Top QB Picks BYU over Pac-10, Utes

There was big news in the BYU football camp this morning. The coaches received a commitment from an athlete who will man the highest profile position at Quarterback U. BYU's newest commitment for the recruiting class of 2007 will be used to the spotlight when he arrives in Provo because he is already one of the top rated prep QBs in the country.

Jason Munns is a 6-foot-5, 225-pound prospect who plays for Southridge High School in Kennewick, Washington. He started at quarterback for the last two seasons at a school that competes in the highest classification in Washington.. In each of his first two years, Munns passed for over 2000 yards and threw over 30 touchdowns. More importantly, he helped his team to a 20-4 as a starter.

Although Munns earned all-Big 9 honors in football, he excels in other areas as well. He maintains a 3.8 grade point average and stars for his high school basketball team as well. Munns has football scholarship offers from Utah, Washington State and Arizona State along with BYU. He has great size and athleticism in addition to being blessed with a strong arm. Munns's 4.72 forty time give him excellent mobility for such a big athlete.

"I'm very excited to have the chance to play for a great program and help return that program to where it once was and where it should be," said Munns. "Coach Mendenhall is a great coach with a vision, and to be a part of what he's doing is something I really wanted."

Munns did not have BYU on or even near the top of the list when the recruiting process started in earnest this spring. However, after learning more about the program and what BYU had to offer, Munns' interest sky-rocketed to the point that earlier this morning he committed to sign a letter of intent with BYU next February.

"It wasn't that I didn't like BYU, I just didn't know all that much about the school, the facilities and the coaching staff," Munns explained. "After learning about everything they had to offer, my interest in them went way up."

The multi-talented athlete made the trek to the BYU spring game with a bunch of other recruits. He credits that visit as the thing that sparked his interest in the Cougar program.

"I was just very impressed with the facilities after seeing that they were as good as any in the nation," said Munns. "I loved the environment, the people, and I really liked the coaching staff. Just seeing what BYU was up close really opened my eyes and I left having them as one of my two favorites with Washington State."

College players will spend more time with their position coach than with any other member of the coaching staff. For that reason, a recruits relationship with his position coach means a lot to his decision. Munns credited BYU's quarterbacks coach, Brandon Doman, as a huge reason why BYU became one of his favorites schools. "I really liked Coach Doman during junior day," said Munns. "He's a guy I really hit it off well with. I love how young he is, how energetic and enthusiastic he is, and he's just a really great person and a great coach. He's exactly the type of position coach you want."

Munns was no less effusive in his praise for Cougar Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall. Like so many other recruits, Munns appreciated that Coach Mendenhall did not pull any punches or sugarcoat any aspect of the recruiting process.

"Coach Mendenhall is just as straight-up as it comes," said Munns. "He doesn't mess around and he spends no time getting right to the point. He was the one who really let me know about what BYU was. He told me mostly about the spiritual and educational things about attending BYU rather than football, which is something I liked a lot."

Of course the offer proffered to Munns was one to play football and Munns feels he can realize his goals in regards to football while at BYU. Said Munns,

"BYU is returning to where they once were," said Munns. "It's a program on the rise to be sure and I'm catching it at the right time. It was so obvious to me when talking to players and coaches that things are only going to get better at BYU in the coming years."

Munns is LDS, but doesn't have definite mission plans at this point. He is attracted to BYU because he will have the chance to play at a school where the students and coaches share his faith and my beliefs. It will be a change for Munns because he grew up with friends that were but were good people, but not LDS.

An Early Squeeze

Although he left his visit to BYU feelings good enough about the school to put it on equal footing with Washington State, Munns did not plan on committing anytime soon. He intended to wait for is options to develop and then choose the school that would suit him best. Recruiting can be a tricky game, however, and plans can change in an instant.

"I had a message to call BYU on Friday, so I did and talked mostly with Coach Doman," recounted Munns. "He explained to me that they were in a tight situation in that they only wanted to sign one quarterback this year, but that the other quarterback they liked besides me, Griff Robles, was set to make his decision this next Monday and that I could really help them out in regards to what they chose to do by making an early decision. They didn't pressure me at all, just explained the situation and were straight up and honest with me."

Early in the recruiting process, BYU coaches told Munns that if he signed with BYU, he would be the only quarterback BYU signed in 2007. The Cougar staff informed Munns that they wanted to hold true to their promise, but they also wanted to cover themselves in case he decided to sign elsewhere.

"I really appreciate that they didn't hide anything from me," said Munns. "I respect that and that was a big reason as to why I committed to them today. They put all their faith in me and I really appreciated that."

Grandpa Knows Best

The decision to commit to BYU did not come to Munns immediately after his conversation with Coach Doman. He did not make up his mind until he talked things through with his grandfather.

"My grandpa is someone who I respect a lot and someone I can always go to and get good, solid advice," said Munns. "My parents encouraged me to go sit down and talk with his grandpa Sunday morning to discuss where I should sign and what I should do."

Interestingly, it was counsel from Munns' grandfather about life beyond football that led the four-star signal caller decide to commit to BYU.

"He just sat me down and told me what was most important," said Munns. "He asked me to think of what was most important outside of football. He told me to look at long-term goals—not just about playing football, which is temporary, but goals about raising a family, building character and all of that stuff. He made it very clear to me what my decision should be based on. Football is only part of what I should look at in choosing where to sign and attend school."

After the discussion with his grandfather, Munns felt it was clear that he should commit to BYU. "I called the coaches and told them of my decision and was very comfortable with it," said Munns. "BYU is the right place for me and the place that can help me realize my athletic goals, but more importantly my spiritual goals. BYU is the place where I can best achieve the things that will help me build and raise a family as best as I can."

Back to Football

Munns will bring a wealth of football experience to Provo. When he graduates next spring, he will have been a starting quarterback for four years.

"I just started playing and working hard and started for the JV team as a freshman and went on from there," said Munns. "I started as a sophomore and last season as a junior. I feel I played well both seasons.

"I'm 6-5 and 225, so I have a great build for succeeding at quarterback. Being big helps me see the field well and I have a strong arm that lets me make passes that I otherwise probably wouldn't be able to if I weren't as big. I also have good mobility."

Munns is quick to point out that physical abilities are not the only reason that he excels as a quarterback. He credits his grandparents and father for instilling a work ethic in him that is the most important element of his success.

"Both my grandparents are incredible workers," explained Munns. "They just go hard at everything they do and they passed that on to my father who is the hardest working man I know. He gives it his all in everything he does and that is what has been my best example in becoming the player I am today. It's hard work that led to whatever success I've had, and I plan on working even harder heading into my senior season and into college.

"I will do whatever it takes to bring BYU back to where it should be. Hard work is the key, and I will work as hard as I can to become the player and the type of person that will represent the university and the Church well. I want BYU fans to know that I'm someone who they can be proud of to have as a part of their program."

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