BYU Offers Southern Utah Gunslinger

BYU is on the recruiting trail to solidify the future of the quarterback position. Having not extended a scholarship offer for the 2014 class, Bronco Mendenhall and his offensive staff are hot on the trail to secure a commitment in the 2015 class. They've extended their second quarterback offer to a Southern Utah quarterback who's filling up the stat sheet.

Kody Wilstead is tall and can simply throw the ball. Last season he picked apart opposing defenses while racking up eye-popping numbers.

"I'm 6-6, 215-pounds and I play quarterback for Pine View High School," said Wilstead. "Last year I think I threw for 4,395 yards and threw for 36 touchdowns. I throw the ball really well, and I can escape [the pocket] but I'm not a running threat really. I'm mobile so I can throw on the run."

When Robert Anae returned to BYU, he brought a new brand of offense based on the read-option. Wilstead feels he isn't quite the type of dual-threat quarterback that Taysom Hill is and doesn't really fit that style of offense, but he knows BYU's offensive coaching staff is well versed in offensive scheme flexibility.

"I don't think I fit that system but they're smart out there at BYU," he said. "I'm guessing since they offered me they'll [adapt] to my style. I know they want to win so they'll do what they have to do. They said if I go there they'll switch the offense."

Coach Anae spent the last year and a half building his offense around a dual-threat quarterback. Having the ability to change up his offense to fit a more traditional pocket passing quarterback shows the confidence he has in his ability to adapt his offense to the skill set of any quarterback he recruits.

"It shows me that they really want me," Wilstead said. "Teams that run the ball with their quarterback like Oregon are not going to change their style. They might want me a lot but they're not going to change their style enough to get me, so this just shows how much BYU really does like me."

To date, Wilstead has five scholarship offers on the table with more to come potentially.

"Louisville and San Diego State offered me last summer," Wilstead said. "During the football season I got offers from Weber State and SUU (Southern Utah), and then yesterday I got an offer from BYU."

Wilstead's BYU offer came from Bronco Mendenhall. Wilstead had been out to BYU a few weeks ago for an unofficial visit. Coach Mendenhall mentioned then he would send out a few of his coaches to watch him work out. Everything fell into place after that, culminating in the scholarship offer yesterday.

"It was really cool and it was different," said Wilstead. "I went out to watch [spring practice] on an unofficial trip about a couple of weeks ago. Coach Mendenhall said he was going to send Coach (Jason) Beck and Coach Anae down to watch me work out. Yesterday they came down and after they left I called them that night. That's when they offered me. It was a really cool experience."

The offer from Coach Mendenhall places BYU among the top of Wilstead's list of colleges.

"They're a top five for me for sure," Wilstead said. "They're one of three that have offered me. They're in my top five for sure and probably number one, honestly, right now. San Diego State was my first. Utah hasn't offered yet and I'm not sure if they will. I heard their offensive coordinator doesn't like me but all the other coaches do."

"My top five would be BYU, San Diego State, and Louisville, so basically the teams that have offered me. Then I'm going down to Texas because the coaches that were at Louisville that offered me are now down at Texas. They want me to go down there and work out for them in front of the coaches to see if they like me. Texas is all about Texas quarterbacks, but they like to win more than they like Texas quarterbacks, so if they offer me when I go down there they'll definitely be in my top five."

The offer from BYU is an exciting one for Wilstead because he grew up rooting for BYU. He also has an older brother that will be transferring to BYU to play baseball upon returning home from his LDS mission.

"Yeah, growing up I was always a huge BYU fan and it's been really cool," said Wilstead. "My brother [Cole Wilstead] is going to play baseball at BYU, which is really cool. He went to UNLV and played baseball for a year there before he went on his mission. He's going to transfer over to BYU."

BYU blue runs in the Wilstead family. Kody's father, Randy, also played baseball at BYU. When Randy found out that his son had received a BYU scholarship offer, he was thrilled.

"My dad went to BYU and played baseball there and was an All-American, so he's a Cougar at heart," Wilstead said. "Growing up we used to go to football games there. My dad was stoked [to hear about my offer]! He was so excited. He's always about BYU and been a longtime fan, so he was way stoked and pretty excited about my offer from BYU."

Did Randy take his son out to dinner to celebrate his offer from BYU?

"No my dad didn't take me out to dinner after I got my offer," Wilstead said with a laugh. "Bronco told me that I had to take my parents out to dinner."

Did Kody follow up and do as Coach Mendenhall directed?

"Oh no!" Wilstead said with a chuckle. "I don't have that kind of money."

While Kody might not be able to take his parents out to dinner just yet he's been known to take basketball players to task on the basketball court. In fact, members of the BYU basketball coaching staff have been out to evaluate him as a possible basketball recruit.

"I play power forward on my basketball team here at Pine View and averaged around 14 points a game," said Wilstead. "I [averaged] around 12 rebounds a game as well. I made all-region and should have made first team all-state, but they gave it to a senior who didn't have as good of stats as I did. He was a senior so I think they just gave it to him because of that."

"BYU has actually looked at me for basketball [this past year]. During the season I was told that their coach was looking at me, and last year when we played against Tempview they were up at that game to watch me play. They said they liked me a lot. I just haven't really gone to any camps for basketball. It's always been about football first."

Wilstead may not be Taysom Hill fast on the football field but who really is? Wilstead added five rushing touchdowns to his 36 passing for a total of 41 in 2013.

"Yeah, I actually ended the season with five rushing touchdowns," he said. "I had a couple in the playoffs. I had two rushing touchdowns in the last two games of the regular season, and I had some in the playoffs and ended up with five. Two of those touchdowns were 20-plus yards."

There have been a few players from Pine View High School that have committed or played for BYU in recent memory. Former Panther James Lark finished his BYU career in heroic fashion with a 23-6 Poinsettia Bowl victory on December 18th, 2012. The most recent commit from Pine View was wide receiver Jake Arslanian, whom Wilstead remembers very well.

"Jake Arslanian played down here but he's on a mission to the Philippines right now," said Wilstead. "He left on his mission during this last football season. He was fast and that was just crazy to see how fast he was. I threw to him my freshman year, and that kid blew by everyone. All I did was throw the ball as high and far as I could and he always got there. Yeah, he was really fast."

How strong is Wilstead's arm? He threw a 60 yard pass last season, and his arm strength should improve with time.

"I tried out my arm last year on one deep and I threw it 60 yards," Wilstead said.

Wilstead will graduate early from Pine View this December. He'll then leave to serve an LDS mission. Making a decision on where he'll play in college will have to come before that time.

"I think I'll probably make a decision during football season or right after it," Wilstead said. "I'm actually graduating early next year. I'm going to graduate in December and then go on a mission, so I'll have to make a commitment before that." will continue to follow Wilstead throughout his senior season at Pine View and report on where he decides to play his college football.

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