Signing Day

LLOYD: BYU football's 2014 recruiting class headlined by wide receivers

2014-02-05T14:00:00Z 2014-04-07T07:18:52Z LLOYD: BYU football's 2014 recruiting class headlined by wide receiversJared Lloyd - Daily Herald Daily Herald
February 05, 2014 2:00 pm  • 

So now it's finally time to put pen to paper and turn verbal commitments into signatures on letters of intent.

While I wish we could give athletes more of a chance to stand on their own merits at the collegiate level than blowing out of proportion their high school successes, it's still a fun do to hear about guys preparing to go to the next level.

BYU ended up with 20 LOIs for the signing period, although a couple of the athletes already signed and joined the program.

During Wednesday's signing day press conference, Cougar head coach Bronco Mendenhall said this might be the strongest class BYU has ever had, although he added that only time will tell.

The Cougars picked up a big last-minute decision from defensive lineman Uriah Leiataua, a guy who originally committed to Stanford. He announced the decision to come Provo early Wednesday afternoon, impacted by the fact that he really enjoyed his recruiting trip.

The next biggest name might've been the addition of Ashanti Devon Blackmon from Riverside Community College, a former Oregon signee. He had offers from a number of big-name schools.

That in addition to getting Nick Kurtz, UTEP transfer Jordan Leslie and Trey Dye, son of former BYU star James Dye, gives the Cougars an impressive receiver haul.

Losing Cody Hoffman and JD Falslev might not be as painful for Taysom Hill, depending on how well these guys pan out.

Bronco Mendenhall also emphasized linebacker and getting Fred Warner, Tyler Cook and Isaiah Nacua has to be considered a good sign for things to come.

Other areas that were addressed were offensive lineman with three new recruits and defensive line with six additions.

Also of note is the transfer of former BYU recruit Baker Pritchard, a defensive lineman who will be playing for Oregon State. His brother, Iona, was a long-time Cougar but Baker elected to join the Beavers. He originally signed with the BYU in 2011 from Bingham High School.

Here are the ones who have officially committed (listed in the order the LOIs were announced by BYU, Utah Valley commits in bold):

  1. Nick Kurtz (WR), 6-6, 205, Jr., El Cajon, Calif. — mid-year enrollee
  2. Michael Shelton (DB), 5-8, 170, Fr., Raleigh, N.C. — mid-year enrollee
  3. Jaterrius Gulley (DL), 6-3, 325, Fr., Hoover, Ala.
  4. Trey Dye (WR), 5-9, 175, Fr., Abilene, Texas
  5. Kavika Fonua (DB), 5-11, 185, Fr., Syracuse, Utah
  6. Zac Dawe (DL), 6-4, 280, Fr., Pleasant Grove, Utah
  7. Matt Bushman (TE), 6-5, 215, Fr., Tucson, Ariz.
  8. Isaiah Kaufusi (DB), 6-2, 175, Fr., Salt Lake City, Utah
  9. Ashanti Devon Blackmon (WR), 6-1 185 Jr. Fontana, Calif.
  10. Jordan Leslie (WR), 6-3, 210, Sr., Houston, Texas — transfer from UTEP
  11. Tyler Cook (LB), 6-3, 220, Fr., Murrieta, Calif. 
  12. Teancum "Tico" Fuga (DL), 6-1, 280, Fr., Huntington Beach, Calif.
  13. Austin Chambers (OL), 6-5, 297, Fr., Shawnee Mission, Kan.
  14. Tejan Koroma (OL), 6-0, 255, Fr., Allen, Texas
  15. Chandon Herring (OL), 6-7, 270, Fr., Gilbert, Ariz.
  16. Fred Warner (LB), 6-3, 210, Fr., San Marcos, Calif.
  17. Isaiah Nacua (DL), 6-3, 250, Fr., Provo, Utah
  18. Sione Takitaki (LB), 6-3, 240, Fr., Fontana, Calif.
  19. Earl Mariner (DL), 6-4, 300, Fr., Topeka, Kan.
  20. Uriah Leiataua (DL), 6-3, 245, Fr., Compton, Calif.

The only disappointment may be five-star offensive lineman Damien Mama, who decided to go to USC, as many expected he would. Mendenhall said BYU did get Warner, Leiataua and Kurtz, all of which were guys USC was after as well.

Check back for more details from BYU's signing day press conference.

-- Daily Herald sports editor Jared Lloyd is also the beat writer for the BYU football team, the columnist for the Cougar men’s basketball team and covers a variety of Utah Valley high school athletics. He can be followed on Twitter at @JaredrLloyd.
Read more from  Jared Lloyd here.

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