From Deep South to Desert to Mountains

As many as four hopeful junior college midyear transfers are set to visit BYU this weekend. In serious need of help in the secondary, the Cougars may sign up to three JC defensive backs on midyear LOI day December 21st. TBS caught up with one CB recruit who is looking forward to his trip.

Will Rivers is a 5'10", 192-pound cornerback from the College of the Desert in Palm Desert California by way of South Carolina and western Kansas. "Things didn't go the ideal way for me out of high school, but I'm here now with an opportunity to play Division I football, which has always been my goal," said Rivers. "Hopefully I'll get that chance."

Rivers hails from Orangburg, South Carolina where his chief high school rival was Summerville High where current Cougar Terence Brown played. Rivers remember the rivalry well. "Oh, I've heard of Terence Brown," said Rivers. "I didn't know he was at BYU, but Summerville was our big rivals in high school. I remember my last game against them where we tied them 0-0."

Recruited by ACC schools like Clemson and North Carolina, Rivers was a non-qualifier out of high school. He went the junior college route, opting for what he termed a "cornerback school" in western Kansas where he redshirted his one year before moving on to the College of the Desert.

Said College of the Desert head coach Ken Swearingen: "Will was sort of forced out of Western Kansas due to other in-state guys coming in, and we picked him up and I'm very glad that we did. He's a great player and a great kid. It's been a pleasure to coach him."

Rivers was hurt early on during his first season with The College of the Desert, but was able to play the final 7 games where he recorded 2 interceptions, 10 pass knockdowns to go a long with 30 tackles. "I wish I could have been healthy the whole year," said Rivers. "I feel I did alright, but my best football is definitely in front of me."

"Will Rivers is definitely a Division I quality cornerback," said Swearingen. "He hits very hard for a cornerback, has great size and strength along with legitimate 4.5 speed."

Rivers said he was faster than 4.5 being timed at 4.35 in the forty at Western Kansas and is confident he can run in the 4.4 range anytime he runs the forty. "I'm fast," said Rivers. "I can stay with most receivers, I'm a definite 4.4 guy. But I'm strong as well. I've built myself up pretty good and pride myself in being able to hit guys hard."

Rivers will have three years of eligibility and will complete one more class this winter before receiving his degree and in-turn enrolling in a division one program this January. Rivers is hopeful that school is BYU.

"I know a little bit about BYU," said Rivers. "Their coaches have been recruiting me ever since the spring right after I first got here and I like what they have to tell me. I know BYU is a different school being a Mormon school and all that. It will be an adjustment, but I'm sure that I can do it."

Other schools such as Utah State, San Diego State and Ohio have called the speedy cornerback, but Rivers mentioned that BYU is the place he would like to play if the trip he is scheduled to take this weekend works out.

"I'm ready to commit this weekend if things go well," said Rivers. "I've liked everything I've heard so far, I think the coaches have been very honest and upfront with me. We'll have to see how it goes, but I'm ready to commit and play for BYU if things go according to plan."

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