When Beau Tanner was out-running defenses during his junior and senior years of high school, the BYU Cougars, along with other colleges, came calling. However, a mistake by the NCAA occurred, throwing his college football dreams into disarray.
“I was recruited by BYU out of high school, but BYU wasn’t a good fit for me then,” said Tanner. “I originally committed to Kentucky out of high school, but then I ended up not being a NCAA qualifier. That was because I took an online chemistry class that the NCAA clearinghouse didn’t accept. It turned out to be a mistake because I took the test in a classroom in a lab with a teacher in the classroom, but I wasn’t made aware of that until I had already graduated and school had already started.
After graduating from Shadow Mountain High School in Arizona, Tanner ended up attending a local community college for the fall semester. After school had started the mistake by the NCAA was cleared up but the damage was done and Tanner was set on going on an LDS mission.
“I would have been at Kentucky but never enrolled because the NCAA made the mistake of classifying me as a non-qualifier,” Tanner said. “I ended up going to Scottsdale Community College and playing there for a season and went on my mission in February of 2014. Right before that was when I got cleared by the NCAA so the process all started up again. I was already going on my mission and just figured I would pick up when I got home.”
Now that he’s returned home from his mission, Tanner’s recruitment did pick up again. BYU once again came calling under new head coach Kalani Sitake along with his old friend Noel Mazzone who is now at Texas A&M.
“Ever since I met the new staff at BYU I definitely love the atmosphere there at BYU and the coaches and who they are,” said Tanner. “I love their passion and felt like BYU was now a great fit for me. They told me they were going to have a scholarship open after the semester and didn’t want me to make a decision before then. Before that I was leaning towards Texas A&M and that was because Noel Mazzone recruited me for Texas A&M. He recruited me before when I was in high school when he was at UCLA, so I’ve had a long relationship with him.
“Texas A&M recruited me before my mission. Noel Mazzone recruited me while I was in high school and he was coaching at UCLA. He kept in contact with my parents while I was on my mission. Then he got the job at Texas A&M and when I got home they had a scholarship for me. They recruited me and I never took a visit out there because I felt BYU is where I wanted to play. Texas A&M was a really good option but I just felt I wanted to be at BYU.”
After meeting with BYU, Tanner felt BYU was the place for him.
“I talked to Coach Detmer and he told me what their plan was for me,” said Tanner. “He wanted me to come there and felt they needed me to come there for them to win. I was up there for an unofficial visit during the spring game and was able to spend some time with Kalani [Sitake], Coach Detmer, and Coach Cahoon. It definitely felt right. They’re the type of coaches that made me want to come in, play for, and give everything I have for them.
“They’re coaches that definitely care and want the best for you. I love the system and love Coach Cahoon. He is a very technical coach who has had a lot of experience at that position. As for Ty Detmer, he has a great offensive mind, was a Heisman Trophy winner, and had a long career in the NFL. I also love Kalani and believe these are coaches that are going to win. That’s why I chose to commit to BYU and make it official. I look forward to signing with BYU here soon.”
Being able to be around like-minded people and represent more than just a university or football team played a big factor in his final decision.
“Representing my faith at BYU was a part of my decision to commit to BYU,” Tanner said. “That went into a lot of where I wanted to play. I’ve grown up watching BYU and loved BYU since I was a kid. I just feel now that BYU is the place for me to be and I love the new coaching staff. I can play there and represent something a little more than just football. I’m really excited and thankful to be able to do that.”
At 6-0, 185-pounds, Tanner reports he clocked a 4.38 forty time as his fastest time. It’s his speed that had caught the eyes of coaches and wanting his services out of high school and after his mission.
“I think the desire to be great and not wanting to be mediocre has always been my goal,” said Tanner. “I think the first thing coaches see when they watch me is my speed. That’s something coaches love to have. Since high school to now I’ve always had raw speed. If I want to make a big play I can take a hitch route and turn it into a big play. I can make small routes become big plays. I ran a 4.38 forty time, so I’m fast and have been blessed with that.”
Tanner racked up gaudy numbers in high school, causing college recruiters from various conferences to seek his signature on a National Letter of Intent.
“I was over 1,000 yards but don’t remember how many receptions I had,” Tanner said. “I had around 20 touchdowns and had a lot of yards after the catch. I was a First Team All-Phoenix, All-State, First Team All-Conference, and nominated Arizona Republic Player of the Week for channel 3 news.
“Out of high school I was recruited a lot by Kentucky, Utah State, UCLA, and took an official visit to Cal-Berkley. UCLA and Utah State had offered me along with Kentucky. Cal didn’t because of the grade situation. I never did sign because the NCAA made me a non-qualifier. Then after my mission it was Texas A&M and BYU.”
Currently, he has four years to play three. However, after Tanner enrolls at BYU the staff will appeal his sophomore status in an effort to get his freshman year back.
“I will have four (years) to play three at BYU, but when I get to BYU they’re going to appeal for a request to get my freshman year back,” Tanner said. “They told my parents that I have a good shot at that, so that would make me a redshirt freshman (four years to play four) if it works out.”
After a long and frustrating recruiting ordeal that has lasted four years, Beau Tanner feels he has finally come home.
“It feels great, it really does,” said Tanner. “This whole process started when I was 17 and now here I am at 21 and it’s finally over. I’m so thankful for these coaches at BYU who’ve made it possible for me to come home and play for a university that represents more than just football. Texas A&M would have been a great experience playing SEC football, but really my choice to go to BYU was a bigger choice than just playing football. I wanted to be around people who are going to be the best for me to be around and I can be myself.”
This summer Beau will move out to Provo and prepare for the 2016 season.
“I’ll come up this summer but I don’t know the exact date,” said Tanner. “I’ll be coming up and will enroll this year and plan on playing this fall. I’m excited and can’t wait to play this season to play some big time ball. I’m excited and can’t wait to get to BYU.”