Coming in at around 6-0, 175-pounds, Mount Si High School wide receiver Jesiah Irish boarded a plane and flew to the mighty Wasatch Mountains to visit BYU. The surrounding beauty instantly reminded him of home.
“I liked it and thought it was really cool up there,” said Irish. “It kind of reminded me of home with all the mountains. I really liked it. I like to ski and snowboard and I know that’s big up in Utah, but, yeah, the mountains and stuff reminded me of being back home.”
The visit came during spring vacation while many of the football coaches were of town with family However, Coach Gilford and BYU’s Director of Recruiting Operations Tevita Ofahengaue were on hand to host Irish while on his visit.
“Yeah, I was really impressed with how the coaches handle everything and how they handle their business,” Irish said. “I know all colleges say they’re family oriented, but I think BYU is a true example of what a real family bond is like at the college level. I really liked it and the coaches are super cool. I think most of the coaches were gone with their kids over spring break, but Coach Gilford was there and so was Coach T.O, so I thought that was really cool.”
Irish has a strong desire to study in the field of business while attending college, so the Snoqualmie, Washington native was given a tour of BYU’s business department where he was able to meet the Dean of Students to learn more.
“We had a tour guide and they took us through the Marriot School of Business, and I got to meet with the Dean of Students there,” Irish said. “That was really cool because I want to study business in college, so I got some information about the school. BYU is one of the top schools in the nation, and it was really cool to see all the connections they have.”
He was also shown the currently renovated weight room along with the other football and sports related facilities the program has to offer.
“They took us through the training room and the weight lifting room was being remodeled, but I got a chance to peek in and see what they were doing,” Irish said. “The indoor practice facilities was being used by soccer, but they took us all through the facilities and that was pretty cool. The stadium was amazing and I loved the grass there. It was beautiful being in that setting.”
He noticed the cleanliness of BYU’s campus and the warm and friendly demeanor of those who attended or worked there.
“I’ve been to all these colleges and stuff and BYU just kind of stands out because everyone is just so friendly, nice, and the campus is so clean and spotless,” Irish said. “Most colleges don’t have that and have beer cans everywhere. BYU is kind of different and I like that.”
While the academics standards impressed and football facilities wowed Irish, the highlight of his unofficial visit to BYU was a little more on the subtle yet personable side of things.
“I liked the one-on-one talks with Coach Gilford and that was probably the highlight of my visit,” said Irish. “We talked about how he was a pretty highly recruited kid out of high school and could have gone to Wisconsin if he wanted to, but he chose to come to BYU because there wasn’t that party scene. His mother wanted him to come to BYU because of the standards that are there. It really made me think about how I wanted to go there. It was a cool experience talking with him and I really liked it. He’s a really cool guy.”
During their personal time together, Coach Gilford and Irish talked about his future at BYU and the position he would play if chose to join the program.
“We had our one-on-one talk and Coach Gilford said he spoke to Coach Cahoon earlier,” Irish said. “He said Coach Cahoon was really excited about me and said, ‘I want him at wide receiver.’ Coach Gilford was obviously a little bummed, but he reassured me that my spot was at wide receiver. Coach Gilford and Coach Cahoon is going to come up in a couple of weeks to see me and talk a little more and see me work out and stuff.”
So, what does he think about playing wide receiver for Coach Cahoon?
“I like it,” Irish said. “It’s my natural position.”
That would mean playing for BYU’s superstar offensive coordinator, and quarterback’s coach, Ty Detmer, which he heard a lot about from a former NFL player who played his college ball at the University of Washington.
“I saw the Heisman Trophy when I was down there,” Irish said. “I had breakfast with Hugh Millen, because his son is our quarterback, and he said BYU bringing in Ty Detmer is a game-changer for them and a real turn around for the program. He said it puts you in a pro-style offense. He said it will change things up around there and I thought that was really cool to hear him say that.
“Millen is our passing game coordinator for our high school. He’s a really good guy and played in the NFL for eight years and is also a reporter and radio guy out here. To hear him talk about some of those things really makes BYU definitely appealing.”
Coming away from Provo, Irish was impressed. He learned a lot more about then nation’s largest private university and left feeling BYU is a place where he could definitely see himself playing.
“Yeah, for sure it has,” Irish said. “It definitely has.”
He plans on making a commitment decision by the end of summer due to graduating early this year. At this point in time BYU is looking very good for his services.
“It will definitely be sooner than later,” Irish said. “I’m going to graduate early in early December, so I will make a decision sooner rather than later because of that.”