I'll be a senior and then I'll go to BYU and greyshirt my first year there. After that I'll then go on my mission and then come back and play. BYU saw some good parts of my game and felt that I have a lot of room to develop."

England is looking forward to suiting up for BYU.

"I just want to say to everyone that I'm so grateful for this opportunity to play for BYU and represent what the program stands for on and off the football field," England said. "I'm just so excited to given this opportunity and want to thank everyone who supported me. I'm so excited and can't wait to play for the fans. BYU fans are the best in the country."

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