Northridge Athlete One To Watch

BYU and a number of other schools have identified a talented wide receiver prospect for the 2012 recruiting class. He's received many letters, participated in a 7-on-7 camp last year, and has received Junior Day and summer camp invites to various schools this summer.

Brent Wortman is a 6-foot-1-inch, 170-pound athlete that will be a junior this upcoming season for Northridge High School in Layton, Utah. A 16-year-old prospect, Wortman was utilized by his team in a number of ways this past season.

"My squat is 265 and my bench is 205. My vertical is 30.5 and my pro agility is 432. My coaches played me at a bunch of different positions last season. They put me at wide receiver, strong safety, punt returner, kick returner, and I played a little bit of running back."

Wortman, a humble and unassuming young man, isn't quite sure why his coaches have asked him to play many different positions.

"I don't know why, to get the ball in my hands I guess," he said. "They just put me at different areas to see what I could do. We had around six or seven playmakers on the team, but the ball went to me most of the time. It kind of sucks after a while though because then teams start double- and triple-teaming you."

It's not surprising that Wortman's coaches have tried him out at various positions, given how he has performed out on the football field. He remembers the day the double- and triple-teams started coming, and despite the added attention from the opposing defense, he was still very productive.

"I scored four touchdowns and had over 400-and-something yards in one game," Wortman recalled. "In the championship game the next game, I had two catches for 52 yards."

This past season, Wortman's offensive stats were pretty impressive as he played both on the junior varsity and varsity football teams in the 5A division.

"I had 52 receptions last season for 1,112 yards," Wortman said. "I had 11 touchdowns and ran the ball four times for 52 yards. I got all of my touchdowns as a receiver. I did pretty good. We had really, really good receivers on the varsity team. I was mostly a backup in case someone went down. I did play on the varsity team against Bonneville, Logan and a little bit against Syracuse."

His numbers as a safety aren't too shabby either.

"As a safety I had eight pass breakups, five interceptions, 42 tackles with 17 for a loss, two sacks and four forced fumbles," he said. "I'm a little taller with really good hands for my age. My coach played me in a cover-two and [I] was able to read the quarterback to go up and get the ball."

After his sophomore year, Wortman received some letters, questionnaires and other materials from various colleges.

"Oregon has been showing a lot of interest and Colorado has been showing a ton," he said. "I've gotten a lot of letters from Colorado and from Oregon. Ohio State sent me a video of their last two bowl games they've been to. I wasn't sure they could do that until my junior year, you know. I've received some interest from some Division III colleges and Penn State has shown some. Florida, Texas and Utah have shown a little bit of interest."

Wortman said BYU's standards make the Cougar program an attractive possibility for him.

"I'm not LDS, but them showing interest in me says a lot and I think it's an honor," Wortman said. "Character and the honor code, that creates people. That's something that helps [influence] you for the rest of your life and become a better person. I really like their program and obviously I want to be the best I can be. I want to be the best person and make the best decision when I need to. I want to be the best football player I can be. I want to be able to make the best decision on the field, and [in] the outside world. I think football teaches you a lot about life and the outside world."

Living in northern Utah, the Wortman family has traditionally cheered for the University of Utah. However, Brent Wortman has nevertheless shown some interest in BYU.

"Yeah, we grew up Utah fans, but I think BYU has a really good program," he said. "Over the years, BYU has had a really good passing game and I really like their offense. They have an offense that I'm kind of looking for. I'm looking for a program that airs it out and that's what BYU does. I think there are only one out of 100 kids that go Division I, and so for BYU to take an interest in me is an honor. I just think it's a great honor."

Wortman was able to meet BYU running back coach Lance Reynolds last year. It was the first time Wortman had ever been approached by a college coach.

"I was able to talk to him for a little bit after he came up to me during a 7-on-7 camp at BYU last year," Wortman said. "He asked me how old I was and if I was going to play on the varsity team. He asked Coach Thompson what he thought about me and what kind of a player I would be, things like that. He asked if I was going to be attending any of BYU's camps for this year."

Wortman was able to display his talent at that camp last year.

"The BYU 7-on-7 was kind of like a varsity deal, and so when I was asked by Coach Thompson to go up there with them I went," Wortman said. "I ended up starting even though I was so young. I ended up starting against these varsity corners and getting the team to the next game. I think that is what made me stand out over everybody else. I think that's why the BYU coach talked with me and my coach."

When it comes to colleges, there are three things Wortman is looking at.

"I want to get a good education because that will set you up for the rest of your life," said Wortman. "I feel a good environment would be the second thing. I like to put myself in the right places where I'm not going to be pressured and distract me from the thing I love, and that's football. I would want to be at a place where I can stay focused. The third thing would be a good football program and tradition they have, what kind of formations they run and things like that."

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