California defensive lineman visiting BYU

There will be a few recruiting prospects on BYU's campus this weekend. One will be a Southern California defensive lineman who has already committed to Cal but wants to see what the Cougars have to offer.

Ranked the 77th best defensive end in the nation by Scout, three-star recruit Garrett Hughes will be taking an official visit to BYU this weekend.

"I'm about 6'3", 250 pounds and I like to use my speed to beat offensive linemen," Hughes said.

The visit to Provo was first inspired by a BYU recruit that Hughes has become very good friends with.

"I was talking to Brayden Kearsley about it and I really like what he said and what BYU has to offer," he said. "They're looking for some more d-linemen, and so I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to go down there and check things out. I don't think it will hurt, so I'm going to go check it out."

Considered one of the top offensive linemen in the country, Kearsley befriended Hughes and the two have been talking ever since.

"I hung out with Brayden at an all-star game and we hung out quite a bit," said Hughes. "He's a cool dude. We're pretty good friends and, like I said, he's a pretty cool guy. After he committed to BYU, I congratulated him. He told me that he really wanted me to go to school with him, so he talked to the BYU staff about me. They actually really need d-linemen and I guess they already knew about me. So they contacted me right after they talked to Brayden and said they were really interested in me."

A student at Centennial High School in Corona, California, Hughes has been recruited by BYU defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi.

"I talked to Couch Kaufusi and I've talked to BYU's head coach a little bit," Hughes said. "Coach Kaufusi said he really liked my play and compared me to Ziggy [Ansah] from Ghana. He said my style of play reminds me of him, and so that's why they really like me.

"Coach Mendenhall basically said the same stuff. He's also their defensive coordinator and talked to me about the honor code and about getting out there on an official visit."

When making a comparison of college environments, Cal and BYU are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Cal Berkley is known for being a bastion of liberal values and fringe social activism. BYU on the other hand seeks to promote traditional values and moral conservatism.

"I know BYU has a strict honor code where they don't want their students to drink and have premarital sex and things like that," Hughes said. "I know BYU is a private university of the Mormon faith. I understand it and I think it does create more of an environment that can help you become a better person and football player."

Knowing the difference in the environment at each school, Hughes wants to take a close look at BYU and see how well he'd fit in.

"I committed to Cal a while ago and I talked to my family about it and felt that it was the right thing for me," said Hughes. "Their academics are top of the line and I really like their new coaching staff. I think there is a good chance of me having a good four-to-five years."

"I'm going to look for and see if BYU is a place where I can fit in well. I want to see if I really feel like I fit in well with the environment and the school out there. That's pretty much it really because I'm going to be there for four-to-five years, so that's kind of a big thing that I want to see."

"When I get there I want to check out the environment at BYU. I've heard a lot about it. I want to check out how Utah is and see BYU's campus. I already know BYU is really high academically, but I'm sure I'll get to see more of that firsthand. I also want to see how the coaches act as a staff and how they interact with one another and with their players."

If BYU is a place where Hughes feels he could fit in and excel, he'll go back home and talk things over with his parents.

"I would definitely talk things over with my parents," Hughes said. "They play a big part in all of this, so I would talk things over with them and then see what happens on signing day. I'm really excited to go out to BYU and check things out. I've never been out there before, so I really am excited to see what it's like."

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