Let's take a quick look at a how a couple of BYU's commits could fill some glaring position needs as we march inexorably toward national letter of intent signing day on February 5th.
BYU currently fields the 61st ranked class in the nation according to 247 Sports. While this ranking is definitively disappointing given the lofty nature of the program's goals, recruiting rankings are ephemeral at best, and BYU has certainly done more in the past with less. However, more important than the class ranking in a recruiting class is the makeup. Are you replacing the players who are graduating and moving on to the NFL, and are you stacking the deck for the future? Some question marks remain about the current recruiting class with regards to reloading at key positions.
One area in which the 2014 class is disturbingly light is at defensive back, especially considering the fact that the Cougars will be graduating the enforcer Daniel Sorenson and utility DB Mike Hague, who it seems, has been on the team since before I left BYU in 2007. BYU also loses about four more reserve DBs, and projected starters Craig Bills,Robertson Daniel and Jordan Johnson will all be seniors next year, underscoring the importance of the secondary in recruiting. One thing that has me optimistic about this class is the fact that young players are often drafted at different positions than they end up playing, and linebacker recruits Fred Warner and Tyler Cook both have the speed to look at possible conversion to the safety position, even as BYU looks for a replacement for Kyle Van Noy. Despite the addition of some more speed than is typical for a BYU recruiting class, this class is still light on cornerbacks, which has traditionally been a very difficult position to recruit for the cougars. Bronco Mendenhall likes to call an aggressive defense, and cornerbacks who can cover both in zone and man coverage, preferably with length, allow his defense to bring the kind of pressure that they like from many different angles.
The Cougars are also graduating more than a few receivers, including playmakers Cody Hoffman, J.D. Falslev andSkyler Ridley, as well as one of quarterback Taysom Hill's safety valves in tight end Kaneakua Friel. Receiver, however, as opposed to DB, is more of a next man up philosophy at the Y. The program remains well stocked with wide receivers, both talented and hungry to contribute. In addition to the plethora of returners split wide, this class also includes two promising newcomers who should make an immediate impact in possession receiver Nick Kurtz and scatback Trey Dye. Dye should provide a much needed explosive element to BYU's passing game, as well as fill in for the departing Falslev in the return game.
We're still looking at a good week before signing day, so there's definitely hope that the Cougars can sneak in a few players at key positions, hopefully some more DB and some more big bodies along both sides of the offensive and defensive lines before the class of 2014 becomes official.