The Run to Signing Day

It's babysitting time for BYU football coaches as they tie up loose ends in this year's recruiting wars. There's one fish to catch and possibly one to lose, but everyone else looks solid...

For BYU, the waiting is the hardest part.

The Class of 2003 is all but put to bed as the coaches await Ofa's decision which will be announced on Signing Day, next Wednesday which is actually the first day players can fax and/or mail in letters of intent.

Many don't know that recruits have until April to sign... every year an odd player or two will wait upwards of 2-3 weeks before making the tough call.

But don't expect that to happen with anyone BYU is recruiting. Ofa Mohetua, the Texas line stud who is down to BYU, ASU and Miami, reportedly has told some journalists he knows which of the trio will get his services.

The call here is BYU, a no-brainer since Ofa's been quoted by sources such as TotalBlueSports.com that he's leaning to the Mtn. West school.

BYU's philosophy is to not push, just to wait and let Ofa decide without being pressured.

While BYU coaches feel, and rightly so, they've done all that was humanly possible to win over Ofa, there is the fear an odd player or two could bolt to somewhere else.

The most likely to do that is Villi Nauahi, the stud safety from Kahuku, Hawaii, who committed to BYU on his trip and then took an official trip to UH and is now debating whether he should stay on the Islands or not.

Not to, ahem, toot my horn (OK, if you insist...), but remember my prediction before the Jan. 17 weekend that BYU would get one of the two Hawaii prospects in that weekend, but probably not both?

It wasn't based on any inside info, it's just that Hawaii prospects are notorious for waffling on commits, especially when it comes to the hated Cougars, because of all the local pressure to stay and play for the Bows.

That being said, I think Villi will stick to his BYU commit; Cougar coaches privately are saying they have no reason to believe he'll switch and haven't heard anything from the family to make them think otherwise.

So what's left? Not much really, just some last minute babysitting... for example, Steve Kaufusi and Gary Crowton went over to Hawaii to visit the pair of verbals there and Mike Empey is over there now reportedly checking out prospects for next year and on hand to root on three Cougars playing in the Hula Bowl: Reno Mahe, Dustin Rykert and Gab Reid.

Kaufusi has been busy also, visiting Ofa this week.

The other coaches are also checking in on committed prospects and starting to compile lists for next year. Why not? There's nothing else to do, really.

Finally, I've been asked what can coached do or not do in the last week. Here's the rundown: up until Saturday night everything is a go... players can still take official visits which mostly is taking place in the South.

Sunday is a Quiet Day, meaning players can still be on campus for a visit and can travel home, but coaches have to start pulling back what they can do.

Monday starts the Dead Period, meaning no in-face campus visits, either at the university or at the high school.

However, coaches can still call recruits and you can bet your favorite long-distance carrier will make a mint Tuesday night as college coaches try to pin down the undecided and keep tabs on the ones in the fold.


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