California JUCO QB on BYU's Radar

BYU's coaching staff has been scouring the nation, looking to find quarterback talent to shore up depth as they look to the future after Taysom Hill departs the program. A JC quarterback from Southern California has blipped loudly on the their radar.

The BYU coaching staff is looking to fill BYU's quarterback stable with top caliber gun-slingers for the future. One quarterback that's been identified is Larry Cutbirth of Citrus College in Glendora, California.

"I'm 6-5, 210-pounds and some of my strengths are I'm a dual-threat quarterback," said Cutbirth. "I can run the ball and I can also pass the ball. I bring that type of versatility to the field. I love to watch film and being around football."

Cutbirth had an impressive freshman season for the Owls in 2013.

"Last year I threw for almost 2,500 yards and had 27 touchdowns [passing] and 11 rushing. I had five interceptions with a 67 percent completion rating. I think I had around 400 yards rushing as well. We run a spread offense with the read option with the bubble [element added in]. We like to throw it around a lot and we're pretty balanced."

BYU began showing interest in Cutbirth about a month ago after Offensive Line Coach Garret Tujague made his rounds among the Southern California junior college ranks. Owls Head Coach Ron Ponciano gave Coach Tujague a positive endorsement of Cutbirth upon a visit and that's when the Cougars' interest in Cutbirth grew.

"Coach Tujague [visited the area] and my coach was telling him about me, so he came down here and watched a practice," said Cutbirth. "He liked what he saw and came back down with some of the other coaches. Then Coach (Jason Beck) Beck and the defensive back coach [Nick Howell came to visit]. We had a pro-day down here and that was a couple of weeks ago. I spoke to them a few times after that and they said they liked what they saw. They said I'm faster in person than I am on film."

Once BYU began showing interest in Cutbirth, the young JUCO quarterback went to work researching BYU's program. What he learned took him by surprise.

"I know all about BYU and their quarterback tradition," said Cutbirth. "They have a great program and history there. I was talking to my family about BYU, and I love BYU and the tradition they have out there. BYU is a place I would definitely adapt to when it comes to the Mormon culture. It's a great program with a great quarterback tradition. I did my research and looked up all the quarterbacks that have gone through. I've definitely done my research, so yeah I'm really excited about what's happening."

He researched past quarterbacks such as Steve Young, Jim McMahon, Robbie Bosco, Ty Detmer, and Steve Sarkisian to name a few. He even went back and watched some of Taysom Hill's highlights from last season.

"Yeah, I've been watching highlights on Taysom Hill ever since BYU started recruiting me," said Cutbirth. "Oh man, he's a freak of nature! Yeah, he's a great athlete and ran all over Texas."

While Cutbirth has gotten to know some of past and present BYU quarterbacks vicariously through research and film, he actually has played against three current BYU Cougars.

"I know Jamaal Williams who played at the high school right next door to me. I played at Etiwanda High School so not too far from where he played, so I'm really familiar with him and also Devon Blackmon who BYU just signed also. Yeah, we had played them in high school. I also know BYU got Nick Kurtz from Grossmont. We played against him this past season, and, man, he's a phenomenal player. I think he got around 130 or 140 [yards] on us. He's a player."

Due to his blend of size and athleticism, Cutbirth has been told that he's a top priority prospect for BYU coaches.

"When I had talked to them they said they were going to check out another QB, but they said it was really my spot to lose," Cutbirth said. "They said I was the highest on their board right now, so that's all that I've been informed on."

"I think they want me to come out in the summer for an unofficial [visit], and then during the season they want me to come out for an official," said Cutbirth. "They want me to come out during a game."

Cutbirth holds BYU his on his list so taking an unofficial and an official, if given an opportunity, is something very high on his list of things to do.

"I definitely want to get out there," Larry said. "BYU is definitely high on my list. It's a great program and a lot of schools that are recruiting me already have a lot of freshman and sophomore quarterbacks in the program. Colleges like Texas Tech, Arizona, Northern Illinois, UAB, Nevada, and Cal. BYU is one of the top schools recruiting me that will have a spot opening up after Taysom Hill leaves."

While there have been many college recruiters passing through to evaluate him, Cutbirth feels some are showing more interest than others.

"Arizona just came by last week and Nevada," said Cutbirth. "I've been talking to Nevada and they want me to be like a (Colin) Kaepernick type player for them. Cal is another along with Washington State. I would say the serious ones are Cal, Arizona, Northern Illinois, Kansas State, and BYU. Those are the colleges that have shown serious interest in me."

Cutbirth has two colleges that he holds as his top two at this point in time.

"I would say BYU and Kansas State I would say are my top two right there," Cutbirth said. "It's just been a blessing. I'm just going through the process and having fun with it. I'm not trying to stress out about it but I'm having fun with what's going on right now. It's exciting."

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