With all the uncertainty surrounding the BYU Cougars, TotalBlueSports.com caught up with Aleva Hifo to find out where he stands with BYU. Is he staying committed to the Cougars? Or, is he going to look elsewhere given the current situation?
“Yes, of course I’m staying,” said Hifo. “It’s hard for me to see all the defensive coaches leave BYU, especially my primary recruiter, Coach Howell. I know he has to do what he has to do when an opportunity like that comes along. It’s not heartbreaking because I’m happy for them, but it’s still hard for to see them go.”
The reason Hifo is staying has more to do what the overall value of what his provides more than anything else.
“Well, when you commit you don’t commit to a coach you commit to a school,” Hifo said. “BYU is a unique school and a great opportunity. The environment that’s there and the people that you are surrounded by is unmatched. On top of that, BYU is a great school for athletics and academics, so I’m staying committed to BYU because of the entire package and not just because of a single coach.”
However, with change comes great opportunity. While BYU fans are anxious to see who their next head coach will be, one can imagine the anxiety and excitement found among those recruits who are staying might have.
“I’m excited to find out who it is,” said Hifo. “I think we might find out soon who it is. I’m hoping that we do so we can know and get excited about what they might bring. I’ve been following what’s been going on and I’m excited to see who BYU brings as the next head coach. I’m also excited to see who comes in as the next assistants as well.”
With the announcement by Navy AD Chet Gladchuk that Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo will stay put, the list is growing shorter for viable candidates. When it comes to his current relationship with BYU’s staff, Hifo is sad to see Coach Howell leave simply because he’s been his primary recruiter for many years.
“That was probably the hardest one to see go,” Hifo said. “I’ve built up a great relationship with him over the past few years since my sophomore year. When he called to tell me he was leaving I was like, ‘Aw.’ I kind of had an idea that he was leaving when I found out that Mendenhall was leaving, but I didn’t know if Howell was leaving until he called me and told me. Ever since he told me that he was leaving to Virginia I haven’t heard from him.”
This makes sense given the fact it’s a “dead” period in recruiting right now, so coaches can’t speak directly with recruits outside of phone calls once a week. Still, Hifo is strong with his commitment to BYU.
“Yeah I’m staying with BYU, and I’m excited to see who the next head coach is,” said Hifo. “I guess we’ll see soon.”