Cougar Commit to Strengthen D-Line

Early in the season, BYU already has quite a few football commitments. One player who gave the nod to the Cougars is an LDS athlete who transferred from Tafuna High School in American Samoa, the same high school attended by former Cougar Shawn Nua.

Zeke Wily, a 6'4", 315-pound junior who left Utah following his sophomore year for American Samoa, has verbally committed to play football for Bronco Mendenhall.

"Well, I committed because my mom and my grandpa were a big part of my decision. They wanted me to go to BYU and so did the rest of my mom's brothers and sisters, and so I just decided to get things done early and go to BYU.

"I called Bronco and thanked him for the scholarship offer first, and then I talked to him for a while and then I committed."

So why does big ole Wily think BYU offered him?

"I really don't know," chuckled Wily. "I guess coach Lamb has been keeping an eye on my since my eighth grade year. I also play basketball with his son too, so I think most of it is they are surprised by how I move. I don't run like a 315 pounder. I run the forty under a 5.0. The last time I clocked, I clocked under at a 4.9 in the forty. I play offensive guard and defensive tackle or defensive end. At BYU I'm going to play defensive end."

Despite being able to play both offensive and defensive line, Wily, along with his family, is excited to suit up in the blue and white of BYU to play defensive end at BYU.

"Out of playing on either offense or defense, my heart is on the defensive side of the ball," said Wily. "It doesn't matter what type of defense it is. All I need to do is learn the defense and play well in it. It will be good. I'm excited to play and I was pretty surprised because I wasn't here during my junior year. Everyone in my family is very excited."

Wily is some what of an enigma to both BYU fans and recruiting organizations that scout talented prospects all over the country. Having left Utah during his sophomore year to play football in American Samoa, Wily has snuck under the recruiting radar which is likely a good thing for BYU coaches.

"It was just smash mouth and hard," Said Wily of football in Samoa. "I did good but it was expected because I had a lot more experience than everybody that was there but I got hit a few times. There are a lot of good players there. Our out side linebacker Eddie Mailoto was fast and could hit. Our free safety Holland Fiu, who was also our running back, is quick too. If you hit him you'll get a backlash if you're not ready for it."

"I played weak side defensive end at Tafuna High School. I did good, and I had a few sacks. I can't remember how many tackles I had for a loss, but the coaches switched me from defensive end to nose guard most of the time."

Although he's not positive on whether or not he'll sever a two year LDS mission, he is positive about spending a lot of time in the weight room.

"I probably won't serve a mission," said Wily. "I'm not planning on it right now but I have two more years to think about it.

"I lift and run every day. I bench 345 and squat 515. My clean is my weakest but I clean around at around 255."

These numbers are more impressive when considered in light of the fact that Wily has only been lifting for a couple months.

"Yeah, he's pretty strong for not having lifter any weights most of his junior year," said Orem head coach Bob Steele. "He just came back to the states in the first of March or so."

Wily said he has already qualified and is cleared by the clearing house for D-1 eligibility. He is also excited at the possibility of playing football at BYU with a current Orem High School teammate and close friend Ryan Freeman.

"I've been playing with Ryan since my seventh grade year," said Wily. "He and I pretty much grew up together on the football field. We played together all the way till now and out there on the football field he's a big challenge. I know for a fact he and I help each other improve on what ever we need to improve on. He's a good one on one partner to go up against. We say we're tired of looking at each other's faces.

"I would love to play next to Ryan. I want to be on the same team with Ryan as long as I can because he's someone who pushes me and I know I push him too."

So what type of player is Freeman, who had also been offered a full ride scholarship by Arizona State?

"Ryan is a whistle player," said Wily. "He goes to the end and if you're standing around he'll knock you down. All around he's just a great player and he's really smart too. It's pretty exciting that we are both are going to be playing together. You don't find that very often. He's an all around athlete on the field. Maybe not as smooth on the defensive side with the moves and everything, but he has the speed and the strength and he's smart too. He knows what blocking techniques to use and he's a better offensive player than I am. He'll be on the offensive side of the ball and it looks like I'm going to have to see that face again."

Concerning Freeman, Coach Steele said: "I wish I had a whole team of him. He's a good hard worker and aggressive and he does what the coaches ask him to do. His GPA is probably around a 3.5 or somewhere around there and he's already taken the ACT. He's qualified for division one."

Both Freeman and Wily will be attending the Oregon NIKE Camp together this June. It won't be long before many college coaches know more about these two talented prospects from Orem High School.

"We're going to the NIKE Camp together and we'll probably go to the same camps together," Wily said.

In conclusion, Wily wanted to shout out a brief message to BYU fans.

"I want to tell all the BYU fans to come out and watch BYU this year. To get ready for the 2006-2007 season because we're going to have big Zeke Wily out there to help out the BYU football team. Coach Mendenhall is going to be something to watch, guaranteed."

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