The One and Only

There is only one opening on BYU's dance card for running back recruits this year. BYU has offered a few candidates for the spot, but right now the leader appears to be a quick and powerful prospect from Utah.

Despite recruiting many running backs from across the country this year, BYU is looking to sign only "one" running back on letter of intent day for this years recruiting class.

From Edward Britton of Texas to Lydell Sargeant of California, BYU has offered a few talented running backs football scholarships. Currently, BYU is only recruiting one heavily and that's happens to be an LDS, Samoan running back found in BYU's own backyard in 5'11", 210 pound 4.5 forty slasher Matt Asiata.

"I talked to [Coach] Reynolds and he said that they are recruiting one person as a running back and they said that person was me and I was happy about that," Asiata said. "They really want me there."

Another top instate running back BYU is recruiting is 6'1", 200 pound Harvey Unga out of Timpview High School. Although Unga has raked up over 2,000 all purpose yards on the season, BYU coaches feel Unga would be better fitted as a defensive player at the D-1 level and are recruiting him as a safety prospect along with 5'11", 190 pound Pennsylvania running back Brett Owens.

With Asiata being BYU's top running back priority, Unga, who has been offered a scholarship and has given a soft verbal to Utah, and Owens, who will be tripping to BYU in January but has yet to be offered a scholarship, the recruiting picture at BYU is becoming more clear.

BYU got a commitment from 6'2", 210 pound Oregon running back/ safety prospect Shawn Doman a few weeks ago, and although BYU coaches told Doman he would get a chance at running back he is likely to end up at a Katback or Cougarback in Bronco Mendenhall's swarming defense. As for Asiata, he has three scholarship offers and will trip first prior to announcing his commitment decision in the month of February.

"I'm going to take my trips first," said Asiata. "Cal, BYU and UNLV have all offered me. Utah is still looking at me but hasn't offered yet. I've got a trip [to BYU] set up on [January] 14th. I've got UNLV on [January] 28th and Cal on [January] 18th."

With 4.5 forty speed, Asiata possesses the ability to turn the corner on the outside. He also has the powerful upper and lower body needed to run between the tackles with a bench max over 300 pounds and a squat max over 400 pounds. Asiata has become the only running back in Utah to be named First Team All-State in both his junior and senior years.

"I got First Team All-Team this year and last year and I got offensive MVP for region 3," said Asiata. "We did alright. I got injured for the last two games. I got 1700 yards and I missed the first game too. I only played six or seven games but I had around 10 yards a carry. I can catch the ball out of the backfield. I had about 300 yards receiving out of the backfield."

Raking up over 2,000 all-purpose yards in six games is one reason why BYU, among others, have offered the talented Utah running back. Although he wants to trip first before making a decision, there is one school that is becoming more attractive to him as time goes by.

"Yeah, BYU because it's close to my parents and I want to stay close to my mom too," said Asiata. "I'm probably leaning towards [BYU] but I want to take my trips to see how it is. [My parents] think it's good for me to go there."

Although LDS, Asiata doesn't have current plans to serve a two-year LDS mission. Asiata wants to play right away. His goals are to come into an offense and compete for playing time as soon as he can. To ensure he gets that opportunity, Asiata has been working hard in the classroom and has recently taken the ACT.

"I'm doing fine in school," Asiata declared. "I took the ACT but I'm still waiting for the scores to come in. My counselor said I'm at a 3.0 (GPA)."


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