"How refreshing to have an elite quarterback be thankful to receive an offer from BYU, and not entitled." Just one line delivered by Bronco Mendenhall at the Cougar Club signing day luncheon, but it sent a wave of energy through the crowd of Cougar boosters.
Bronco was talking about new signee Tanner Mangum, a top-5 quarterback prospect from Eagle, ID. I'm sure Bronco would deny it, but it sure seemed like a not-so-subtle dig at a certain QB that just transferred away. Makes me think there's more to this Jake Heaps story than we all know.
Nevertheless, Bronco used Tanner Mangum as an example of the perfect BYU recruit: One who wants the whole package.
Mendenhall went on to call the 2012 recruiting class "the most qualified" he's ever seen as the head coach. He said every player is ready to play, ready to contribute, and most importantly ready to participate in BYU's unique mission.
"You all place different degrees of importance on different things, but we as a coaching staff are interested in players who want the complete college football experience."
Those kinds of players, Bronco said, will help BYU reach Mendenhall's ultimate vision for the program: Namely, that BYU will be the most complete football program in the world. BYU will be the only place (or the best place) on earth a young man can come and play consistent top-25 football, have a rich social life, build his spirituality and earn a top education.
"We want young men who want it all," Mendenhall said. "Every year we have the most turnover, in regards to players, of any other team in the country, and yet we maintain such consistency. Why? Because every young man we recruit has the same goals, the same drive." They all love BYU and the unique BYU experience.
Before introducing the 2012 class, Bronco ran down some of the more impressive stats piled up by BYU in the last seven years.
- BYU is one of just nine teams to finish the season ranked in five of the last six seasons
- BYU is 66-24 over the last seven seasons. That number ranks No. 15 nationally.
- BYU is ranked No. 5 in number of 10-win seasons
- This is the stat Bronco Mendenhall is "most proud of": BYU has gone to a bowl game in seven consecutive years, and is one of only seven teams to win five of its last six bowl games.
- Exposure-wise, in 2011 BYU was ranked No. 6 for most broadcasts available to a national audience
(You all know how I feel about 10-win seasons, but I, like Bronco, am very impressed by our bowl record as of late.)
The recruiting year is over. The "most qualified" class is officially in the fold.