Clip Review

Many fans were able to attend Wednesday's signing day luncheon, where they were able to view clips of all 21 new recruits. Others were not able to attend and have little idea how most of the signing class looks on film. Yours truly was there, and while I've seen extensive film on most of the recruits, it was my first opportunity to see some of the later commits. Here are some of my impressions.

You should never judge a book by its cover, and going on just what you see on film in three-to-five clips can't come close to giving one a full and accurate assessment of the potential of any given recruit. In many instances, however, it does give a brief glimpse into what their abilities and potential are, and there were obviously a lot of opinions formed on what people saw during the luncheon. All highlight reels aren't created equal, however, and there are certainly a number of players whose highlight reels probably didn't give the best glimpse into what their abilities and potential are, while others did well to do just that.

My favorite example of this would be Dallas Reynolds, whose film was shown at a past luncheon and may have been the worst "highlight" reel I've ever seen. Reynolds obviously went on to start for all four of his years in the program and earned multiple All-Conference and All-American honors, which proves that you certainly can't judge a book by its cover.

Lee Aguirre 5-9, 190 CB

This was my second opportunity to see Aguirre on film and I really liked what I saw. His film showed he has an ability to make plays, as a lot of his clips included him blocking kicks. Aguirre also showed good instincts and good tackling ability.

Cougar Comparison: A bit bigger, yet a bit slower, version of Justin Robinson.

Terry Alletto 6-3, 260 OL

What jumps out at you when watching Alletto is how technically sound he is for a high school offensive lineman. It's obvious when watching his film that he was very well coached in high school, and will join the program this fall more ready to compete immediately for a spot because of it.

Cougar Comparison: Alletto reminds me a lot of Ryan Freeman, who broke the two-deep roster as a true freshman and will be rejoining the team this fall.

Jordan Atkinson 6-3, 235 LB

I haven't liked the clips I've seen on Atkinson because they just don't show me much regarding his overall abilities. Most of his clips show Atkinson running unabated to the opposing quarterback when recording sacks, which is fun to watch but really doesn't give much of an indication of his overall abilities. I'll be anxiously watching Atkinson come spring practice, as I really don't have a feel for what his potential is.

Cougar Comparison: Coleby Clawson.

Trevor Bateman 5-11, 185 CB

Bateman showed to be a playmaker with very good speed and agility in his clips that were shown Wednesday. He was recruited heavily by Pac-10 schools and it's easy to see why when watching his clips. Bateman did a little bit of everything for his high school team, which attests to his overall ability.

Cougar Comparison: Chad Barney.

Craig Bills 6-2, 205 S

There is no signee that I've seen more film on than Craig Bills, so what I saw Wednesday was not a surprise. Bills simply closes faster and hits harder than any high school safety I've ever seen. He will do extremely well at BYU at either strong safety or outside linebacker, or even inside linebacker considering his abilities.

Cougar Comparison: Aaron Francisco.

Thomas Bryson 6-5, 230 DE

Bryson led the state of Utah in sacks, and it was easy to see why when viewing the footage that was provided at the luncheon. He showed great mobility for someone of his stature with good natural pass-rushing skills that a lot of linemen don't acquire until well into their college careers. He will most likely play defensive end, but I do think there is an outside chance that he could play outside linebacker.

Cougar Comparison: Brett Denney.

Tui Crichton 6-4, 280 OL

Crichton showed very good feet and very good strength in his highlight reels. What Crichton also showed was that he has some work to do technique-wise, and sitting out his senior season with an injury didn't help in that regard. Crichton will obviously receive a lot of good coaching with his technique while at BYU. That should help him reach his upside, which is quite high.

Cougar Comparison: Dallas Reynolds.

Jray Galea'i 6-0, 170 DB

I really liked what I saw in Galea'i's brief clips that were shown during the luncheon. He showed he has a very good nose for the ball, as well as good coverage instincts and above-average tackling ability. Galea'i also showed a knack for taking the right coverage and tackling angles, which is extremely important for a defensive back. He is versatile and could very well play boundary cornerback while at BYU.

Cougar Comparison: A more athletic version of Scott Johnson.

Anthony Heimuli 5-11, 225 RB

Heimuli showed in his clips to be a very good straight-ahead runner who isn't afraid of contact. He has some decent mobility for a player of his size and will most likely be making his way at the fullback position. Coach Tidwell mentioned that there were several players signed this year who could be moved to linebacker, and Heimlui could certainly be one of those.

Cougar Comparison: Manase Tonga.

Adam Hine 6-1, 175 RB

Hine is an incredible athlete who has gone underrated since he committed almost a full two years ago. His clips showed him to be a superior athlete with a great combination of speed, strength and football instincts. Hine shows the instincts of a Curtis Brown, in that he doesn't waste excess movement in getting to where he needs to cut or get to on a football field.

Cougar Comparison: Curtis Brown.

Cody Hoffman 6-4, 200 WR

Among those in the 2009 recruiting class, Hoffman is the athlete I've seen the least of and subsequently know the least about. Indeed, the signing day luncheon was my first opportunity to see him in action. It was easy to see that he has great size and very good movement for that size, although the competition he was seen going against was quite poor. I think Hoffman is very intriguing unknown recruit who could very well switch over to defense, although he looks to play receiver initially.

Cougar Comparison: Dan Van Sweden, who also signed as an athlete who was thought to play receiver while at BYU.

Brian Logan 5-8, 190 CB

I really liked what I saw from Logan in the clips shown at the luncheon. Logan showed to be a very physical-type cornerback who can take on blocks well and drop ball-carriers effectively in the open field. He also showed good coverage instincts and good feet.

Cougar Comparison: Ben Criddle.

Peni Maka'afi 5-11, 215 RB

Maka'afi could very well end up playing linebacker while at BYU, but for now looks to compete with Heimuli as a likely fullback prospect. Maka'afi is a punishing, straight-ahead runner who catches the ball very well. He's very good at taking on contact and rolling with that contact.

Cougar Comparison: Matt Ah You.

Mitch Mathews 6-5, 195 WR

Mathews showed in his clips to be someone who uses his size very well, as most of his highlights were of him hauling in fade passes over smaller defenders. He also has great hands and is technically sound coming in.

Cougar Comparison: Mathews' high school film reminded me a lot of Andrew George when he was coming out of high school.

Ryan Mulitalo 6-3, 285 OL

Mulitalo does not have a lot of experience as an offensive lineman, and it showed during his clips. Nevertheless, his athleticism is very apparent and coaches will have a great palette to work with in Mulitalo. He could be a candidate to switch to defensive tackle in the future.

Cougar Comparison: R.J. Willing.

Remington Peck 6-5, 215 athlete

Peck's clips didn't show much, as he made a few easy interceptions but didn't show much in the way of lateral pursuit, shedding blocks or open-field movement. Peck is someone coaches can do a lot with and could play any number of positions while at BYU, although he'll most likely end up playing outside linebacker.

Cougar Comparison: This is a tough one, but Peck does remind me a bit of Matt Putnam.

Brett Thompson 6-3, 210 WR

Thompson has it all and showed it all in his brief highlight clips. He has very good size and open-field movement and instincts. He also showed enough straight-ahead speed, which goes along very effectively with his superior size. Thompson could very well be an immediate contributor on this year's team.

Cougar Comparison: O'Neill Chambers.

Fono Vakalahi 6-4, 320 OL

Vakalahi starred in a very tough Texas division and more than held his own. He's somewhere in between Alletto and Crichton in regards to being technically sound coming into the Division I ranks. One thing that he needs to do that jumped out to me in his clips, and something that Coach Weber will likely be yelling at him to do initially, is keeping his pad level down. Overall Vakalahi is a very solid prospect.

Cougar Comparison: Travis Bright.

Kyle Van Noy 6-4, 205 OLB

Van Noy is a very good and versatile athlete, as he showed during his clips. Van Noy is certainly someone who could have come in to contribute and even start immediately, but after his well-publicized off-the-field difficulties, his joining of the team will be delayed until at least the 2010 season.

Cougar Comparison: Bryan Kehl.

Brad Wilcox 6-7, 265 OL

Wilcox showed in his clips to have amazing mobility for someone of his stature. You could tell that he had some great coaching in high school, as he was pretty technically sound. Wilcox knows how to use his advantages effectively, and his main advantage is and will be his huge wingspan that he uses well to fend off would-be tacklers.

Cougar Comparison: David Oswald.

Richard Wilson 6-3, 222 TE

When viewing his clips, it's easy to see why Wilson acquired so much national attention. Wilson showed a dominating field presence in his clips, and he made plays just about every time he touched the football.

Cougar Comparison: Daniel Coats.


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