Keith Shirts was at the Cougar Club luncheon for signing day. Here are some of his notes.
Chad Lewis said at the beginning of the luncheon that the team is getting ready to fight next season. Bronco chimed in, "The team will be ready to fight, but they aren't going to. [Laughs.] They will show restraint and sportsmanship. [More laughs.] Feels nice to laugh about that."
He talked about the offensive line first.
On offensive line signee Brady Christensen: "We don't recruit against Air Force very frequently. We needed size at the offensive line. He's big. Cockpits are small. He was the center fielder on Bountiful's high school team. Think about an offensive lineman playing the most athletic position on a baseball field. His recommendation comes from Coach Larry Wall who said similar things about Cameron Jensen."
On signee Demetrius Davis, a late offer and commit: "Great wrestler at Pleasant Grove. Zac Dawe's (recruit last year) partner. (Zac chose football at BYU over wrestling at Penn State.) [Davis is] tough. He's physical. He and his parents were a 180 turn around during their visit to campus. They thought BYU was one thing, came one weekend and saw something completely different. Demetrius' parents said to me, 'Coach, we did not know.' Now there isn't a bigger advocate for BYU than the Davis family."
On Jacob Jimenez: "Strong student. Fierce training kid. Trains like crazy. Maybe as hard a trainer that I've ever met. His family wore BYU gear when other teams visited his house."
On Kieffer Longson: "Recruited and wanted by everybody. He's really, really good. Not kind of good. Really, really good. It comes between us and UCLA. Oooo, UCLA, right? We play them next year and I'm not scared. He came to my house on Sunday, after we beat Virginia, with his Mom and Dad. Holly made cinnamon rolls for him, which is probably why he came. His parents are telling me about the facilities at all the other places Kieffer has offers from. I asked them, 'Despite that, you are here, eating cinnamon rolls at my house. Why? What do we offer?' For him, it was the honor code."
On J.J. Nwigwe: "The staff nicknamed him 'Wiggy' cause it rhymes with Ziggy...he's Nigerian. That doesn't mean that is what he wants to be called, it is just what the staff called him during recruiting. His mom is law school grad from SMU. Dad is from Africa. An amazing young person. Fantastic student. Dad just talks about Ziggy (Ansah) and Tejan (Koroma). Dad took zero influence. He wanted his son to be a Cougar. We told JJ about what BYU stood for and JJ told us, "That who I am." JJ's sister is Tejan's cousin's roommate at Baylor. That somehow means BYU."
Bronco then moved on to other positions.
On QB Beau Hoge: "Taysom-ish. Highest compliment I can pay him. Not as big, but man... hard to tackle, throws well. Man, he is really good."
On QB Kody Wilstead: "What an arm. Throws it like crazy. Pocket passer. If you don't like our current offense, just wait a few years. We will use Kody."
On WR Akile Davis: "Wants to be a math teacher. Sat with my kids on a recruiting trip and they are talking elaborate algorithms and geometry. Fast. Tough. Family is amazing. Grandpa is a baptist preacher. Family wanted him at BYU because of the strong Christian values found here."
On WR Micah Simon: "Played QB on his high school team and won a state championship. We are going to play him at wide out. But when you watch his highlight clips at quarterback, I expect your letters telling me to put him at quarterback. He's really good. Fantastic student. Mom and dad came on recruiting trip and smiled the whole time. 'We didn't know there was a place like this,' is what they said. So they love us."
On RB Squally Canada: "Transfer from Washington State. He saw what Washington State was, and what a typical college weekend was like and he didn't want it. It didn't take a lot of recruiting, they came looking. Has to sit a transfer year. He will be our scout team running back and we will have a hard time tackling him."
On RB Charles West: "His high school teammate is Scott Huntsman (will walk-on this fall). His parents are graduates of BYU. Charles spends as much time at the Huntsman's house as anybody's house. So, when it came time to invite players to come to came. He would come to camp. He went home wearing a bunch of BYU gear. Man is he fast. Ultimately chose between us and Arkansas. When we hand him the ball, I think you'll cheer a lot."
On surprise signee Motekiai Langi, the 6-7, 410-pound recruit from Tonga: "Two years ago, as we thought about the church's worldwide following, we sent coaches to Tonga, Samoa, New Zealand, Fiji, and we are going to go to Ghana, too. We came back with 3 to 5 players who might be, but they don't know the rules, might be able to be football players. [Langi is] 6'7" and a lean 410 pounds. I've known him for 15 minutes. He came from Tonga into my office the day before he entered the MTC. Good luck finding a suit to fit that guy.
So, Coach Kaufusi had seen him, two year prior. How do you evaluate a 6'7' 410 pounds to assess if he can more or not? (Kaufusi's) evaluation of him is based on a pick up game of basketball. He could move well and was light on his feet. He's got to be something. 6'7" 410 pounds, light on his feet. At nose tackle he's got to be a 3-gap guy. Maybe just on the snap he lays down sideways and people have to try to find a way around him. Maybe an offensive guard, he's just big. He's got to be something. So, I took a chance. I understand he is a fantastic person and one of the best students in his class. He doesn't know the rules. There is no film of him (for football). You won't find it. I've know him for 15 minutes and we've only seen him play pickup basketball in Tonga. What do I have to lose? What if it works?!"
On CB Trevor Brent: "No. 4 in his class academically. He is also the #1 chair in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra playing the violin. Not his high school band. The Dallas/Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra. Choosing BYU over Yale. He also is a very good football player. I asked him on his recruiting visit, 'What are you going to do about your music career?' He answered, 'Coach, I don't own my violin. The school rents it to me. I think they will probably rent me one here at BYU. In my free time, I'll play.' This kid is grateful for everything that he has and he has worked like crazy for it. Find someone like that who also excels at football? That's pretty cool."