BYU Among Schools Eyeing California QB

BYU and several other schools have shown early interest in a prospect that started for his high school varsity team at the age of only 14 years old. Last month at the Berkeley Elite 11 West Regional, Jonathan Jerozal was named one of the top five 2012 quarterback prospects and one of the more athletic quarterbacks in attendance by ESPN Rise writer Michael White.

Now 15 years old and looking towards his junior year, quarterback Jonathan Jerozal - who comes in at about 6 feet, 180 pounds - is the starting quarterback for Canyon Country High School in California. Although young in age, Jerozal was named the quarterback MVP for the National Underclassmen Football Combine held in Los Angeles recently.

Jezoral's style of play seems to fit what BYU typically looks for in quarterbacks.

"I'm more of a pocket passer and more of a pro-style quarterback, but I pretty much do whatever it takes to get the job done," he said. "If they need me to run, then I'll run to get the first down. I'll do whatever it takes. BYU and Oregon would fit me from what I've seen."

As Jezoral said, he can run but is more of a pass-first quarterback.

"I think I ran a 4.48 forty and I think a 4.3 5-10-5 shuttle," Jezoral said. "I had 2,124 passing yards last season and 12 passing touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns. I had around 130 rushing yards."

Despite his youth, a number of schools have started to show interest in Jezoral.

"Right now, the main schools recruiting me are BYU, UCLA and Oregon right now," Jerozal said. "Also, Nebraska a little bit too. I don't have any scholarship offers at the moment, but I'm taking a trip up to Oregon on June 28th for a workout there. I'm going to meet with the coaches and I'm pretty excited about that. It's pretty much just the same thing I did when I was at BYU on Junior Day. I was just at UCLA's Elite Camp last Sunday, and they showed a little interest in me. They knew who I was when I showed up there, but I definitely felt the love at BYU."

Jerozal had very good things to say about his Junior Day experience at BYU.

"It was awesome and I loved the campus and the coaches," Jerozal said. "It was my first campus visit this year and I enjoyed it a lot. I wouldn't mind going to school there and definitely had a great time there. We had our Junior Day out on the practice field and in the indoor practice facility. Going into that indoor practice facility was like, wow! I think they said it was the biggest one in the country or something like that. It definitely got my head turning. Once I was inside and figured out what it was, wow!"

Jerozal was impressed with more than just the facilities.

"Everything was good and every expectation I had in mind, BYU lived up to," he said. "The people there were great, really nice and very friendly. The coaches were awesome and the players were awesome and everything was just great. Coach Doman is a fantastic guy and coach. I mean, he was so helpful and told me what he would like to see me work on for my second year [of high school football].

"I knew a little bit about BYU, but after I got there that day I knew more about the school than I did before I got there. They take everything very serious there. They take everything straight up and you have to follow and live up to the rules and standards. Everything is good there and there aren't really any bad people there. Nobody wants to get kicked out of school for doing anything bad. All of the people there were nice and the coaches were great. It was a lot different than being in California, I would say. I liked how it felt."

While on BYU's campus, Jerozal took the opportunity to talk to a Canyon Country High School alum in Cougar running back J.J. Di Luigi.

"Yeah, I did and I asked him how school life was like there at BYU, and what it was like being a starting running back there," Jerozal said. "He said it was a dream come true for him being there, and basically from what he said I would love to go to school there. He gave me some good information about it and said that the coaches love him and that they treat him as if he was their own son. I mean, everybody around there is big on BYU football and like one big family there."

Di Luigi was instrumental in Canyon Country beating powerhouse De La Salle High School for the 2006 state championship game, and is sort of a local legend back home after that performance.

"I know he was the main player that game and I know he carried everybody," said Jerozal. "He was the man. I've known J.J. for a while ever since he came to school here when I was in junior high. Based on how long I've known him, I'm sure he'll do fine."

When Jerozal got on campus, both Di Luigi and Coach Mendenhall helped filled him in on the principles of BYU's program.

"When we first got there Coach Mendenhall wrote on the board, ‘faith,' ‘family' and ‘football.' He put it this way: 'If you don't have faith, you won't believe in your family. If you don't have family, you won't have anyone to support you in what you love to do, and that's football.' J.J. pretty much backed that up and said as long as you follow the standards and live by the rules and live straight, you'll be good."

Jerozal said he really likes the principles he was taught about at BYU.

"I'm very happy with everything that I heard there. It was just so straight up, and if you don't like it, Coach Mendenhall said this is the wrong place for you because there is only one school that offers everything they have to offer there at BYU. I mean as soon as he started talking about that, I loved it. I really liked it a lot. It's way different than other places."

Jerozal, like Di Luigi, is a member of the Catholic faith. So while he isn't LDS, Jerozal appreciates the strong values that BYU promotes.

"When I talked to J.J., he said that ever since he's gotten there at BYU he's grown into more of a better person," said Jerozal. "He said he's become a better man just because of how he's grown within his own faith. You don't necessarily have to become LDS, but because of the environment and how they try to help you become a better person you can really grow."

After his good experience at BYU, Jerozal said he is going to try and visit the Cougar campus one more time.

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