With National Signing Day fast approaching, let's take a quick look at two names many BYU fans are thinking about, current BYU commit Fred Warner, and 4 star offensive linemen prospect Damien Mama.
Let's start with Warner, a consensus three star linebacker from San Marcos, California. Warner committed to BYU a while ago, but has also stated he's a longtime USC fan, and the Trojans are making a late push. On the Rise and Shout Podcast, Deseret News writer Brandon Gurney indicated that he wouldn't be surprised if Warner flipped to USC, but indicated that since BYU has a longstanding relationship of trust with Warner, they shouldn't be counted out. In fact, Gurney indicated he personally thought Warner would still be a Cougar. Warner is expected to be on BYU's campus the weekend before signing day, which should also help BYU's chances.
FWIW, Warner is one of the highest ranked commits projected to be in this year's recruiting class, and losing him would be a significant blow. BYU currently has the #62 ranked recruiting class per 247 Sports. If Warner left, and the team didn't add anybody of comparable value to replace him, they would be projected to tumble to #68th.
One way the Cougars could climb up the rankings is if they somehow come away with a major recruiting upset, and snag consensus four star offensive lineman Damien Mama, one of the highest regarded prospects in the country. Mama, from Bellflower, California, is also considering USC, UCLA and Alabama. The Cougars are scheduled to get the last official visit with Mama, and since Mama is LDS and has indicated he plans to serve a mission, some fans think BYU might be able to swoop in and score the upset.
Don't get your hopes up, BYU fans. While Mama would represent a HUGE get, especially given the lack of depth (or really front line talent) with BYU's offensive line, virtually every sign has pointed to Mama signing with USC over the last several months, and 37 of 247 Sports' top recruiting experts agree, he's going to be a Trojan. If BYU somehow snagged the upset, and retained Warner, their recruiting class ranking would be projected to jump to about 47, right up there with Utah.
Offensive line recruiting has been a significant sore spot with BYU as of late. Per Gurney, the Cougars haven't had an offensive lineman drafted since 2005. If BYU isn't able to come up with anybody else in this class, look for that to be a *major* focus for the class of 2015.
Finally, on the future BYU basketball player front, let's get an urgent update on T.J Haws:
T.J. Haws follows up his 40-point performance with 37 points in a 68-59 win over American Fork.— Jeremiah Jensen (@JJSportsBeat) January 15, 2014
Is that good?