Top Utah Prospect Inching Closer to a Decision

<b>Matt Putnam</b>, regarded by ESPN recruiting guru <b>Tom Lemming</b> as the best football prospect in Utah, has been offered by all three major Utah colleges -- but is leaning toward becoming a BYU Cougar.

Putnam, a 6-7, 230-pound defensive end/tight end prospect, said he will likely make his choice before football season starts this fall.

"I just don't want it to be a distraction. Hopefully I'll have my mind made up before then."

The Brigham City native was recently timed at an impressive 4.65 forty. He is receiving letters from most West Coast and midwest colleges, but has only received offers from Utah State, BYU and Utah.

Putnam admitted he is currently leaning toward BYU and is 90% sure he will sign with one of the in-state schools.

"I've always liked BYU, but Utah and Utah State deserve some consideration as well. They both have things to offer as well as BYU."

BYU coaches "just know what they're doing. They're sharp and on top of things. I like that. Also, BYU is the place with the money, so they'll be able to grow the program effectively over time. What is attractive about BYU is the intense LDS environment and also that most of the coaches are LDS as well. I like that."

Putnam said he has definite LDS mission plans. "I will turn 19 the November after I graduate, so I'll probably leave right out of high school before playing."

The Box Elder High School star recently visited BYU during their summer camp.

"I was going to participate and attend for the entire week, but I hyper-extended my elbow the week before and was advised not to participate. It's only a minor thing and it's healed now. It just wasn't worth it to take the chance of aggravating it."

He said he spent a weekend in Provo on an unofficial visit to the BYU campus and visiting family. "I wasn't able to visit with the coaches much since they were all running camp, but I was able to see the new facilities on my own time. Wow, they're impressive."

He added he is open to playing either defensive end or tight end in college. "Every school mentions I'll be able to prove myself at either position. I really don't care which I play, but I really like defense. I'm going to be hitting the weights hard for the rest of the summer. I want to get up to around 240 without losing any of my speed. I'm just really looking to improve all facets of my game. That's the focus right now," he concluded.


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