Despite the disappointing end to the season, we're already looking ahead to next season, and to the building blocks of the future. The foundation of any program is its ability to recruit, and thankfully for Cougar fans, this is an area in which Bronco Mendenhall and staff are more than competent.
Before you look to argue, let's take a gander at some of the great talent we've had move through our system recently, particularly players like Cody Hoffman, Kyle Van Noy, and Ezekiel Ansah. While we might say that we still don't have the caliber of recruits that a team like Washington does, we are definitely moving in the right direction, and young and talented players like Jamaal Williams and Taysom Hill certainly have us feeling bright about the future. With that said, National Letter of Intent Day is just around the corner, and I figured that we could take a look at a few of our current commits and signed players so that we can get a good idea of just who to get excited about.
Nick Kurtz, WR. Grossmont JC. Height: 6'6" Weight: 205. The departure of Hoffman leaves a serious void in the receiving corps. Kurtz possesses the size and length to fill that void. He's a big receiver who will hopefully match his size with physicality and the ability to get open in space and move the chains. The Grossmont pipeline has served BYU very well in the past, particularly for wide receiver talent (Todd Watkins, Joseph Griffin), as well as former running back Reynaldo Braithwaite.
Michael Shelton, CB. Raleigh, NC. Height: 5' 8" Weight: 170. Shelton seems to be a solid, if undersized, corner with good ball skills to make up for his size and average speed. I tend to prefer my corners big (Richard Sherman), but he could serve the team well as a nickel corner. While we could use some depth in the defensive backfield, hopefully Bronco and company can pull in some bigger corners.
Fred Warner, LB, San Marcos, CA (Mission Hills). Height: 6'3" Weight: 205. Warner is a recruit that Cougar Nation should really be excited about. He's lean for the LB position, but should be able to put on weight quickly, and if not, he has the speed to transition to a safety, or rover role. USC and Washington were in the mix before he committed to BYU, so the Cougars need to keep him interested.
Isaiah Nacua, DE Las Vegas, NV (Bishop Gorman). Height: 6'2" Weight: 240. Nacua is a quick, if undersized DE that BYU should make great use of. The style of defense the team has played under Mendenhall makes great use of speedy rush ends. He lacks elite length, but should be able to put a bit more weight on his frame to be able to assist well in the run game as well.
We'll focus on a few other recruits in the upcoming weeks toward signing day. For anyone who is interested, here's a full list of BYU's current commits.