When a Heisman Trophy winner steps into your living room, especially when your family are all big time BYU Cougars fans, things came become very interesting, especially when you’re committed to the University of Utah. That’s exactly what happened recently when Ty Detmer, who was accompanied with BYU’s new head coach Kalani Sitake, stopped by for an in-home visit with San Clemente HS tight end Cole Fotheringham.
“It was really cool,” said Fotheringham. “Coach Detmer has been coming down, I think this is his second or third time coming down now, to see me. This was my first time seeing Coach Sitake. I thought the visit went well and they’re really cool guys. My brothers are super huge BYU fans, so they thought it was really cool that Detmer and Sitake were here.
“It was pretty exciting and cool to know that someone of that caliber has interest in you. It’s just really cool to have a Heisman Trophy winner visit you and show interest in you.”
The visit went well and Fotheringham had a great time visiting with the new faces of BYU football.
“Yeah, I think they’re great people,” said Fotheringham. “I’ve met Ty Detmer a couple of times before. We’ve spoken on the phone a few times and he said he was going to come down, and he just seems like a great guy who is down to earth. He has a witty sense of humor and is really funny. Coach Sitake is kind of the same way. He’s just a great guy and I have nothing but great things to say about them.”
The Fotheringham's are all big BYU fans. So, the fact that he’s committed to play for the Utah Utes has made life a little rough for him, but now that BYU has a new focus on developing the tight end position under Ty Detmer, things have really turned upside down for Fotheringham.
“Ah, I get a bunch of garbage from my family because they’re all big BYU fans,” said Fotheringham with a chuckle in his voice. “When Ty Detmer came down to watch me play basketball a while back my brothers were eating him up the entire game. They love BYU and right now it really is game on. My family is coming at me full force and even my ward is coming hard at me. It’s really hard and they’re coming on full force. The pressure is on!”
Although Fotheringham has given a verbal commitment to Utah, the new offensive staff with Ty Detmer at its head has made things very difficult for the California tight end.
“Yeah, it’s made things really difficult,” said Fotheringham. “In fact, I would say it’s made things a lot more difficult. You know, I’m just planning on going on the visits to get one more feel before signing day. I just want to give it one last hurrah to see if the decision I made was the right one. After I take my visits then I’ll kind of go from there, but, yeah, everything is a lot harder now.”
Under Ty Detmer the BYU offense will feature more tight end involvement than what was previously seen under Robert Anae. Detmer wants the tight end position to play a big role in his offense, as was the case under LaVell Edwards.
“Well, that’s what they’ve been telling me,” Fotheringham said. “They want to get it back to the old days when the tight ends were a big part of the offense. They want to get BYU back to being Tight End U. I mean, you can see how serious they are about it because they’re going after tight ends now. They’re not just telling me and they’re practicing what they preach.”
One reason why Cole Fotheringham committed to Utah was the fact that he didn’t see much use of the tight end at BYU under former offensive coordinator Robert Anae. Now that Detmer has replaced him, the emphasis of the tight end being an intricate part of the offense has become prevalent.
“The only reason why I committed to Utah was because I didn’t see a whole lot of use of the tight end at BYU,” said Fotheringham. “Now, it’s kind of coming back and that’s a focus now at BYU it makes it kind of more enticing. I have a lot more to think about now.”
This is the reason why Fotheringham wants to take a new look at BYU. This places his initial commit to Utah on the soft side as he figures things out.
Detmer and Sitake met with Fotheringham for an in-home visit, during which they got to know him better while explaining what they plan on doing with the tight end position in BYU’s new offense.
“Most of our conversation was about what kind of person and kid they want to recruit,” said Fotheringham. “It was about the kind of feeling and atmosphere they wanted back there and all that. They kind of want to be super traditional kind of how it was back in the day. They want to pass the ball, play action, and use the run to set up the pass while having a tight end that can block or go out for passes.”
Fotheringham is on his visit to BYU this weekend to get to know the staff and get a feel for the type of players he could potentially call teammates.
“I’ll be on an official visit to BYU this weekend,” said Fotheringham. “Then I’ll be at Utah next weekend. The part of the reason why I’m going to back up to BYU is to see how the new coaches operate and hang out with the players. It’s going to kind of be the same thing with Utah.”
Once Fotheringham takes his visits he’ll take more of a spiritual approach to what will be a big decision in his young life. He’ll look for guidance while on bended knees to know which path to take.
“Yeah, at the end of the day it’s going to come down to where I feel I need to be,” said Fotheringham. “I’m going to fast and pray about things and in the end it’s going to be about whatever feels right for me. Whatever I feel is the best place for me is where I’ll end up.”