This past week, on March 20th, Quarterback Kimane Domena of Roosevelt High School in Portland, Oregon, committed to play collegiate football for the Cougars of Brigham Young University. Domena is a dual threat quarterback, rated as a three star prospect by 247 Sports and others. This is an exciting commitment for the Cougars. Domena fills all the needs of the QB in the new BYU read option offense, but he looks to have better passing tools than current Cougar QB Taysom Hill. He could have a higher ceiling. Domena is an LDS convert, so religion likely played a huge role in his decision to commit to the Cougars. Domena chose the Cougars over offers from Portland State and Colorado State, and interest from both Oregon State and Oregon.
If Domena were to start for the Cougars, he would be the first Black starting quarterback in school history. That's kind of a big deal, and strikes a big blow for BYU's ability to recruit elite black athletes. The foundation for BYU's resurgence as a recruiting power was laid with the recruitment of Jamaal Williams. BYU's 2014 recruiting class also featured a considerably higher than average number of black recruits. This is exciting for Cougar fans and for me personally as a black member of the LDS Church and a BYU alumnus. Not only does it increase the reach of BYU's sporting programs that they are able to recruit more players of all ethnicities, it helps fulfill the mission of the football program to spread awareness of the school and by extension, the LDS Church, to all people.
As mentioned earlier, Domena's skill set is ideal for the kind of offense that Bronco Mendenhall and Robert Anae are attempting to build at BYU. They've used their most recent recruiting classes to get faster, quicker, and more explosive. Taysom Hill is looking less like an aberration in his amazing running ability, and more like the template for the skill set that the Cougars are looking for in future recruiting classes. This represents a fantastic evolution of offensive philosophy at a school known for producing accurate pocket passers.
Domena will likely have to put on a bit more weight to be able to consistently run the ball at the college level, but he definitely possesses the vision and agility to effectively run the read option. He also shows a high ceiling as a passer, with accuracy on sideline throws and a decent deep ball with great velocity. A good skill comparison would be Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, who throws the ball well, but is at his best as a passer. If Domena decides to try and jump into the starting lineup in a couple years rather than redshirt or serve an LDS mission, he will definitely push whomever is the heir apparent to Taysom Hill for a starting spot.