Outside Linebacker Gets First Offer From BYU

He's quick, aggressive, likes to hit and pursues the ball with Mendenhall-like effort and tenacity. He also has received his first full-ride scholarship offer from the Cougar head coach and his staff at BYU.

Out of Serra High School in San Mateo, California is one tough and aggressive football player by the name of J.P. Hurrell. Hurrell, who is of Tongan and British decent, has made it through the BYU Cougar staff's extensive character, talent and academic evaluations and made the cut.

"I'm about 5'11" right now and 192," Hurrell said. "I run about a 4.6 forty and my last shuttle time was a 3.9. I can bench 275 and the last time I squatted was last season which was around 460 and my clean was 245. I work out with some of my teammates."

As a sophomore, Hurrell had over 100 tackles and as a junior racked up around 80, averaging eight tackles a game.

"I like to think of myself as a team player and if I have to I'll be a leader and take on that roll," said Hurrell. "I'll take on the lead blocker so my teammates can make the tackle. I'll take on those linemen so my teammates can make the plays. I'll do those kinds of things but if I have to I'll hit someone really hard. I love to hit people.

"Hitting someone and playing running back are some of my favorite things to do. I used to play running back in Pop Warner. I used to play running back a little bit but this past year I just focused on playing defense.

"I was First Team All-League, First Team All-County [and] Linebacker of the Year."

When the coaches of BYU evaluate talent, every aspect of that recruit is evaluated and measured in regards to BYU and Mendenhall's program philosophy, whether LDS or not. Hurrell, who is Methodist, passed the evaluation process with flying colors and was offered a coveted scholarship from the Cougar coaching staff.

"I just got offered by BYU," said Hurrell. "I think their beliefs in general and how they do things aren't much different than at Serra [High School], so I think I do what they ask if I attend that school. I'm pretty involved with my church as well as with my school and football. I go to church every Sunday and I participate with my church group. I just try to be as involved with my church activities as I am with my schooling and my football activities. I go to the United Methodist [Church] and most of the kids are all Polynesians."

Along with receiving attention from the Cougars of BYU, Hurrell is also receiving letters from other Division I colleges.

"Yeah, I've gotten letters from Arizona State, Stanford and I got one from USC," Hurrell said. "I got one from Washington and a lot of other D-1 schools. I sent out my film to a lot of colleges."

The religious environment at BYU, where athletes can be in an environment conducive to faith-building and spiritual growth, is an attractive aspect of the college experience for Hurrell.

"Yeah it is because I think it's just going to build my faith and make me stronger," Hurrell said. "I like that."

Another attractive aspect about BYU is the many Polynesians that are currently on the roster. Along with the University of Hawaii, BYU has one of the longest-standing traditions among Division I football for being a place for Polynesian athletes, a tradition that extends back and possibly beyond 1955 when Famika Anae from the North Shore in Hawaii first came to Provo, Utah. This aspect of BYU is another attraction for Hurrell.

"There are a lot of Polynesian kids there that I'll be around and get along with," said Hurrell. "I know they've got a bunch of crazy Polynesian kids over there. I watched a couple of their games on TV and from what I've seen they have a pretty good team. It's a team that I could see myself playing for. I think I can get along with all the Poly players and I think this could be a good bond that I could work with."

After he received his first scholarship offer from the Cougars of BYU, Hurrell went out and celebrated the occasion over dinner with his family.

"Oh I was pretty excited," Hurrell said. "My family and I went and ate out and everyone was excited."

So what does his family think about BYU?

"They like it and they'll support me in my decision on whatever I want to do," said Hurrell. "They support in whatever decision I make."

Hurrell has already visited Stanford's campus and plans on coming to Provo for an unofficial visit in April.

"I visited Stanford's campus…around the beginning of the school year," said Hurrell. "I visited with the coaches and met the team and it was pretty cool. I haven't visited BYU's campus yet but I'm going to visit the campus in April."


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