"It was a great chance for all of us to be together or at least most of us because we all believe in what BYU has to offer and that it's the best place for all of us," added California commit Zac Stout. "A lot of us already know each other, but it was great seeing everyone and how excited everyone was to be there at BYU."
Most of the recruits got to BYU around 10 a.m. on Friday and immediately took part in a series of meetings that went over what the BYU football program is all about.
"They call it ‘Mind, Body and Spirit,' and the meetings were all about achieving the best we can with each of those things," explained Stout. "They were great and taught us all how to be our best at all times and really focused on having no negatives in anything that we do."
The classes were taught by various professors at BYU, along with coaches and trainers.
"The first meeting was conducted by a guy named Jim Slaughter who went over the academics," said Gaines. "We then went to the weight room where the trainers went into detail about what training at BYU would be like and the goals, and then we met with Coach Mendenhall and our position coaches and they talked to us more about the team and how personal growth in all areas is the main purpose of the BYU football program."
So was any of this new to the recruits, or did it just emphasize the precepts they've already come to know and accept?
"Coach Mendenhall told me nothing new," said Gaines. "He didn't tell me anything that surprised me or anything else because he's a straightforward and honest man. That's the way he's been since day-one when I met him and it's one of the big reasons why I committed to BYU. He's honest and truthful with everything he says and he doesn't hold back, which I respect."
The recruits then ate dinner before spending some quality time with their official hosts to learn even more about the football program they committed to. Gaines was hosted by Blake Morgan, while Stout was shown around by Carter Mees.
"All the official hosts did a great job explaining things and letting us know anything we had questions about," said Stout.
The recruits then went to bed to rest up for what was the highlight of the trip for most of them, if not all of them.
"They took us out to go snowmobiling and that was definitely the best time I had out there while on my trip," related Gaines. "Our group was pretty good according to the guy who took us out on the sleds. There were some close calls with Tayo [Fabuluje] and some others, but he said we did fine."
The group followed up the snowmobiling by attending BYU's basketball matchup with Colorado State.
"That was a lot of fun," said Gaines. "I sat with Drew Phillips and Jordan Johnson and Drew really got into it. He's a big basketball player for his high school, so he really was cheering loud. Drew and Jordan are two guys that I've come to know before the trip through texting and Facebook, and we all want to room together when we get up to BYU. They're both great guys. Teu Kautai is another guy I've really become good friends with and meeting him for the first time, it was like we'd known each other for years."
"The guys I hung out with a lot were Jordan Black, Blair Tushaus, A.J. Moore and some others," added Stout. "Everyone got along great. We're a very tight group already that is going to do really well together."
As mentioned in a previous article, one other key person feels that this group of recruits is going to be something special.
"Coach Mendenhall flat out told us that we're the best group of recruits he's ever brought in," related Stout. "That's an honor hearing it from him and we all want to live up to that. I know that all of us will work as hard as we can to live up to our hype coming in."
"Hearing him say that really sticks with you," added Gaines about Mendenhall's comments. "He's a man of great honor and great integrity, so it means something when he says it. We're going to all work as hard as possible while living the honor code as it's been explained to help further benefit BYU's program. By doing that we'll become the players they recruited us to be. I can't wait to get going and I wish that I could get started there tomorrow, I really do."