Despite decommitments, BYU's 2013 recruiting class has plenty to be excited about

The Brigham Young Cougars had a wild finish to recruiting for 2013. Negative stories about players changing their commitment from BYU to another school gave the impression that this recruiting class would be a disaster for the Cougars. Despite the multiple defections, the class of 2013 has plenty of quality players to be excited about.

Lost in the frantic finish was all the good work that was done for over a year. This class of 26 players very well could include the next Ezekiel Ansah, Kyle Van Noy, Craig Bills, and Brandon Ogletree on defense. On the offensive side of the ball, several offensive linemen were signed who appear to have the physical and psychological make up to turn that unit back into a strength. While BYU didn't sign Torry McTyer, there is a receiver who appears to be cut from the same cloth.

Dallin Leavitt was rated the no. 5 overall prospect in all of Oregon. Son of former BYU linebacker Jared Leavit, Dallin could come in this season and have an impact much like Craig Bills did as a freshman in 2009. Leavitt is similar to Bills in size and physicality of play.

Linebacker Chasen Andersen is the son of a successful football coach--Gary Andersen, former Utah State and newly hired Wisconsin head coach. That is always a positive. Andersen is a little taller than Brandon Ogletree, but looks to have that same tenacity and love of the game that Ogletree did. Andersen was a tackling machine as a senior (160 tackles). He clearly has a knack for getting to the ball, which is exactly what a middle linebacker needs to be successful.

Trajan Pili from Las Vegas, Nevada, flew under the radar because he committed to BYU while a sophomore in high school. Watching his game film, it is easy to start thinking about another player from Nevada who signed with BYU a few years ago--Kyle Van Noy. Pili is very athletic who is a great pass rusher. Oregon LB prospect Johnny Ragin was being compared to Van Noy, but he decommitted from BYU and signed with California. Pili may make everyone forget about Ragin.

Ezekiel Ansah wreaked havoc on the opposition this season on the defensive line. NFL scouts are drooling over Ansah, and he is almost a lock to be a first round draft pick. Imagine how much damage Ansah could have done if he was a little bigger, a little more polished, and a little faster? That is what BYU gets with JonRyheem Peoples from Rigby, Idaho. Besides playing defensive line, Peoples played wide receiver and returned kickoffs in high school--all 6-foot-6, 298 pounds of him. The best part about Peoples is that he still has a lot of untapped potential.

Some names to watch on offense include:
  • Michael Davis--A wide receiver from California with great speed. Perhaps he is the reason BYU didn't do everything necessary to get McTyer. Davis is a great return man as well.
  • Brayden Kearsley--The most coveted offensive line prospect on the list. Allowed zero sacks in his high school career. 
  • Moroni Laulu-Pututau--Listed at 6-foot4, 190 pounds and played wide receiver in high school. BYU lists him as a tight end. Sounds like a similar story to that tight end who just won the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens. What was his name again? 
  • Billy Green--A quarterback who could have a nice career after Taysom Hill in done.
  • Talon Shumway--Will go on a mission first, but could dominate when he comes back. Tall and very athletic.    
The 2013 class in unique in that seven players are junior college transfers. Junior College (JC) transfers provide two key benefits: they will have a more immediate impact, and they are less likely to be busts. With many BYU players choosing to serve missions, it can take four to five years for them to have a sizable impact in games. Missions are not an issue for JC transfers. They are recruited with the expectation that they will compete for playing time from day one. That should give fans a little more instant gratification with this class.

It is also easier for coaches to evaluate JC players. They are more battle tested than high school recruits. They have competed in an additional two years of football against better competition. With this greater body of work to evaluate, coaches are better able to identify who will be successful and that makes it less likely that JC transfers will be busts.

Two of these JC transfers, Sam Lee and Trenton Trammell look to fill the cornerback position vacated by Preston Hadley and become the next JC success story for BYU at that position.

The complete class of 2013 follows below. For more information on each prospect and links to their highlights, click here.

Name Pos. HT,WT Hometown Previous
Chasen Andersen LB 6,0, 218 Logan, UT Logan HS
Josh Carter OL 6-5, 290 Tucson, AZ Eastern Ariz. College
Michael Davis WR 6-2, 180 Glendale, CA Glendale HS
Tim Duran OL 6-4, 290 Puyallup, WA Cabrillo College
Nathan DeBeikes LB 6-2, 196 Thousand Oaks, CA Thousand Oaks HS
Garrett England DB 6-4, 190 Salt Lake City, UT Skyline HS
Edward Fusi OL 6-1, 285 Corona, CA Mt. San Antonio CC
Rylee Gautavai LB 6-1, 200 Bountiful, UT Bountiful HS
Billy Green QB 6-2, 196 Woodway, WA King's HS
Keegan Hicks OL 6-3, 285 South Jordan, UT Bingham HS
Brayden Kearsley OL 6-5, 298 Aloha, OR Aloha HS
Moroni Laulu-Pututau TE 6-4, 190 Hyrum, UT Mountain Crest HS
Dallin Leavitt DB 6-0, 205 Portland, OR Central Catholic HS
Sam Lee DB 6-0, 180 Brandywine, MD College of the Canyons
Kai Nacua LB 6-2, 205 Henderson, NV Liberty HS
JonRyheem Peoples DL 6-6, 298 Rigby, ID Rigby HS
Trajan Pili LB 6-2, 225 Las Vegas, NV Centennial HS
Addison Pulsipher OL 6-6, 260 Temecula, CA Temecula Valley HS
Thomas Shoaf OL 6-6, 265 Columbus, IN Columbus North HS
Talon Shumway WR 6-3, 200 Highland, UT Lone Peak HS
Merrill Taliauli DL 6-2, 305 Salt Lake City, UT East HS
Johnny Tapusoa DB 5-10, 195 Laie, HI Kahuku HS
Trenton Trammell DB 6-0, 190 Oakland, CA City Coll. of San Fran.
Kalolu Utu DL 6-2, 285 Upolu, Samoa Compton CC
De'Ondre Wesley OL 6-6, 310 Pleasant Hill, CA Diablo Valley CC

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  1. Great artical. I think some of the players most likely to have an impact in 2013 weren't even mentioned. I'm talking about some of the JC offensive linemen like De'Ondre Wesley or Edward Fusi. They are big, Wesley 6-6, 310 and Fusi 6-1,285. They were both solid at the JC level and attracted attention from schools in the P12, B10, and SEC. The other two JC OL look capable, ready to play also. I think there will be solid compitition at every offensive line position this fall. This class will give us a boost where we need it and make us more competitive this fall against though opponents.


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