28 June 2008

Cloudy Picture?

It looks like another recruit has joined the Cougar den as well for the 2009 class. This time it is Remington Peck from (TE/Bingham HS) South Jordan. He is listed as 6.5/215 and is definately wonderful addition. The 2009 recruiting class thus far is as follows:

Alletto, Terry (C) 6.3/260 Ponderosa HS/Parker CO
Bateman, Trevor 5.11/180 Palm Desert HS/Indio CA
Bills, Craig (S) 6.2/200 Timpview HS/Provo UT
Crichton, Tui (OG) 6.4/280 Timpview HS/Provo UT
Galea'i Jray (S) 6.0/170 Kahuku HS/Kahuku HI
Heimuli, Anthony (RB) 5.11/225 Mountain View HS/Orem UT
Maka'afi Peni (RB) 5.11/215 Northridge HS/Layton UT
Matthews, Mitch (WR) 6.5/195 Southridge HS/Beaverton OR
Nelson, Riley (QB) 6.1/195 Logan HS/Logan UT
Peck, Remington (TE) 6.5/215 Bingham HS/So Jordan UT
Timo, Adam (RB) 6.1/175 Snow Canyon HS/St George UT

From gathered information there was apparently a smaller number of schollies available this year but more recruits than what would have been anticipated. With the Cougs that is sometimes hard to determine considering the mission factor. As it appears the big names aren't giving out verbals and so the Y may not holding their breath but grabbing the quality recruits that already possess that desire to wear the Cougar blue. However, there could be the educational aspect of this situation with the "lack of schollies". Several players may have slipped quietly out of the Cougar den (some not so quiet). Ryan Kessman transferred (taking his Starbucks with him). David Angligau is possibly no longer with the team. As reported in the news Manase Tonga was declared academically ineligible. Matangi, well we'd love to see him back. Seta and Atem may not have qualified (cross our fingers and hope). Any thoughts on this cloudy picture? Would love to hear your thoughts on this situation.

27 June 2008

House Of Heimuli

Yet another has joined the fold and seen the light. The latest to give a verbal is Anthony Heimuli (5.11/225) from Mountain View HS. Sound familiar? Yes, that's from the same family name that has given Cougar fans the joy in watching Lakei (1983-86), Hema Heimuli (1992-95) as well as possible future recruit Latu Heimuli (6.4/305) four star defensive tackle from Highland HS. Last year Anthony ran for 781 yards at nearly 8 yds/carry. Heimuli even owns a 34" vertical. His coach Teko Johnson mentioned "He's pretty dang excited. It has always been a dream of his to get an offer from BYU". Anthony has said "BYU represents tradition, honor and service. They focus on other things other than football and that's what I liked about it". Always nice to see another amazing athletic goal orientated individual wear blue and white.

25 June 2008

Latest Cougars

There's a few more fresh faces in the Cougar den over the last little bit. Mitch Matthews/WR (6.5/195) from Southridge High School in Beaverton Oregon (following his brother's footsteps) and Trevor Bateman/CB (5.11/165) from Indio CA have recently committed in the 2009 class. On the other hand, Gifford Timothy/OT (6.6/280) from Middletown DE will join in the 2010 class. Welcome to the family! Look forward to seein you in Cougar blue!

24 June 2008

Schedule Preview

Even though the Cougars will be attacking the schedule one game at a time there's no reason why as a fan you can't get a quick overview of the complete season ahead. As follows...

Northern Iowa (30 Aug) The Panthers from the Gateway Conference went 11-0 during the regular season. Northern Iowa's offense averaged 36 points a game. There could be quite a few digits thrown up on the scoreboard in this matchup. They return 6 offensive starters including RB Corey Lewis who had over 2100 all purpose yards with 16 TDs last year. Patrick Grace will step in under center replacing 3 year starter Eric Sanders at QB. Look for the Panthers to keep it fairly tight in the first half. Cougs pull away in the second half.
at Washington (6 Sep) Sophomore QB Jake Locker will once again be the focus of the Husky offense. Locker hasn't disappointed either rushing for nearly 1000 yards as a freshman QB (Pac10 QB record) while passing over 2000 yards. Jake must find a supporting cast and soon. This appears to be a make or break for Tyrone Willingham (11-25 over the past 3 yrs). The schedule doesn't help either in the first three games ( @ Oregon, BYU and Oklahoma). Husky fans are gettin ancy. The defensive line only returns 1 player with any significant experience. Last year noone had more than two tackles. Starting center Juan Garcia suffered a LisFranc injury (hmm sounds familiar) during the spring and likely is gone for the year. The leading receiver D'Andre Goodwin is a sophomore who only had 6 receptions for 29 yards. Historically, the Cougs have struggled with mobile QBs but look for the Y to come out victorious.
UCLA (13 Sep) Neuheisel already has run a stroke of bad luck before the season. Starting QB Patrick Cowan is done for the year after tearing his left knee ACL. Backup Ben Olson broke his right foot late in spring and will miss two months. Kevin Craft (JC transfer & former SD State QB) will look to guide the Bruins through the schedule (opener at home with TN will be baptism by fire). Eight of UCLAs offensive linemen didn't play a snap on the OL last year. Both tailbacks are coming off reconstructive knee surgeries. Brigham Harwell and Reggie Carter anchor a formidable middle of the defense. Cougs played tough at the Rose Bowl last year but this year home field is a different story.
Wyoming (20 Sep) In the Cowboys third straight season without postseason action Joe Glenn hired a new OC in Bob Cole. Cole will look to simplify the playbook with an emphasis on the ground attack. The transition bodes well for RB tandem of Devin Moore and Wynel Seldon. Seldon is a between the tackles runner while Moore makes yardage chunks around the edges. John Fletcher (DT) was named to the Outland Trophy watch who ranks 11th nationally in sacks. Karsten Sween will get the nod at QB but will be on a short leash. Wyoming has only won five games on the road in the last 3 years. Cowboys keep it respectable but the Cougs will come out on top.
at Utah St (3 Oct) Head coach Brent Guy is likely on the hot seat (6-29) entering his fourth season. Six wins in 3 seasons simply won't cut it. The schedule doesn't provide any relief with 7 bowl teams on slate. The aggies annual quarterback search continues with this years contestant Sean Setzer. The receiving crew returns except stud Kevin Robinson who accounted for 9 of the 30 TDs and had more than 3X the number of receptions as anyone else. Home or away this could get ugly.
New Mexico (11 Oct) The Lobos ended a 46yr drought with a bowl victory. UNM is the only school in the MWC to be bowl eligible every season since 2001. However 2008's schedule is one of toughest in school history. Donovon Porterie (3yr starter) is a superb athlete and made a giant leap in his decision making. Tailback Rodney Ferguson also returns who finished 3rd in MWC conference yards/game. Ferguson and Porterie give the Lobos a great start to build around. UNM defense was solid ranking 13th in the nation last year but graduation hit the Lobos pretty hard. New Mexico lost all 3 starting linebackers and both ends. In this matchup Lavell Edwards Stadium will provide an extra boost this time around.
at TCU (16 Oct) Bad news. The Horned Frogs lost perhaps the best tandem of ends in school history (Chase Ortiz & Tommy Blake). Good news. Jason Phillips (one of the top linebackers in the state) is back for his senior year. At quarterback promising Andy Dalton started 12 of the 13 games in 2007 returns for his sophomore year. Dangerous Aaron Brown saw limited action with numerous injuries. On a short week (thursday game) Fort Worth might not be friendly to the Cougs but they gut out another hard fought victory.
UNLV (25 Oct) Assuming sophomore Omar Clayton wins the starting job UNLV will have its 5th starting QB in as many years. The rebels have managed only two victories in 4 consecutive seasons. UNLV must also replace arguably the best linebacker in school history in Beau Bell. Senior Frank "The Tank" Summer lived up the hype as he rushed for 928 yards (including 190 with 2 TDs against usually stout Utah. UNLV blanketed Utah 27-0 and stretched Wisconsin down to the wire. Four starters return to the OL in 2008. On a bright note UNLV will play 7 home games this fall for the first time since 1979. However, the rebels have lost 15 conesutive MWC road games. Look for this trend to follow in Provo.
at Colorado St (1 Nov) Despite leading the Rams to 6 league championships, 9 of the school's 11 overall bowl berths Coach Sonny Lubick was let go after 15 years. Four consecutive losing seasons proved to be his likely undoing. Steve Fairchild was a ram QB in '79-80 and now leads CSU in a rebuilding process. The rams do get the Cougs at home but it won't be enough.
San Diego St (8 Nov) San Diego St is the only MWC school not to qualify for a bowl game since the formation of the league nine years ago. The Aztecs rushing game was ranked 105th in the nation in 2007. The special teams breaks in a new kicker, a new punter and a new long snapper. Non conference schedule is easier than normal but still could be a long year.
at Air Force (15 Nov) Troy Calhoun, a former Denver Bronco assistant brought Shanahan's zone blocking scheme to Colorado Springs with him in 2007. The scheme paid superb dividends for Chad Hall who piled up near 1500 yards. Those shoes will be filled with back by committee. Kicker Ryan Harrison hit 3 of 4 from beyond 50 plus. This matchup might not be pretty if you are a Falcon.
at Utah (22 Nov) Kyle Whittingham and the Utes have finished no better than 3rd place in three years. The Cougs are 21-3 in MWC play in those same three years while Utah went 14-10. BYU also has produced 2 conference championships. Both programs are heading in different directions. However, head to head Utah seems to always play well in the Holy War. This matchup could make or break the Cougs run at a BCS. Nevertheless, when the scoreboard shows no time left the Ys talent, leadership and experience elevates them over the top in yet another close call.

23 June 2008

Meet The Press

Cougarfans across the nation meet your projected 2008 starting offensive line. From left to right: Dallas Reynolds, Ray Feinga, Tom Sorensen, Travis Bright, and David Oswald. This is where the magic begins. These are the men in the trenches protecting Max Hall's back. Having the depth and experience (four returning starters) should help keep the high octane offense firing on all cylinders.

Dallas Reynolds/SR (6.5/328) had offers from Colorado, Tenn, Arizona, Ohio State and Oregon back in high school. Has been an anchor in the OL trenches since his freshman year in 2005 where the offensive unit averaged 33pts/game. Dallas will start the 2008 season on the Outland Trophy watch list at left tackle. Reynolds was not beaten for a sack in 2007.
Ray Feinga/SR (6.5/322) won the state championship at Hunter High school as a senior. He was recruited by California, USC, UCLA, Notre Dame, Colorado and Oregon. In 2006 he was part of an offensive line that produced over 465 yards per game (4th in the nation). Ray begins the season at left guard also on the Outland Trophy watch list and likewise did not allow a sack last year.
Tom Sorensen/JR (6.5/315) takes over at center for departing senior Sete Aulai. He is not new to the trenches either. Back in 2006 he redshirted after suffering a season ending knee injury. Tom was a starter as a freshman in 2003 for Vanderbilt. Aulai did an awesome job last year but often had too many unnecessary penalties. This could be addition by subtraction.
Travis Bright/SR (6.5/314) broke his leg during the Las Vegas bowl last year. He is sitting out spring drills but still working hard rehabbing etc. He set a new team record bench pressing 540 pounds. Travis is majoring in construction management. Was the 2007 winner of the Strongman Award.
David Oswald/SR (6.8/325) is yet another returning starter. Believe it or not he only played one year of high school ball (Brighton High School). He is majoring in International Relations. David also speaks German. The Big "O" holds citizenship in both the United States and Switzerland.

22 June 2008

Showin Some Love

Fresh off an 11-2 season, back to back conference championships, consecutive bowl victories and the nations longest winning streak its hard NOT to show the Y some love. The Cougars are 12-0 at home and 16-0 in MWC conference play. Heads are beginning to turn. Writers and pollsters are taking notice. As follows:

Associated Press Top 25 (Y ranked 14th)
Athlon Sports (Y ranked 14th)
CBS Sportsline 120 (Y ranked 12th)
Coaches Poll (Y ranked 14th)
ESPN Power 16 (Y ranked 16th)
Lindy's Magazine (Y ranked 12th)
Phil Steele (Y ranked 17th)
USAToday (Y ranked 14th)

Expectations are high. The bar has been set. With a quest for perfection the Cougs could find themselves among the BCS. It is alot of weight, responsibility and pressure on the Cougars shoulders to bear. They have taken care of previous business raising the standard. If they continue to do things the right way with some hard work, discipline and victories magic could really happen.

Cougar Den Addition

Saturday BYU received it's latest addition to the 2009 incoming recruiting class with an offer accepted by Peni Maka'afi. Peni 5.11/215) ran for 890 yards and 13 TDs at Northridge last year and has always wanted to be a Cougar. He was previously drawing interest from Utah State, Oregon and Boise State.

21 June 2008

Future Men In Blue

With the dawn of each new season there are new possible recruits that all diehard fans get excited about as myself. They are the future of the program. Both fans and incoming recruits hope they will make an instant impact. This is common at most universities and BYU is no different. However, there is the mission factor in addition to a possible redshirt that can be figured into the mix. This years crop includes...

4* Manti Teo 6.2/225 LB (Honolulu) One of the most sought after recruits in BYU history. He would clearly be the unquestioned gem of the class and have an immediate impact. Manti has offers from Cal, Colorado, Notre Dame, UCLA and USC. The family pull may weigh into his decision (having Shiloah and Malosi already wearing Cougar blue). Decision likely boils down between USC and the Cougars. Prospects for the Y look good.
4* John Martinez 6.3/270 OG (Cottonwood HS) Big name recruit but likely will take his skills out of state. The Y was first to offer and others followed the interest. Chances of wearing Cougar blue are slim to none. Has offers from LSU, Ohio State, UCLA, USC, Auburn and Cal.
4* Richard Wilson 6.4/215 TE (Spanish Fork HS) When the Cougars offered other big time school offers began rollin in (LSU, Miami, TN). Could be a great local find and fit the Cougars TE tradition.
4* Xavier Suafilo 6.5/265 OT (Timpview HS) Big schools keep knockin on his door (LSI, Miami, Notre Dame, TN, USC, etc) but Cougs have a decent chance at landing "X Man".
4* Kyle Van Noy 6.4/202 LB (Reno NV) Kyle is LDS and likes the Y which is definately a positive. He has a 32 inch vertical. Has offers from Ariz St, Boise St, Cal, and Colorado.
4* Latu Heimuli 6.4/305 DT (Highland HS) Related to both Steve Kaufasi and former great Vai Sikahema. Named all state as a junior by both the SL Tribune and the Deseret News.
4* Jray Galeai 6.0/175 S (Kahuku) Committed back on 6/20/2007 from powerhouse program. Absolutely amazing athlete.
4* Josh Nunes 6.4/205 QB Has offers from ASU, Florida, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and TN. Possesses great arm, poise and leadership but will likely land somewhere else outside of happy valley.
4* Adam Timo 6.1/175 RB (St George) Been setting records and turning heads down south. Even set state high jump record at 7-2. Ran a 100 11.1 in track. Total legit stand up humble kid from Snow Canyon.
4* Craig Bills 6.2/202 S(Timpview) Fearless punishing backer in line of Bills. Was named first team all state as a sophomore. Great commit and look forward to seein in Cougar blue.
4* Taysom Hill 6.2/210 QB (Pocatello) Brother Jordan (LB) committed but ended up a starter at Arizona State. Has offers from Arizona, BSU, Stanford and Washington St.
3* Steve Fanua 6.1/210 LB (Militas CA) Will likely be wearing Cougar blue. Had 220 tackles as a junior. Offers from Arizona, Cal, Fresno St and Washington are on the table.
3* LT Filiaga 6.1/230 LB (Bingham) Has ties to both local schools (the Y and that school up north) but will be interesting to see how it plays out. Could be a great catch.
3* Tui Crichton 6.4/280 OG (Timpview) Committed back in March. Hopefully he can convince teammate Xavier to join him.
3* Jeff Manning 6.4/185 QB (Logan) Has offers/interest in Arizona St, Boise St, Cal and Oregon.
3* Brett Thompson 6.3/210 WR (Oak Ridge CA) Was apparently dating Collie's sister. Chances of wearing blue are very good.
3* Jamie Jensen 6.3/205 QB (Gilroy CA) Apparently doesn't have an offer from the Cougars but has interest as well as Cal, Ohio St, Oklahoma, and UCLA.
3* Aulola Tonga 6.3/195 S (Kahuku) From powerhouse Kahuku. Could be a hidden gem.
3* Mitch Matthews 6.5/195 WR (Southridge OR) Older brother already a Cougar but is on a mission. Has high interest and will likely be wearing blue.
3* Chris Washington
6.2/195 S(Northridge/Layton) Offers from Oregon and Oregon State
1* Remington Peck 6.5/215 TE (Bingham) Was recently offered. Has medium interest.
1* Brad Wilcox 6.7/240 OT (Edmond OK) Not exactly sure why only one star. Has interest with Iowa St, Kansas St, Oklahoma, Tulsa and Washington.
1* Terry Alletto 6.3/260 C (Parker CO) Curious if staff regrets the offer with so many possible high profile LDS athletes this particular year and so few schollies.

...granted we are only seeing the stats and stars on paper and won't fully know how good they are until the dust settles after their careers are done. Any thoughts? Comments?