BYU the standard of comparison for Sutton

BYU has been mining the state of Texas for talented prospects that want an outstanding football experience and education while being in a wholesome environment. One Texas athlete was in Provo in early September to watch the Cougars systematically take apart the Longhorns 40-21. His experience at BYU will be the standard by which all other universities will be measured.

Benham High School's Courtland Sutton has been a busy young man for his football team. Coach Glen West has his standout senior playing both ways for the Cubs.

"We started out the season with a loss, but since then we've won every game," said Sutton. "I'm going both ways this year and have been doing a little outside receiver. I'm getting a lot more touches on offense this year. Defensively, I don't get a lot of action because teams stay away from me and don't really like to throw to my side. When they do, it doesn't come out too well. I have around three interceptions on the season and it's looking good so far."

In six games Sutton has totaled 15 catches for 313 yards and four touchdowns. He's averaging nearly 20.9 yards per catch despite being considered a defensive specialist.

"I play on offensive now in high school, but in college I'll play either cornerback or safety," Sutton said. "I'm mostly being recruited as a safety and that's where BYU wants me to play."

Last month Sutton made an official recruiting visit to BYU.

"It was a lot of fun and I had a great time going out there to see the campus and all the coaches," said Sutton. "I got a chance to see how their game day preparation goes and all that. It was a great experience and that was a lot of fun."

Coming from the state of Texas, Sutton knows all about the Longhorns, who played BYU in the second week of the season.

"When I was visiting BYU they were playing Texas, and that was a team everyone thought was going to beat BYU," Sutton said. "I was so excited for the game and was cheering for BYU to beat them and beat them bad, which they did."

Although he wouldn't give many details as to why, Sutton holds a lot of disdain for the Longhorns.

"I actually can't stand Texas," Sutton said. "I can't stand them. I just don't like them. It's more of an inside thing with me and something that happened over the summertime at camps and stuff like that. I just really don't care for the school, campus, program, and the things they stand for at times but aren't really talked about. I just don't care much for them."

Sutton's negative view of the University of Texas made the victory by BYU even sweeter.

"Man, I'll tell you what, that was a lot of fun," said Sutton. "I've never really seen BYU play or even play against Texas. Being in the stands with the crowd going crazy and seeing BYU run all over Texas was real nice, real nice. It was just good to see Texas get beat like they did. Seeing how the defense played and the offense played was fun to watch."

Coming in at 6 feet 3 inches and 201 pounds, Sutton is being recruited by BYU to play safety. While watching Coach Mendenhall's physical defense beat up the Longhorn offense, Sutton pictured himself playing in the Cougar secondary.

"When I was at the game I was watching BYU's safeties run around in their defense, and what I saw was something legit," he said. "BYU's defense is really good and they play tough and as one unit instead of just a bunch of individuals. It was big-time, big-time. The whole time I was watching picturing myself in the blue out there playing in that defense in that atmosphere. It was legit."

The energy and excitement of the crowd coupled with the win over Texas made Sutton's visit very enjoyable.

"Man, my experience out there was great," he said. "If I had to rate it [out of 10], I would say it was a high nine because they just treat you out there excellent. They treated me wonderfully out there, and then on top of that BYU beats Texas the way they did. I got a chance to see all the facilities, the weight room, equipment room, the stadium, the indoor practice facilities, and all the athletic buildings and locker rooms. Man, it was nice! I would have to say my experience out there was a nine out of 10. It was nice."

Sutton didn't really know what to expect prior to his visit to BYU. He had some preconceived ideas based upon what he had heard, but those perceptions changed during his visit.

"It definitely changed my perspective on BYU," Sutton said. "It really helped me to know what the university was about and what it would be like being out there. I just went with the flow and was able to just chill with the team during the pre-game dinner and in the locker room in that long wait before the game. It was nice just being able to experience that.

"Most people would tell me that everyone at BYU is Mormon. Everyone tells me that if I go to BYU they're going to try and convert me to be a Mormon. I found out that most of their top athletes there aren't even Mormon, and they love it out there. I talked to a lot of the guys out on the team and they were saying how there's no pressure to be a Mormon and everyone just treats you the same regardless. They don't force anything upon. So, that was good being able to talk to some of the players and get their insight into things and how their recruiting process went at BYU. It was good and helped out big-time."

It's safe to say that BYU left a great impression on Sutton.

"BYU is definitely a place where I could see myself playing at," he said. "I've got more official visits and want to take those to get an overall better perspective, but right now they're on the top of my list when it comes to making my final decision. They definitely made things on the top of my list, and everything else is going to be measure by what I experienced at BYU.

"What I experienced at BYU will give me a better perspective on how things are at other colleges recruiting me. It will help me in my decision and I'm going to definitely use BYU as a marking point to rate other colleges. I know what I'm looking for now and what to expect. It's going to help me rate other schools and then make a final decision."

Sutton also has offers from Colorado, Washington State, Rice, New Mexico and Texas State. In addition, some other schools are recruiting him.

"The schools now coming on and showing interest are Boise State, TCU, and Utah State's been talking to me," said Sutton. "Those last three are the schools that have just now started talking to me, so I'm just seeing what's going on there so I can make the most informed decision. It won't be real soon and I just have about four more games in the season, so we'll see after that.

"I'll probably just wait it out a little bit longer, but not a whole lot longer, just so I can take other visit and make my final decision. There are some other schools kind of coming in and talking to me now, so we'll see how that goes. I don't want to rush into an agreement, then break that agreement later down the road. I want to stay true to my word when I give it, so I want to make sure I make the best decision for me. It will probably be close to the end of the season or at the end of the season when I finally do make that final decision."


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