BYU football: Looking back at the stories from Signing Day

2013-02-11T00:30:00Z 2013-11-06T21:45:31Z BYU football: Looking back at the stories from Signing DayJared Lloyd - Daily Herald Daily Herald
February 11, 2013 12:30 am  • 

Looking back on National Signing Day on Wednesday, the BYU football press conference with head coach Bronco Mendenhall and offensive coordinator Robert Anae certainly had a lot of information.

There was talk about the current state of the program, discussion on the process the Cougars went through regarding coaching staff changes and also answers regarding what was planned moving forward.

The athletes who signed were almost an afterthought.

But even though the 2013 signing class might've been overshadowed, there were still some good stories told about some of the football players that are slated to come to Provo.

Here's a sample of some of the stories that came up:

Recruiting a rival coach's son: One of the most intriguing names on the list of signees has to be Chasen Andersen, a 6-foot-0, 218-pound linebacker from Logan.

He's the son of Gary Andersen, who was formerly the head coach at Utah State and recently took the top spot at Wisconsin.

"He and I have a very special relationship," Mendenhall said. "He tries with everything he has and loves football. It's been one of the coolest stories."

The BYU coach said that once Coach Andersen left Utah, they got to know each other better and developed a lot of respect for each other's programs.

"You get affiliated with an institution and you accept stereotypes," Mendenhall said. "He called me last night thanking me for the chance for his boy to come."

Mendenhall said it's been fun to go through the process with Gary and his wife Stacy, saying it was very unique for both sides.

Who is doing the recruiting?: Mendenhall also told the story of his first encounter with Johnny Tapusoa, a 5-10, 195-pound defensive back from Laie, Hawaii.

"I went to recruit Shiloah T'eo a number of years ago," Mendenhall recalled. "This little kid is playing in the street. He knows I'm in town. He knocks on the door, comes in and sits by me. He looked up at me like a puppy, just waiting to do something. He asked if he could show me his highlight film. He told me someday he would play for me."

Mendenhall said he thought he was 13-years-old at the time, but that young kid eventually made it to be part of the team.

Another QB in the mix: The Cougar head coach was quick to laud the arrival of quarterback Billy Green, a 6-2, 196-pound athlete from Woodway, Wash., who already joined the team.

"He is really tough, he knows how to win football games and is passionate to be here," Mendenhall said. "You'll like him when you watch him play. We are lifting at 6 a.m. in our groups and he has integrated right in. You wouldn't know he's a quarterback because he trains really, really hard."

Green originally came mid-year and planned on paying his own way because their wasn't a scholarship available, according to Mendenhall. The coach said that move to just be with the team and ready for spring ball said a lot about his commitment.

Not bad company: Joey Owens is a returned missionary who played running back and linebacker in high school. Mendenhall told Cougar Club members at a signing day presentation that he will play outside linebacker, similar to Kyle Van Noy. "He will be an understudy and learning from Kyle," the coach said.

Already a comparison: California high school receiver Michael Davis is being compared to former Cougar wideout Todd Watkins, a speedster that had a few good years in Provo and also floated around the NFL for a bit.

“We feel like Michael Davis is that kind of a receiver, speed wise. We feel like someone like him can come in and be a contributor right away,” Tidwell said.

Waiting around: The presentation by Mendenhall and a few BYU staff was delayed because of a miscommunication. The school needed to get the appropriately faxed and signed paperwork from junior-college transfer Edward Fusi. “He was going to sign at his house in front of family,” a BYU official said. “He went to class, left the papers at home. Someone rushed home to get them, and got them in.” The luncheon presentation started a little after 12 p.m. as some staff were on cell phones trying to solve the issue. The Cougars wouldn’t have been allowed to showcase the player if the paperwork hadn’t made the signing official, so it would have created a few hiccups.

Getting a head start on the process: During the media presentation, Mendenhall did reference some possible future recruits. It might, however, be a little early to know exactly when they might come to Provo.

"Just recently we had one of our best players who chose to stay tell our football operations director he is going to make his kids come to BYU because he's had such a good experience," the Cougar head coach said. "It's not been an easy experience, but it's been a good experience."

Mendenhall later clarified that wide receiver Cody Hoffman had been the one to make that statement and if his kids get some of those genes, they might be stars at BYU in a couple of decades.

Extra points: Mendenhall said he was in 33 recruits' homes in the last two weeks ... Assistant coach Paul Tidwell said "off the top of my head, I can think of three guys right now" that were once committed to BYU, but chose elsewhere that the Cougars hoped to acquire ... Tidwell noted, when asked by a fan, that talent-deep Texas has not yet been delegated to a staffer since two recently released assistant coaches worked the Lone Star State ... The team is working on acquiring some walk-on kickers to compete with Justin Sorensen, who struggled last year and will be a senior.

Jason Franchuk contributed to this story.

Daily Herald sports editor Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or He can also be followed on Twitter at @JaredrLloyd.

-- 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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