BYU Pursuing California Long Snapper

The BYU coaching staff is looking to sign a long snapper in their upcoming recruiting class. They’ve targeted a prospect out of Temecula Valley High School in Temecula, California, who is considered among the best in the state of California and the nation at his craft.

Recently, Paul Tidwell and Kelly Poppinga have taken an interest in the future of BYU long snapping position. The BYU coaching staff wants to bring in a scholarship athlete to snap the ball for four straight years. Temecula Valley High School (Temecula, CA) prospect Matt Foley is one player the coaches have taken a keen interest in.

“They want someone to come in and do it for four straight years,” Foley said. “That’s kind of what they’re looking for and [they] want someone to come in and snap the ball for them.”

Meaning if Foley were to serve a two-year LDS mission he would more than likely do so ‘after attending college.’ Interestingly enough, a few years ago attending church as a member of the LDS faith hadn’t even crossed his mind. Foley converted to the LDS faith after getting to know some LDS missionaries that were teaching his girlfriend, who also converted.

“My dad was raised in the Mormon church his whole life,” said Foley. “I’ve always known about the church a little bit. Then during my freshman year, I was dating a girl. She converted from the Catholic Church to the Mormon Church, so I was around her missionaries a little bit and got to know them.”

It wasn’t long after that that Foley too began taking the missionary discussions after meeting up with the Elders who knocked on his door.

“A couple of weeks to a month later one of the missionaries, actually the one that baptized me, and another guy from my ward were looking at houses in our ward boundaries that weren’t members. They just kind of randomly went to my house, and it turned out that the missionary with the guy from my ward was from Albuquerque, which is where I’m originally from, and his childhood ward was my mom and dad’s ward. It was just kind of interesting. I started taking the missionary lessons about a week later. I had a baptism date about the first five minutes of my first lesson, and I did a lesson about every day until my baptism.”

A few years later Foley gave his highlight film to a friend to give to Coach Tidwell. It wasn’t long until Coach Tidwell was down in California to check out Foley in person.

“I gave a friend of mine some film to give to Coach Tidwell,” said Foley. “Coach Tidwell watched it and loved it. He came to my school and that’s when he watched me. They told me that they wanted to see me up there in June, so I went up there in June and that’s when they told me then that I was number one or number two on their recruiting board.”

“They wanted me to come out there for a game in fall, and that’s when they were going to decide towards the end of the season on what they were going to do as far as a deep snapper,” Foley said. “Coach Tidwell and Poppinga want a scholarship deep snapper for 2015. They just have to get the okay from Coach Mendenhall.”

The deep snapping sharp-shooter came out to BYU for an unofficial visit to watch the Cougars take on Virginia.

“I came up to the Virginia game and was talking to Coach Poppinga in the locker room, and he told me that they were [waiting] to decide about what they were going to do about a scholarship for a deep snapper,” said Foley. “He told me that I was their guy and that they wanted me up at BYU and to just keep in contact with them. I stayed in contact with them and so I’m going to go back up there next weekend for the UNLV game. I guess we’ll see how that goes with them.”

When it comes to his craft, Foley is considered among the best in the nation. In fact out of around 800 deep snappers that attended a Las Vegas camp, he was named among the top 12. He’s also rated number two in the state of California for the class of 2015.

“I was in what was called the Top 12,” said Foley. “There was a big event in Las Vegas with around 800 deep snappers, and I was one of the top 12 there. The fastest I’ve snapped the ball 15 yards I did it in .66 seconds.”

Which makes perfect sense why Coach Tidwell and Poppinga are interested in his services. If BYU does offer him a full ride scholarship chances are he’ll more than likely be heading to Provo as a Cougar. He’ll be making a second trip to Provo for the UNLV game next weekend. It’s then that he hopes he has an answer to that elusive scholarship question.

“BYU is definitely my number one choice as far a school that I would like to go,” Foley said. “With this being a bye-week for them this week I’m hoping that they’ll try and find some time because they know I’m coming back up next week. We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I’m in.”


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