(Here’s BYU’s press release on its Class of 2012.)
PROVO, Utah (Feb. 1, 2012) – BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall today announced the Cougars’ 2012 football recruiting class featuring 17 talented prospects. The class includes 10 defensive and seven offensive players. In addition, 12 scholarship players are joining the program after serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“We are excited to have this next excellent group of young men join our program,” Mendenhall said. “We recruit young men who are excellent football players, quality students and exceptional individuals. This class, along with those we have returning from missions, will help us continue to build and grow as one of the nation’s top programs.”
Coming off its first season as a football independent, BYU earned a 10-3 record in 2011 and finished with a final top-25 ranking for the fifth time in the last six years. The Cougars’ 2012 recruiting class features 14 high school seniors, two returned missionaries starting their Division I careers and one community college transfer.
Joining the program as a mid-year enrollee, Taysom Hill, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound quarterback, was originally a Stanford commit before serving a mission in Sydney, Australia. Hill helped Highland High to a 5A Idaho state title, was an All-State selection and was rated the No. 1 prospect in the state by Rivals.com. Also returning from the mission field as a mid-year enrollee is Ammon Olsen, a 6-foot-3, 198-pound quarterback. Olsen, a Utah Gatorade Player of the Year honoree, led Alta High to a 2008 state championship and then played his freshman year at Southern Utah before leaving on a mission to Mexico City.
Tanner Mangum, a 6-foot-3, 195-pounder from Eagle, Idaho, completes the quarterback class for 2012. Mangum was rated the No. 3 quarterback prospect in the nation by Rivals.com and No. 59 overall prospect. Mangum is expected to serve a mission before enrolling.
In addition to Mangum, two more recruits are rated in the top 20 nationally at their respective positions by Rivals.com. Troy Hinds, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound defensive end from Kaysville, Utah, comes in rated No. 14 as a four-star recruit by both Scout.com and Rivals.com. Rated the No. 1 recruit in the state by 247Sports, Hinds is expected to play outside linebacker at BYU and will also serve a mission before joining the team. Another top linebacker recruit is Butch Pau’u, a 5-foot-11, 215-pound linebacker from Anaheim, Calif., who is rated the No. 20 middle linebacker in the nation by Rivals.com.
Jamaal Williams from Fontana, Calif., and Summit High is a 6-foot-1, 193-pound running back who committed to the Cougars over other schools such as Oregon and UCLA. Strengthening the linebacker class is Rhett Sandlin, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound linebacker from Sandy, Utah, who is listed as the No. 7 recruit in the state by Rivals.com.
Five of the Cougars’ 10 defensive recruits are linebackers, two are defensive backs and three are defensive lineman. The seven offensive recruits include three quarterbacks, two wide receivers, one offensive lineman and one running back.
Seven recruits hail from California while five are from Utah. Members of the class also include two from Idaho along with one each from Florida, Arizona and Washington.
Of the 12 additional players returning from missions, seven are on the defensive side and five are offensive players. Four players, including senior defensive lineman Russell Tialavea and sophomores Craig Bills (safety), Brett Thompson (wide receiver) and Fono Vakalahi (offensive lineman), are returning lettermen with Tialavea returning with three years of starting experience.
Biographies and a complete list of the 2012 class are included below.
Dr. Phillips High School
2011 All-Metro West Conference … team captain and defensive MVP … had 50 tackles in four games, including a season-high 16 tackles in the third game of the season before tearing his ACL in October of his senior year … as a junior totaled 128 tackles, 5 sacks and an interception … led high school team to 45-4 record in career … helped school win 36-straight regular-season games … in state title game junior season … principal’s honor roll … National Honors Society … has seven brothers and sisters … also recruited by Florida Atlantic, Duke, Miami, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Purdue, Indiana and Wisconsin … coached by Rodney Wells
El Dorado Hills, Calif.
Oak Ridge HS
First-team All-Metro, First-team All-League, and Offensive MVP … as a senior caught 47 passes for 660 yards and 8 touchdowns and rushed 42 times for 179 yards and 3 touchdowns … caught nine passes for 164 yards and three touchdowns in roughly just one half of work in one game senior year … also played quarterback part of senior year due to injuries and passed for 345 yards and five touchdowns … had at least 100 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns in each his playoff games … caught 42 passes for 543 yards and 8 touchdowns his junior year … brothers Zac and Austin both played wider receiver for BYU, along with father Scott … recruited by Oregon, Washington, UCLA, Utah and Washington State … coached by Eric Cavaliere
Connel High School
Rushed for 2,516 yards and state-record 47 touchdowns as a junior while also scoring three more touchdowns on defense and special teams … finished high school career with 6,881 rushing yards and scored a state-record 746 points … had 168 rushing yards and three touchdowns, including scoring runs of 70 and 40 yards, in state title game as a senior … won two 1A state titles (2009, 2011) … 1A Player of the Year (2009, 2010) … Played running back and defensive back … had 2,162 rushing yards as a senior … coached by Zach Fife
Lone Peak HS
5A First Team All-State in 2011 … honorable mention All-State in 2010 … won 5A state title in 2011 … helped Lone Peak to 25-2 record in two years … recorded 58 tackles, two sacks, six pass breakups and forced one fumble as a senior … also caught 35 passes for 526 yards and eight touchdowns … brother, Jacob, will also play defensive back for BYU … also recruited by Southern Utah, Utah and Utah State … coached by Tony McGeary
2008 5A All-Idaho Player of the Year as a senior after quarterbacking Highland to its first state title since 2002 … listed as the 30th-best quarterback prospect in the nation coming out of high school in 2009 by Scout.com and Rivals.com … listed as the top recruit in the state of Idaho by Rivals.com … led Highland to the Idaho State 5A championship as a senior … Idaho’s Gatorade High School Player of the Year as a senior … first team all-state selection also earned all-region and conference player of the year accolades … completed 166-of-258 passes (64.3 percent) and threw for 2,269 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior … also rushed for 1,491 yards and 24 TDs, averaging 10.2 yards per carry and 124.3 rushing yards per game … holds school single-season and career records for total offense … also lettered in basketball and track and field … older brother Jordan played defensive tackle at Arizona State and other brother Dexter played quarterback at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College, Northern Iowa and Dixie State (Utah) … served LDS mission to Sydney, Australia … originally committed to Stanford before mission … also recruited by Arizona, Washington State, Boise State and Utah … coached by Gino Mariani
Four-star recruit by Rivals.com, rated the No. 14 defensive end and No. 2 overall prospect in state of Utah … ranked the No. 1 in-state recruit by 247Sports and and No. 2 in-state recruit by ESPN.com … four-star recruit by Scout.com, ranked the No. 23 overall defensive end … 5A All-State selection all four years of high school … Maxpreps All-American … All-Region MVP and All-Area MVP … led team in sacks as sophomore (8.0), junior (7.5) and senior (9.0) … led team in tackles sophomore (96) … led Davis to a league title in 2009 and 23-9-1 record in three years … recorded 7 tackles, one sack and caught a 39-yard touchdown pass in a 14-10 victory over Syracuse as a senior … forced four fumbles as a senior … also lettered in basketball and track … also recruited by Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Georgia Tech, Colorado, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma Stanford, UCLA, Utah and Washington State … coached by Ryan Bishop
Argonaut High School
2011 Cal-Hi All-State First Team … 2011 League MVP, 2011 All-Area Second Team Defense, 2010 First team All-League … ranked the No. 12 defensive end in the west and No. 78 overall player in California by Scout.com … recorded 70 tackles, 2 sacks and scored two defensive touchdowns (1 fumble recovery and 1 interception return) as a senior … also caught 10 passes for 325 yards, 4 touchdowns and caught a 2-point conversion at tight end … recorded 109 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 blocked kicks and recovered a fumble as a junior while catching 8 passes for 111 yards and one touchdown at tight end … Academic All-League in 2010 and 2011 … was student-body president as a senior …. honor roll all four years of high school … also was All-League in basketball in 2010 and 2011 … also recruited by Utah, Air Force, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, UCLA, Arizona, Army, Harvard and Utah State … coached by Rich Davis
Los Angeles, Calif.
El Camino CC
First-team All-League, Second-team All-City … Team captain and lineman of the year … led El Camino to a No. 2 ranking in sacks (38), pass defense (176.5 ypg) and scoring defense (19 ppg) and No. 3 in total defense (288.5 ypg) … recorded a team-high 14.5 tackles for loss for minus-38 yards, four sacks, forced one fumble and recovered one fumble … earned Scholar Baller Award … has three brothers and sisters … also recruited by Indiana, Washington State and Texas Tech … coached by Ruffin Patterson
San Jose, Calif.
Valley Christian School
All-Area First Team, All-Mercury honorable mention, All-League honorable mention … led team to a conference title as a junior and a second-place regional finish … participated in Nike SPARQ combine in Oakland and named to All-Combine squad with a 90.24 rating (sixth among defensive players)… also recruited by Fresno State, Nevada, Oregon State, Sacramento State and San Jose State … coached by Mike Machado
Garden Grove, Calif.
First-team Trinity League … First-team All-Pac 5 … 2011 Trinity League Defensive MVP … team co-captain … won state title as a sophomore … played linebacker, defensive end, fullback and offensive guard in high school … rated No. 5 fullback in the nation by Scout.com … also recruited by Oregon State, Colorado, Hawaii and UCLA … coached by Troy Thomas
Rated No. 1 prospect in the state of Idaho, No. 3 overall quarterback in the nation and No. 59 overall prospect by Rivals.com … rated No. 15 quarterback by Scout.com … Co-MVP of Elite 11 Camp … MVP of the Under Armour All-America Game … participated in The Opening, a five-day Nike football event and was named to the 7on7 All-Tournament team after leading his squad to the championship game … 5A Southern Idaho Conference Offensive Player of the Year … All-State … completed a school-record 268 of 393 passes for 3,885 yards and 35 touchdowns as a senior … set a single-game school record completing 37 of 53 passes for 469 yards and six touchdowns … threw for 874 yards and 10 touchdowns before missing most of his junior year with a an injury … Academic All-Conference all of high school … ESPN lists him as “an efficient, technically consistent pocket passer that is an above average athlete as well” … older brother, Parker, also played football at BYU while sister, Meredith, played soccer at Boise State … also recruited by Arkansas, Boise State, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Utah and Washington State … coached by Paul Peterson
Utah’s 5A Most Valuable Player and Gatorade Player of the Year honors as a senior while leading Alta High School to the 2008 state title … completed 193 of 306 passes (63.1 percent) for 3,209 yards and 36 touchdowns and ran for 860 yards and another 11 scores as a senior while leading his team to four second-half comeback wins … member of back-to-back state championship teams in 2007 and 2008 as well as three consecutive region title teams … exceptional athlete was also a three-year letterman on the AHS basketball team, earning Region 2 MVP honors as a senior … Attended Southern Utah University as a freshman in 2009, playing in six games while completing 57.1 percent of his passes (8-of-14) for 115 yards and two touchdowns … added 44 yards rushing on 10 carries (4.4 ypc) … served an LDS mission to Mexico City … coached in high school by Les Hamilton
First-team All-State, First-team All-County and First-team All-Orange County while picking up Trinity League Defensive Player of the Year honors … one of six ESPNHS Cal-Hi Sports All-State Multi-Purpose First Team selections in 2011 as a LB/TE … No. 19 overall middle linebacker and No. 51 overall prospect in California on Rivals.com … No. 21 overall middle linebacker on Scout.com …Earned MVP linebacker honors at the LA Nike Camp in 2011 … played in state championship game in 2010 … helped team to CIF titles in 2010 and Trinity League titles in 2010 and 2011 … also played basketball … also recruited by Colorado, Utah, Washington, Iowa State, Nebraska, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA and Washington State … coached by Troy Thomas
5A All-State honorable mention (2011) … All-Region First Team selection (2011) … recorded 30 receptions for 393 yards and four touchdowns as a senior at tight end … led Alta to a 9-2 record, league title and regional runner-up finish … as a junior caught 28 passes for 336 yards and one touchdown … does a great job of catching the ball with his hands, shows surprising quickness and moves after the catch, and knows how to get open … also recruited by Utah State, Stanford and UCLA … coached by Les Hamilton
Rated No. 59 at the safety position and seventh-best prospect in Utah by Rivals.com … 5A All-State honorable mention (2010, 2011) … All-Region First Team selection (2010, 2011) … Utah Elite 33 Tanoa Bowl … as a senior, led team to 9-2 record, league title and regional runner-up finish … totaled 84 tackles, 3.0 sacks, five pass deflections, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries as a senior at linebacker … played safety and linebacker as a junior and totaled 117 tackles, four pass breakups, two forced fumbles, 1.5 sacks, one fumble recovery and one interception … 3-year starter and four-year letterwinner … also recruited by Stanford, Oregon State, Washington, Wyoming and Utah … coached by Robert Stevens
Show Low, Ariz.
Show Low HS
Maxpreps All-American (2009, 2010) … 2011 AzFCA All-State … selected to play in 2011 Semper Fi All-American Bowl … AZ Republic All-Arizona (2009, 2010, 2011) … set six 3A Arizona high school records in career and is Arizona’s all-time leader in career receptions (187) and receiving yards (3,851) and receiving touchdowns (46) … played multiple positions as a senior and rushed 130 times for 1,161 yards and 13 touchdowns, caught 38 passes for 540 yards and 5 touchdowns and threw for 527 yards and 8 touchdowns … as a junior caught 73 passes for 1,561 yards and 20 touchdowns … had 47 receptions, 1,223 yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore … won 2010 3A state championship … also ran track and won the 2011 400-meter state title … National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete of the Year (2011) … also recruited by Florida, Florida State, Nevada, North Carolina, Arizona, Arizona State and Ohio State … coached by Randy Ricedorff
League and CIF offensive MVP … First-team All-CIF, First-team All-League … CIF Championship as a senior with a 13-1 record and league title … had 141 rushes for 1,252 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior … also recorded 13 receptions for 254 yards and 1 touchdown … rushed 93 times for 717 yards a junior with 11 touchdowns … assistant coach was Tony Crutchfield, former BYU defensive back … also recruited by UCLA, Oregon, Boise State, Arizona State, Utah, Idaho, San Diego State … coached by Tony Barile