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BYU Football Early Signing Day Recap: wins, misses, positions to still address

USC v BYU Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

Day one of the early signing period is in the books and BYU has already locked down a large portion of the class. BYU announced 13 signings, but withheld from announcing a handful of guys who will first serve a mission before enrolling.

The below 13 players were officially announced by BYU.

  • Sol-Jay Maiava, QB
  • Bruce Garrett, RB
  • Josh Wilson, LB
  • Nukuluve Helu, RB
  • Kody Epps, WR
  • Terence Fall, WR
  • Chris Jackson, WR (JUCO)
  • Jacques Wilson, DB (JUCO)
  • Tuipulotu Lai, DL
  • Alex Muti, DL
  • Isaiah Tupou, OL
  • Josh Larsen, DL

Wins

BYU signs two immediate contributors at wide receiver. Landing WR Kody Epps was the biggest news of the day. Epps comes from the powerhouse Mater Dei HS in southern California and was one of the most productive wide receivers in the nation. Epps had an early offer from Oregon and would have received more Pac 12 interest had he waited until February to sign.

Instead, BYU locked him up early and got an immediate contributor at a position of need. Epps is the highest rated player in BYU’s class and a very polished route runner and shifty in open space. With Micah Simon, Aleva Hifo and Talon Shumway all gone after this year, Epps will get every opportunity to play right away.

In addition to Epps, JUCO transfer Chris Jackson signed early as well. Jackson is a burner who will enroll in January and be able to compete in spring ball.

With the additions of Jackson, Epps and Neil Pau’u likely to rejoin the program, BYU’s wide receivers look like they will once again be solid.

JUCO Defensive back help. 3-Star JUCO Cornerback Jacques Wilson signed with BYU over Hawaii and Utah State. Although BYU has many of this year’s contributors returning next season, depth at cornerback is something BYU can always use. Wilson has good top-end speed and will likely be a factor in the two-deep come fall camp.

Misses

OL Andrew Gentry signs with Virginia. A 4-star prospect, Gentry was the highest rated LDS player in the 2020 class and one of the top OL prospects in the country. His older brother JT Gentry plays for BYU, so most assumed BYU would land Gentry’s signature. Virginia made up late ground and Gentry ultimately signed with Bronco Mendenhall and company. Gentry wanted to go to a place where coaches would accommodate his mission, and Virginia fits that bill.

BYU misses out on highly rated in-state players. Using the 247 sports rankings, the highest rated Utah player BYU signed was Josh Wilson, who is the 12th-ranked player in the state. Bodie Schoonover is the 9th-ranked player in the state and is deciding between BYU and UCLA, but overall BYU had a miss on the top in-state talent. Utah signed 4 of the top 5 in-state players, showing BYU continues to fall further behind the Utes in in-state recruiting.

Players still unsigned

These three guys are all likely to sign in February and would be among the highest rated guys in BYU’s 2020 class.

Tate Romney, LB: The younger brother of Gunner and Baylor, the 3-star LB won’t likely announce his decision until February. BYU is in a good spot due to the family connection, but Romney has plenty of other suitors out there. He also has P5 offers from Arizona, Cal, Kansas State, Utah, Colorado and Washington State. BYU is the favorite, but they can’t afford to get complacent and lose Tate.

Alex Lines, TE: The 3-star tight end out of Arizona will also likely wait until February to sign. BYU is the favorite here, but Lines also has offers from Utah, Iowa State, Syracuse, Boise State, Louisville, Colorado and Oregon State.

Keanu Tanuvasa, DL: BYU has more work to do here if they want to sign the 3-star DL from California. BYU has done good work recruiting Tanuvasa, but they have to hold off schools such as UCLA, Utah, Boise State, Oregon State and Arizona. BYU needs more high-impact defensive lineman, and Tanuvasa would fit that mold if BYU can land him.

Position to address

Running Back: 3-star RB from Texas Bruce Garrett signed Wednesday and will be on campus next season. Garrett is a good prospect and had a great HS career, but BYU still needs one more back in the mix. Ty’Son Williams is applying for an additional year, but he is unlikely to get an NCAA waiver.

It’s late at this point to add a high level HS running back, but BYU will likely be active in the transfer portal once again to add an instant impact guy. More names will pop up in the next couple weeks before winter semesters around the country start, so look for names to start emerging then. Ty’Son was BYU’s most talented offensive player this season, so coaches can use his success to lure another high caliber grad transfer to Provo.