Top Utah Recruit Recounts BYU Visit

BYU enjoyed the most success in it history with early commitments by football recruits this season. One of the more prominent of BYU's early commits was on campus last weekend for an official visit. Mike Hague shared his thoughts on his trip with TBS.

Mike Hague led the state of Utah in total rushing yards his senior season as one of the premier running backs in the Beehive State. He was the second verbal commit for BYU behind Alta High School's pre-season All-American candidate, offensive lineman Braden Hansen. Hague has not been a stanger on BYU's Provo campus, but last weekend he enjoyed his official recruiting trip to BYU.

"Well, it was really good," Hague said. "It was my first recruiting trip and I was speculating what it was going to be like. It was just awesome. The coaches were just amazing in trying to get the other kids to commit who hadn't committed. A lot of us understood that we were strong commits and the coaching staff sometimes will show more interest in the other players who haven't committed, but what I was surprised and blown away about was how they still showed a lot interest and respect for us who had already committed. Overall it was just a great trip and there wasn't one bad thing about it."

On campus visits are opportunities for recruits to get to know potential teammates. Each recruit is assigned to a current player who escorts him around campus and introduces him to other team members. Recruits frequently develop bonds with their host during their short stay.

"My escort was Dustin Gabriel," Hague said. "It's kind of funny because I've become a running back commit rather than a defensive back commit, and I would go to the games and was told to watch Dustin Gabriel and he knows what he's doing and that stuff. So when I went to down there I was hoping he was going to be my host because I kind of wanted him to be. Dustin was awesome and we were really good friends by the end of the trip. Then again, I was good friends with a lot of the players by the time I left."

During his recruiting trip, Hague sat down with some of the BYU coaches to talk more about the personal side of things.

"I sat in a couple meetings with Mendenhall, and my parents were in there too, and he just asked me if this is where I want to go and why do I want to come here," Hague said. "I pretty much just told him the reasons why I want to come to BYU, and then I pretty much just sat in with coach Reynolds and he just kind of told me what the deal is and how things are going to go, and that they are very happy to have me and all that."

Hague spoke of how well the BYU coaching staff had planned out the trip for those coming for an official visit to the Provo campus. The weekend helped clear up any uncertainties about BYU and showed why the campus was so appealing to LDS athletes.

"Everything was planned out really awesome," Hague said. "I think that if there was any doubt in the minds of those players who were coming to BYU that might have thought they might not end up at BYU, then the trip took the doubt away."

One such recruit was Romney Fuga who was selected by Los Angeles Times as the Southern California lineman of the year, an honor reserved for the best linemen in the southland. Fuga was selected over USC's four star recruiting prospect Alex Parsons of Woodbridge High School of Irvin, California.

"I know Romney Fuga committed and I know the trip changed him," Hague said. "Everybody I talked to about BYU and their thoughts about it said that ever since they've been here it's just gotten cooler and cooler, and that was a lot of guys that I had been talking to."

Throughout his weekend experience, Hague was able to meet and get to know more about the recruits BYU is pursuing. He felt everyone had a good time on their trip.

"I really didn't have any in depth conversations with any of the recruits," said Hague. "I do know that Pauli Latu was stoked about the whole thing. He's committed to Utah, but I guess their recruiting trip was this week too or something like that, and I was like, ‘Well, if he's down here and their recruiting trip is going on too, then I think he's enjoying the whole thing.' A couple of times when we were snowmobiling he would just stop and say, ‘You know this is the life.'

"So we all got to know each other really well and it was a good time. On Friday night we all went to a dance and had fun. It wasn't the kind of dance that you hear about on other recruiting trips where a lot of bad things happen. It was a UVSC sponsored dance where there was nothing bad going on, and I think a lot of the recruits respected that. At first there were a couple of guys who seemed a little home sick, but after awhile we all got away and went to Boondocks and had a blast. I don't think there was anyone there that didn't have fun."

Another prize LDS recruit who was in attendance was Crespi High School defensive tackle and offensive line prospect Sione Fua.

"You know what, Sione isn't a man of a lot of words," chuckled Hague. "He's a pretty quiet kid but I think he likes BYU. I know he likes Cal because he told me that. He said right now his favorite is Cal, but I hope he comes to BYU because that guy is a tank. You can just tell he's an athletic kid."

One recruit Hague knows very well and has formed a good relationship with is another top high school running back, Cottonwood High School star Stanley Havili. Hague and Havili had a good time together while visiting BYU.

"Me and Stanley are actually really good friends," said Hague. "We pretty much hung out all day last Saturday. The great thing about BYU's offense is they use two backs so he and I talked about that, and you know I'm not going to twist his arm and tell him to come to BYU. I'm going to let him make his own decision and I'm not going to try and have too much influence on him, but I think he feels like it's at home at BYU to him. I think he feels home there. He and I are really good friends and we had about an hour and a half between coaches meetings and dinner."

The two Utah running backs were spunky and spontaneous together seemingly using the time they had to trip together to have fun while it lasted.

"We went over to the drill competition at UVSC together," said Hague. "Me, Stanley, James Lark and Sione Fua ran over there for a minute to support our schools drill teams during a competition. It was fun because me and Stanley can just do things like that. I don't know if James and Sione had much fun, but me and Stanley made if fun for ourselves."

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