DB Commits to Cougars

D-I coaches are often wary of JC transfers because there is usually a reason that these athletes did not receive scholarships right out of high school. It can be any number of things like grades, size, speed, skill, or character issues. BYU's recent commit was simply overlooked--literally.

"I was tiny in high school, so nobody really wanted me," said Andre Saulsberry. "I played for a high school team that wasn't very good, and I was just too small and not all that much faster than the other cornerbacks who were bigger than me."

The late-blooming Saulsberry now weighs in at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds. That is giant-sized compared to his size in high school.

"I was 5-6 and about 135 out of high school," recalled Saulsberry. "I could play and move as well as anybody, but when you're that small, you can't do much if you're not blazing fast which I wasn't in high school."

Saulsberry eventually landed at Riverside Community College where he joined with current Cougar linebacker Chris Bolden as a defensive star. Saulsberry garnered immediate recognition for his speed, he runs a 4.45 forty, and cover skills.

"I started both years at corner and received all-conference first-team honors both years," said Saulsberry. "Once I got as big as anyone I still could move and cover as good if not better than most people, and I was fine. I'm proud of how I played at Riverside, and I'm anxious to improve and help out BYU at the next level."

Saulsberry just returner from his official trip to BYU's Provo campus today where he was accompanied by both his parents and hosted by his former and future teammate, Chris Bolden. Saulsberry did not have an offer from BYU heading into the weekend so he was very intent on securing an offer and committing while on his trip.

"I went in to my meeting with Coach Mendenhall yesterday with my parents, and I was just hoping that I'd get my offer," said Saulsberry. "I was pretty sure that it was coming, but you never know. When he offered me a scholarship, I was just so relived since I knew having been at BYU and visiting everything and everybody that it was the place I wanted to play most."

Saulsberry took the traditional recruiting snowmobile trip and liked it a lot. "I've never been to the mountains, so I was real scared we get attacked by Cougars," he joked, "but we didn't see any. I loved snowmobiling, it was so much fun."

Saulsberry had Purdue and Washington tracking him down for late visits as well, but he opted for the Cougars. He cited several factors in his decision. "Academics for one thing—BYU has everything you could ask for academically," said Saulsberry. "I really like that. The facilities are amazing as well. The staff the family, the players, the atmosphere, just everything. BYU just felt right to me."

On his trip, Saulsberry learned a lot from Bolden about BYU and how it is being a student-athlete at the Provo school. "Chris has always told me that BYU is like a family," Saulsberry said. "All the players are real close and you really feel like you're part of a family being there. Having been there for just a weekend, I sort of already feel like I'm part of that family and that's probably why I chose to accept the offer to play there."

BYU coaches first contacted Saulsberry in the middle of November when wide receiver coach Patrick Higgins showed up at Riverside. "[Coach Higgins] came out and visited me and let me know that they were interested in me and all that," said Saulsberry. "I really liked him and liked what he had to tell me."

On his visit, Saulsberry met Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall for the first time and came away very impressed. "Chris (Bolden) just told me that he was a straight-shooter and didn't mess around, and I for sure could see that he was just that," said Saulsberry. "I like that, I like a coach who tells you what needs to be said and doesn't beat around the issue. He's exactly the type of coach I want to play for."

Saulsberry will certainly have an opportunity to play when he arrives in Provo just prior to two-a-days in August. He will be expected to compete and contribute right away. "I have two years to play two, so I want to help out immediately, and that's my goal", said Saulsberry. "The coaches educated me about the team well, and I know we're going in the right direction and just real excited to be a part of it. We're going to be good next year and the year after and I'm just happy and excited to be a part of it."

Now it is Saulsberry who will be the attacking Cougar in the BYU secondary.

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