The jump from high school football to major college football is a big one. Most prep recruits need a few years to make the transition and be ready to contribute. Some players never make the transition, but a few have an immediate impact.
Gunner Romney is expected to have the biggest immediate impact for the BYU Cougars in 2018 according to the findings of a recent Blue Cougar Football survey. While polling site visitors and twitter followers, Romney received at least 50 percent of the votes from each location. The composite results are below.
Official ResultsJust to review, Romney is the 6-foot-3, 200 pound wide receiver from Chandler High School in Arizona. His profile on the official BYU Football website also lists the following:
73% WR Gunner Romney
2% DB Malik Moore
16% P Danny Jones
- A three-star receiver by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN
- Rated No. 4 prospect in the state of Arizona
- Named to the American Family Insurance All-USA Arizona High School Team for 2017
- Helped Chandler win back-to-back 6A state titles as a junior and a senior
- Posted 1,554 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns on 80 receptions in 2017
- 6A All-Conference first team by AZPreps365
- Caught 70 passes for 1,309 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior
- Had 48 catches, 766 yards and nine touchdowns as sophomore
- Participated in the Nike Opening camp and was named MVP
- Nephew of former BYU wide receiver Matt Allen
- Coached by Shaun Aguano
- Also recruited by Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Utah, Iowa State, Northwestern, Duke and Vanderbilt
That is why my vote is on Danny Jones for most impactful signee in 2018. Jonny Linehan was the only punter on BYU's roster last season. He just graduated. There is a very good chance that Jones is going to be the starting punter next season. That almost guarantees he will be the guy from the 2018 recruiting class to have the biggest immediate impact.
As Scott pointed out on Twitter, 2016 recruit Skyler Southam will be back from his mission to Chile this year.
Skyler Southam— Scott (@bigbuck03) February 13, 2018
While Southam did have a nice 46.8 yard average on 67 punts in high school, he was even more impressive as a placekicker. That is a position of greater need for BYU. I expect Southam to be used solely as a placekicker. Besides BYU needing an upgrade at placekicker more than punter, Southam is going to need time to get his legs back into shape after serving a mission. There is no reason to overwork him by making him punt and placekick, especially with Jones on the roster. Plus, in this day and age of college football, it is rare to have one guy handle both the punting and placekicking duties.
Since 2004, BYU has had the same player punt and placekick just once. That was the 2012 season when placekicker Justin Sorensen didn't recover from injury as expected, and BYU was caught with no other option as the season started. Even then, Riley Stephenson and Sorensen split the placekicking duties during the season.
Thank you to everyone who voted. A breakdown of the votes from each polling source is below. Please vote in this week's poll: Which game in 2018 will be the biggest challenge?
WR Gunner Romney
DB Malik Moore
P Danny Jones
The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org