ESPN's No. 1 Utah Recruit Commits to BYU

<b>Matt Putnam</b>, a 6-7, 240 pound defensive end/tight end prospect tabbed by ESPN's prep recruiting expert <b>Tom Lemming</b> as the No. 1 recruit in Utah, committed yesterday to BYU via email and later in person because he was not sure Cougar coaches had received his email.

Lemming rated Putnam a Four-Star recruit. In an interview today with, Putnam said he wanted to stay and play in-state. The senior to be from Box Elder High School was offered scholarships by BYU, Utah and Utah State.

"I really liked Utah and Utah State as well, but chose BYU mostly based on just how I felt and how much I liked the coaches."

Putnam, received recruiting attention from Colorado, Oregon, Michigan, Washington, Stanford, Utah, BYU and Utah State. "Colorado and Stanford are sending more letters than the others, but I'm also hearing from Oregon and Washington a lot," he said in a TBS interview several months ago.

Recounting his same-day double commitment, Putnam said, "They were pretty excited about it and so was I. It's just great to finally have the decision made so I can concentrate on my final year playing football in high school."

He confirmed he been leaning toward signing with BYU for some time, and decided to finalize his decision yesterday. "I've always been a BYU fan growing up and I love the coaches they have down there. Coach Crowton is very down to earth and just a great guy. It will be an honor to play for him."

Putnam added that "I'm also familiar with Daniel Coats and Jake Kuresa, having played against both of them in high School. They're both incredible athletes, so it will be great to play with both of them."

The lanky senior said he has definite LDS mission plans. He has not decided on whether to enroll a semester before his mission since he turns 19 in November 2004. "I won't play my first year even if I do enroll. I'll redshirt if I do, but I haven't made up my mind whether to enroll or not yet. But I'm definitely going to serve a mission."

Putnam can play multiple positions and doesn't have a preference. "It depends on how much I grow, I guess. If I don't grow much when I get home, then I'll probably play tight end, but if I bulk up I will probably play defensive end or maybe even on the offensive line. I just haven't decided yet. I'm sure they'll put me where I need to be."

Expressing his thoughts and feelings about BYU, he said, "I just love the school. I love the feel of the place when I'm down there, I feel very comfortable with the coaching staff and I'm happy with my decision. I will sign a letter of intent to play for BYU in February."

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