Wilson Enjoys Day of Activities

Spanish Fork High School star athlete Richard Wilson was at BYU last Saturday not just for the annual Blue and White Game, but also for BYU's Junior Day that hosted a number of recent commits and players that have been offered.

The recent Blue and White Game was a good opportunity for the Cougar coaches to hold a Junior Day. Many players that signed with the class of 2008 were there, as were many scholarship prospects for the class of 2009.

"It started around 10:30 in the morning and there were around 10 or 11 of us that were there," Richard Wilson said. "The Junior Day was just for kids that had been offered or had already signed. Coach Mendenhall spoke to us about the program and stuff."

Following the meeting with Coach Mendenhall, the new Cougars and potential future Cougars were able to see various parts of the campus.

"We all got into the cars with the coaches and went to the animation building," Wilson said. "We watched a little production that the BYU students made over there. Pixar and Disney was there just this past week. They have a really big-time animation department over there and we got to watch some of the animation productions that were made over there. It was really cool."

Following the fun at BYU's animation department, the recruits were taken to the Hinckley Center to listen to well-known LDS author and lecturer John Bytheway speak.

"[Bytheway] talked to us about BYU and why we should consider coming there," said Wilson. "He also talked to us about the religious classes that we can all take if we come to BYU."

Soon, everyone went on down to the annex building and had lunch, and after everyone's stomachs were filled, the gridiron warriors all walked down to watch the spring game together.

"We all went down and watched the players warm up," Wilson said. "I thought it was really good and I loved the practice. It was kind of weird not seeing the starters in, but Coach Mendenhall spoke to us about that and said that it was a chance for the other guys to get a chance to compete for a spot. So it was really fun to watch and I really like BYU and it just seems like they have a good team, it looks like.

"I watched a lot of the tight ends and just watched their routes and what things they did. The players were very intense and just fired up.

"After that we kind of talked to the other players about some stuff. Then they had a dinner for all the players, their parents and us to go to after that."

According to Wilson, the recent signees and current recruits that were in attendance included Austin Holt, Michael Alisa, Justin Sorensen, Garrett Nicholson, Shiloah Te'o, Brock Stringham, Xavier Su'afilo, Latu Hemuli, Bronson Kaufusi and Ricky Heimuli.

BYU scholarship offer recipients Wilson and Su'afilo have become very close friends over the past few months.

"[Su'afilo's] mother used to work with my dad back in the days, and after Junior Day we were just text messaging each other and just started to hang out," said Wilson. "We've just started hanging out a lot lately. We've been coming closer over this past month."

The two potential Cougars even went golfing at Spanish Oaks Golf Course together.

"[Su'afilo is] a pretty good golfer and can drive the ball really far," said Wilson. "On a par four, he drove the ball out onto the green today. He would have had an eagle but he missed his putt."

So who's the better golfer between the two new friends?

"He's a better hitter than I am but I can putt better," said Wilson with a laugh. "I beat him because I'm the more complete golfer, but he can hit the ball much farther than I can."

BYU had been recruiting Wilson since last summer and had offered him a scholarship a few months ago. A few days after receiving the offer from BYU, Wilson also received an offer a from the University of Utah.

"[Utah] offered me during their Junior Day," said Wilson. "I spoke to Coach Whittingham and he told me that they were really interested in me. He also told me to take my time and to wait and make the right decision, stuff like that. Utah has really started recruiting me hard and they've been sending me about two or three letters a day."

Now that he has two offers from both major in-state universities, Wilson will be evaluating each to see what both have to offer.

"BYU's program has definitely gone up in the past couple of years," Wilson said. "Utah after the Fiesta Bowl really didn't go up like they should have, but BYU is definitely going forward. Both schools have awesome coaches and players, but there is a little bit difference in standards at BYU. BYU is heading in the right direction, whereas Utah is trying to rebuild to where BYU is going."

Wilson also understands that in order to be considered worthy of a scholarship from BYU, one must meet more requirements than simply being a good football player.

"BYU is definitely not like any other place," said Wilson. "The way the players are living and the honor code at BYU, plays a big part in the difference between their program and anywhere else. You can grow so much at BYU. You have to be a good kid and live a life like you know you should. You have to be a certain person in order to be able to play football at BYU."

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