Thoughts on the Cougars recruiting class

The bulk of high school recruiting work for Kalani Sitake’s staff at BYU has resulted in the signing of 20 high school players in a class that currently ranks 56th in the country, a step up from last year’s 66th ranking. However, the average prospect rating for the Cougars still lags at the bottom of the Big 12. Five transfers have also been added to the group, and there are expectations for a few more recruits to be added before February, mainly for the offense.

Jay Hill’s influence on recruiting was felt for the first time, with an emphasis on defensive line recruitment. The defensive coordinator brought in six defensive ends and three defensive tackles, including the state’s No. 6 rated composite player, Devoux Tuataga. The emphasis on recruiting defensive players aligned with Hill’s aim to build a more disruptive defensive line.

The most highly-rated position in this class is tight end, with the top prospect being four-star tight end Ryner Swanson from Laguna Beach, Calif. However, while BYU has had some in-state recruiting successes, such as securing commitments from Asiata, Tuataga, and Fonohema, the team has not been as successful in landing the state’s top players overall.

Utah has secured commitments from 12 of the top 15 composite prospects in the state in recent years, highlighting a trend where BYU has struggled to attract the top recruits from Utah. In comparison, BYU has only secured commitments from four of the top 15 composite prospects in Utah during the same time frame.

Additionally, with the move to the Big 12, BYU will face increased competition for in-state talent, as Oklahoma State has also made inroads into recruiting players from Utah. This competition extends to recruiting players from other states, as schools within the Big 12 conference begin to target Utah talent.

Despite an uptick in the average prospect rating, BYU still lags behind other Big 12 teams in recruiting rankings. While there are signs of progress, such as an increase in the average prospect rating year over year, the Cougars haven’t signed a top-50 high school recruiting class since 2016.

This detailed analysis of BYU’s national signing day highlights both successes and challenges faced by the football program, as it continues to navigate the competitive landscape of college football recruiting within the context of its shifting conference affiliations.

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