All Quiet on the Recruiting Front

Historically, January and early February was the most anticipated time of the year for those uber-fans who follow the ins and outs of Cougar football recruiting. In the last year, however, the status quo for BYU football recruiting has changed dramatically. Under head coach Bronco Mendenhall, the majority of the recruiting drama in Provo played out before the football season even began.

TotalBlueSports.com was caught a little bit off guard last year when BYU received its first commit last February. When the Cougars had two more commits by the end of the month – it was clear that Bronco Mendenhall and company were up to something. When BYU's summer football camp rolled around – the time the first commits start coming in – 12 recruits had committed to be Cougars. The early success was reflective of a new BYU recruiting strategy that focused on identifying prospects early and making a strong early push for their services.

By the end of BYU's summer football camp, BYU coaches had 18 prime commits from the top in-state talent along with LDS and even non-LDS prospects out of state, who normally do not commit until much later. The Cougars were almost out of scholarships when the high school football season started in late August.

All that early recruiting success made things relatively boring of late here in the TBS recruiting coverage department. Instead of having a dozen prospects on speed dial so we can get the latest on the new commits, we are already closing the book on the class of 2007 and looking ahead to the next crop of prospective Cougars.

BYU is set to sign around 27 players from the high school and junior college ranks this Wednesday. For the first time since TBS started coving recruiting half a decade ago, there will not be few, if any, surprises when BYU announces its recruiting class in two days. Cougar recruiting shaped up quickly this year. The only big question remaining is how many 2008 commits will BYU have at the end of February this year?

A Whole New Timetable

February through June should continue to be the new December-January for BYU recruiting. In a recent radio interview, Coach Mendenhall stated that he will continue to make an early push for recruits, although he will likely hold a few more scholarships for late developing prospects.

This year, the Cougars basically got what they wanted in-state. The coaches found players who were not only good fits as hard-working, highly skilled athletes, but also as people who could thrive in BYU's unique culture and standards.

LOI Day will not be totally without suspense, however. Standout defensive lineman Christian Tupou expects to make an LOI day decision. Also, there is always the possibility of a Haloti Ngata-esque last minute defection to make things interesting.

So stick around. TBS will be the place for the most in depth analysis of the newest members of the Cougar football team, and as soon as the ink dries on the recruiting class of 2007, TBS will be there as things promise to pick up for the class of 2008.


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