The following is a press release from Brigham Young University regarding their 2015 football recruiting class. The press release has been reproduced in its entirety below:
BYU Announces 2015 Football Recruiting Class
PROVO, Utah (February 4, 2015) — Head coach Bronco Mendenhall today announced BYU’s 2015 recruiting class consisting of 21 high school signees, one junior college transfer and one FBS transfer.
In addition to two-mid year signees, BYU added 21 newcomers Wednesday on National Signing Day. The Cougars will also welcome back to the program 14 scholarship players returning from serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“We are excited today to welcome the newest members of the BYU football program,” Mendenhall said. “These young men are talented football players and quality individuals who will help us get better as a program.”
The balanced class includes 12 defensive and 11 offensive players representing five different states and Tonga. Nine prospects signing out of Utah with six recruits coming from Texas and five from California in addition to signees from Kentucky, Hawai’i and the island of Tongatapu in Tonga.
On defense, BYU added five talented newcomers to its defensive backfield along with four linebackers and three down linemen, while signing two quarterbacks, two wide receivers, two running backs and five linemen on offense.
“Our focus was on improving our depth and talent through the high school ranks,” Mendenhall continued. “We also brought in talented transfers and have missionaries returning who signed with us previously that will all help us going forward. Our coaches worked very hard to bring in this class. What a great day.”
Two transfers signed at mid-year with BYU. Defensive back Eric Takenaka is a 5-foot-10, 205-pound versatile athlete who will be a junior for the Cougars in 2015. This past season at Snow College he was named to the All-Western States Football League Defensive First Team and All-WSFL Special Teams Second Team while finishing second nationally with eight interceptions and leading the nation in kickoff return average at 44.1 yards per return. Running back Squally Canada transferred from Washington State after averaging 8.8 yards per carry for 1,916 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior at Milpitas High School. The 5-foot-10, 192-pound freshman will sit out the 2015 season due to transfer rules before having three seasons on the field at BYU.
The 2015 BYU recruiting class features 17 players rated with three or four stars, including four-star prospects Mika Tafua (6-3, 225, OLB) out of Laie, Hawai’i, Kieffer Longson (6-7, 295, OL) from San Ramon, California, Dayan Lake (5-11, 190, DB) from Layton, Utah and Washington State transfer Canada.
Tafua prepped at Kamehameha High School where he was rated the No. 19 outside linebacker in the nation by 247Sports. Longson is the No. 34-rated offensive tackle in the nation coming out of Dougherty Valley High School and No. 4 tackle from California overall, while Lake is rated the No. 50 cornerback in the country out of Northridge High School.
Joining Lake and Takenaka as Utah players signing with BYU were defensive backs Zayne Anderson (6-2, 190, Stansbury HS) and Riley Burt (6-1, 195, Box Elder HS); linebackers Devin Kaufusi (6-6, 240, Timpview HS) and Jeremiah Ieremia (6-1, 250, Hurricane HS); quarterback Kody Wilstead (6-6, 215, Pine View HS); and offensive linemen Brady Christensen (6-6, 240, Bountiful HS) and Demetrius Davis (6-4, 265, Pleasant Grove HS).
A big focus in BYU’s recruiting came in Texas with six players signing on to become Cougars, including five from the talent-rich Dallas-Fort Worth area. Wide receivers Akile Davis (6-1, 186, DeSoto HS) and Micah Simon (6-1, 185, Bishop Dunne HS) were joined by offensive linemen Jacob Jimenez (6-6, 275, Pflugerville HS) and JJ Nwigwe (6-4, 260, Rockwall-Heath HS) as well as running back Charles West (5-10, 187, Coppell HS) and defensive back Trevor Brent (5-10, 165, West Mesquite HS) in representing the state of Texas in BYU’s 2015 recruiting class.
In addition to native California four-star prospects Longson and Canada, BYU also welcomes several three-star recruits from the Golden Gate state in defensive linemen David Lui (6-4, 255, Pittsburg HS) and Tevita Mo’unga (6-3, 300, Vista Murrieta HS) and middle linebacker Will Sedgwick (6-2, 220, Laguna Hills HS).
Quarterback Beau Hoge (6-1, 198, Highlands HS) will come to Provo from Fort Thomas, Kentucky, where the dual-threat signal caller amassed 3,459 passing yards and 35 passing touchdowns along with 865 rushing yards and 26 rushing touchdowns in 2014. Coming from the furthest away, however, will be defensive/offensive line prospect Motekiai Langi, who brings his massive 6-foot-7, 410-pound frame from Liahona, Tonga.
Eight members of BYU’s 2015 recruiting class plan to serve missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prior to enrolling. The Cougars also welcome back 14 scholarship players from missions who will join the program for the 2015 season, including six who haven’t previously enrolled at BYU for a season. Those six players include quarterback Tanner Mangum (6-3, 195, Eagle HS) from Eagle, Idaho; running back Nathan DeBeikes (6-2, 196, Thousand Oaks HS) out of Thousand Oaks, California; tight end Moroni Laulu-Pututau (6-4, 190, Mountain Crest HS) from Hyrum, Utah; wide receivers Talon Shumway (6-3, 200, Lone Peak HS) from Highland, Utah, and Josh Weeks (6-4, 200, Show Low HS) out of Show Low, Arizona; and defensive lineman Taumata Tofi (6-3, 270, Perris HS) from Perris, California.
NAME POS HT WT PREVIOUS SCHOOL HOMETOWN
Kieffer Longson OL 6-7 295 Dougherty Valley HS San Ramon, Calif.
Akile Davis WR 6-1 186 DeSoto HS DeSoto, Texas
Micah Simon WR 6-1 185 Bishop Dunne HS Dallas, Texas
Beau Hoge QB 6-1 198 Highlands HS Fort Thomas, Ky.
Kody Wilstead QB 6-6 215 Pine View HS St. George, Utah
Charles West RB 5-10 187 Coppell HS Coppell, Texas
JJ Nwigwe OL 6-4 260 Rockwall-Heath HS Rockwall, Texas
David Lui DL 6-4 255 Pittsburg HS Pittsburg, Calif.
Tevita Mo’unga DL 6-3 300 Vista Murrieta HS Murrieta, Calif.
Mika Tafua OLB 6-3 225 Kamehameha HS Laie, Hawaii
Devin Kaufusi OLB 6-6 240 Timpview HS Provo, Utah
Will Sedgwick MLB 6-2 220 Laguna Hills HS Laguna Hills, Calif.
Jeremiah Ieremia MLB 6-1 250 Hurricane HS Hurricane, Utah
Riley Burt DB/RB 6-1 195 Box Elder HS Mantua, Utah
Zayne Anderson DB 6-2 190 Stansbury HS Stansbury Park, Utah
Dayan Lake DB 5-11 190 Northridge HS Layton, Utah
Trevor Brent DB 5-10 165 West Mesquite HS Dallas, Texas
Demetrius Davis OL 6-4 265 Pleasant Grove HS Pleasant Grove, Utah
Jacob Jimenez OL 6-6 275 Pflugerville HS Pflugerville, Texas
Motekiai Langi DL/OL 6-7 410 Tonga HS Liahona, Tonga
Eric Takenaka DB 5-10 205 Snow College/West HS Salt Lake City
Squally Canada RB 5-10 192 Washington State/Milpitas HS Milpitas, Calif.
Brady Christensen OL 6-6 240 Bountiful HS Bountiful, Utah
6’7” 295 lbs.
Dougherty Valley HS
San Ramon, Calif.
Rated a four-star prospect by Scout… Considered No. 46 overall prospect in California by ESPN.com… Rated the No. 34 offensive tackle in the nation and the No. 4 offensive tackle in California by Scout… Named All-East Bay third-team offense by the Contra Costa Times… Coached by Nick Tisa… Recruited by Utah, UCLA, Arizona State, Colorado, Florida State, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio State, San Jose State, Utah State and Washington State.
6’1” 186 lbs.
Three-star prospect by ESPN.com and Scout… No. 24-rated wide receiver in Texas by Scout… Played tight end as well… Named to the Texas All-District 7 5A second-team offense in 2013 as a junior… As a senior, helped lead DeSoto High School to a 10-2 record (5-1 district) with a No. 4 ranking in Texas and a No. 22 national ranking… Recorded 29 catches for 286 yards and five touchdowns in 2014… Coached by Claude Mathis… Recruited by Bowling Green, Indiana, Maryland, Middle Tennessee, San Diego State, North Texas, Nevada and Toledo.
6’1” 185 lbs.
Bishop Dunne HS
Quarterbacked Bishop Dunne Catholic High School to its first TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools) Division I State Championship in 24 years with 195 passing yards and three touchdowns, as well as a game-breaking 99-yard touchdown run for the Falcons who finished the season 12-1 and 6-1 in district… Will make the switch to receiver upon arriving in Provo… Recorded seven total touchdowns including six rushing in senior season… Named to the TAPPS All-State Division I Second Team… Named to the Tom Hillary Fort Worth-area private school all-star football team… Coached by Michael Johnson… Recruited by Air Force, Cornell, Grambling, Texas State, Southern Methodist and Southern Mississippi.
6’1” 198 lbs.
Fort Thomas, Ky.
Three-star recruit by ESPN.com and 247Sports… Led Highland High School to 13-2 record, No. 6 ranking in state and 2014 Kentucky Class 4A state championship, being named MVP… A 2014 Associated Press Kentucky High School All-State second team selection… Threw for 3,459 passing yards and 35 touchdown passes while rushing for 865 yards and 26 rushing scores in 2014… Rushed for 177 yards with three touchdowns and threw for 191 yards and two more scores on 14-of-22 passing in the title game… His 81-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, putting his team ahead 37-14 was the No. 1 overall play on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” Top 10 plays of the day… Coached by Brian Weinrich… Hoge’s father Merril is a former NFL running back and current analyst for ESPN… Recruited by Cincinnati, Miami (OH) and Ohio.
6’6” 215 lbs.
Pine View HS
St. George, Utah
Three-star recruit by Scout, Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN.com… Deseret News 3AA South All-Region First Team… Pro-style quarterback totaled 9,654 passing yards and 92 TDs through the air and a 98.2 career QB rating with a 58 percent completion rate… Also rushed for seven career rushing scores… Helped Pine View to an 8-3 record, 5-1 in region, while making it to the Utah 3AA state semifinals… SoCal Elite 11 top performer by 247Sports… Coached by Ray Hosner… Recruited by Louisville, San Diego State and Southern Utah.
5’10” 187 lbs.
Three-star recruit by Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN.com… Clocked a 4.45-second 40 time… No.16 recruit in Texas by Rivals… Named 7-6A Offensive MVP in 2014 while racking up 1,465 rushing yards and 13 TDs on 161 carries…Totaled nine receptions for 129 yards and two scores… Was a first-team all-district selection as a junior and as a sophomore was named the District 5-5A Co-Offensive Newcomer of the Year… Coached by Mike DeWitt… Recruited by SMU, San Diego State, Texas Tech, Arkansas, Arkansas State, Nevada, Colorado State, Texas State, Toledo, Tulsa, Louisiana-Monroe and Kansas State.
6’4” 260 lbs.
Two-star recruit is rated the nation’s No. 143 guard by 247Sports… Helped team to 10-3 record, 6-1 in district, while reaching the third round of regional playoffs… Blocked for Rockwall-Heath offense that featured a thousand-yard running back… Coached by Mickey Moss… Recruited by SMU, Colorado, New Mexico State, Nevada, Kansas, Cal, Navy, Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin and UNC.
6’4” 255 lbs.
Three-star prospect by Scout, 247Sports and ESPN.com… No. 119-rated strong-side defensive end in the country by 247Sports… Rated the No. 99 defensive tackle in the nation and the No. 11 defensive tackle in California by Scout… Helped team to section championship game and a 10-3 record, going 5-0 in league… In 23 varsity games he amassed 105 tackles, seven sacks, 13 quarterback hurries and 24 tackles for loss while helping his team hold opponents to 10.5 points per game … Named to All-East Bay Third-Team Defense in 2014…Coached by Victor Galli… Also recruited by Hawaii, Weber State Cal, UCLA, Utah and Washington State.
6’3” 300 lbs.
Vista Murrieta HS
Three-star prospect by 247Sports, ESPN.com, Scout and Rivals… No. 69-rated defensive tackle nationwide… Helped Vista Murrieta High School advance to section championship with an 11-3 record while going 5-0 in league… In two varsity seasons he totaled 104 tackles, 17 quarterback hurries, 11.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, 2.5 sacks and one fumble recovery… Played with current BYU linebacker Tyler Cook in high school at Vista Murrieta High School… Coached by Coley Candaele… Also recruited by Washington, Washington State, Utah, Colorado, Vanderbilt, Texas Tech, Baylor and Arizona.
6’3” 225 lbs.
Four-star prospect by ESPN.com and 247Sports… No. 19-rated outside linebacker in the nation and No. 5 overall prospect in Hawaii by 247Sports… ILH Co-Defensive Player of the Year and a First-Team Honolulu All-Star… Helped team to 4-3 league record… Started high school as a defensive end in a 4-3 defensive scheme, moved to outside linebacker in 3-4 schemes after a BYU sports camp where Coach Poppinga pegged him for his speed and athleticism… Coached by Doug Cosby… Also recruited by Vanderbilt, Washington, Oregon and USC.
6’6” 240 lbs.
Three-star rating by 247Sports and ESPN.com… Uses his length and speed to pass rush the opposing offense… Ranked No. 12-overall prospect in Utah by ESPN.com… Helped Timpview to three-consecutive 4A Utah state championships and a 36-6 record in that same span… A Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune All-State First Team selection in 2014… A Deseret News 4A Region 8 All-Region First Team honoree… During senior season he tallied 80 tackles, including 46 solo, with 14 sacks, 10 pass breakups and two fumble recoveries… Son of BYU defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi and older brothers Bronson (football) and Corbin (basketball) play for the Cougars… Coached by Cary Whittingham.
6’2” 220 lbs.
Laguna Hills HS
Laguna Hills, Calif.
Three-star recruit by 247Sports and Rivals… Selected as All-CIF Southwest Division in 2012… League defensive MVP… As a junior he had 131 total tackles, four sacks, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and eight quarterback hurries despite missing three games due to injury… Also totaled 91 rushing yards on 14 carries with one touchdown… Coached by Bruce Ingalls… Recruited by Washington, Oregon and Harvard.
6’1” 250 lbs.
Three-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals, ESPN.com and Scout… Rated No. 2 middle linebacker in Utah… Deseret News 3AA South All-Region First Team… Helped Hurricane to an 8-6 (4-2 region) record and its first title game appearance since 2011… MVP of the linebacker group at the Oakland Nike Football Training Camp and received high praise from two-time NFL Pro-Bowler and three-time Super Bowl champ Willie McGinest… Deseret News 3AA All-State and a Salt Lake Tribune 3AA All-State First Team selection… MVP of All-Poly camp in Layton, Utah… Coached by Steve Pearson… Recruited by Oregon State, Washington, Boise State and Utah State.
6’1” 195 lbs.
Box Elder HS
Three-star rating by 247Sports and ESPN.com… In his senior season he accumulated 1,109 yards rushing, 11 TDs on the ground, 180 total carries… Had four games of 100 or more yards rushing while averaging 6.2 yards per carry and 92.4 yards/game with a long run of 75… Also had 98 receiving yards with one TD catch… Totaled 196 kickoff return yards on nine returns… A Deseret News 4A All-State selection and a Salt Lake Tribune All-State Honorable Mention… Named Deseret News 5A Region 5 All-Region Second Team… Clocked a 10.95 100-meter time in 2014 track season… Also competed in 200 meter and shot put…Coached by Robbie Gunter… Recruited by Utah State, Utah, UNLV, Boise State and San Diego State.
6’2” 190 lbs.
Stansbury Park, Utah
Three-star recruit by 247Sports, ESPN.com and Scout… Deseret News 3AA North All-Region First Team… Played running back and safety at Stansbury High School and also ran track… Helped Stansbury High School to the first round of the 3AA Utah state playoffs with a 9-2 record, 6-0 in region… Through 27 varsity games, he registered 147 total tackles with 114 solo along with six interceptions and one sack… Offensively he carried the ball 59 times for 442 yards and nine touchdowns… Has size and speed to play a number of positions and has been compared to former BYU safety Daniel Sorensen… An All-State Second Team selection by the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News as a senior… Also All-Tribune by the Salt Lake Tribune in 2014… All-Region selection for his 53 tackles and four interceptions defensively as a sophomore in 2012… Dealt with injuries as a senior, only playing in seven games… Coached by Clint Christiansen… Also recruited by Utah State.
5’11” 190 lbs.
Four-star prospect by Scout… Ranked as the 50th cornerback prospect in the nation and 7th-overall prospect in Utah… A Salt Lake Tribune 5A All-State Second Team and Deseret News 5A All-State selection… Named Deseret News 5A Region 1 All-Region Co-Offensive MVP… As a senior he averaged 164.4 rush/receiving yards per game and 41.5 yards per kickoff return… Only allowed four completions as a shutdown corner and blocked eight kicks in 2014… Used in high school to blitz as well as cover passes… Clocked 40 time at 4.39… native of Liberia, Africa … Parents both attended BYU-Hawaii… Also recruited by Utah, Oregon, Nevada, UNLV, Utah State and Oregon State.
5’10” 165 lbs.
West Mesquite HS
Helped West Mesquite to a 9-3 overall, 5-2 district record and to the second round of the 2014 University Interscholastic League State Football Championships… Uses great closing speed and good vertical to keep up in pass coverage… A physical player that plays good bump coverage and makes sound, fundamental tackles… Coached by Jeff Neill… Also recruited by Yale and Boise State.
6’4” 265 lbs.
Pleasant Grove HS
Pleasant Grove, Utah
Named to the Salt Lake Tribune’s Coaches 5A All-State First Team and Deseret News 5A All-State team… A Deseret News 5A Region 4 All-Region Second Team selection… Named a Daily Herald All-Valley Honorable Mention honoree… Helped Pleasant Grove to a 5-5 record in 2014… A three-year starter on offensive line that helped offense average 257 passing, 129 rushing and 327 total yards per game… Also a two-time wrestling state dual undefeated in 285-pound weight class… Coached by Les Hamilton… Recruited by Air Force, Southern Utah, Utah, Boise State, Utah State and Northern Arizona.
6’6” 275 lbs.
Three-star recruit by ESPN.com… Helped team to an 8-4 overall and 5-2 district record on the way to the second round of the Conference 5A Division 2 playoffs… As a sophomore, started entire season on varsity at offensive left tackle–was the only starting sophomore on varsity that season… As a junior, started at offensive right guard, left tackle and was the team’s deep snapper… Selected to the 2013 All-District 16-5A Second Team and academic all-district for three years… Coached by George Hermann as a sophomore, Howard McMahan as a junior and Jason Cecil as a senior… Recruited by Oregon State, UTEP, North Texas and Nevada.
6’ 7” 410 lbs.
Native of Liahona, Tonga … Attended Tonga High School on the island of Tongatapu in Tonga… Has a ruby background but participated in American football camps in Tonga (no local football teams) … A good student at Liahona High School… Currently serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Phoenix, Arizona mission… Joins the nearly 70 Tongans who have played football at BYU … Cousin of current BYU linebacker Harvey Langi.
5’10” 205 lbs.
Snow College/West HS
Salt Lake City
Transfer from Snow College, where he helped the Badgers achieve an 8-2 record and No. 8 national ranking in 2014… In 2014 he was named to NJCAA All-America Honorable Mention Defense, All-Western States Football League Defensive First Team and All-WSFL Special Teams Second Team… NJCAA National Defensive Player of the Week in Week 3 while finishing second nationally in 2014 with eight interceptions in 2014 while also returning his interceptions for an average of 30 yards each, including a 100-yard return for a touchdown… Also led the nation in kickoff return average at 44.1 yards per return and was used offensively on special plays where he carried the ball four times for 21 yards and pulled in six passes for 56 yards… Finished second on the Snow squad with 55 tackles…Coached by Britt Maughan at Snow.
5’10” 192 lbs.
Washington State/Milpitas HS
Transfer from Washington State, who was a four-star recruit by ESPN.com and the No. 32 running back in the nation out of high school… Redshirted due to injury at Washington State and will sit out the 2015 season due to transfer rules… Averaged 8.8 yards per carry to total 1,916 yards and 24 touchdowns while leading Milpitas High School to the CIF Central Coast Section Title with an 11-2 record as a senior… An All-San Jose Mercury News First Team and All-Metro League (San Francisco Bay Area) Second Team as the Offensive MVP of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League DeAnza Division… Totaled 3,367 yards and 37 touchdowns during his high school career…Coached by Kelly King at Milpitas High School… Recruited out of high school by Oregon State, Colorado and Boise State.
6’6’’ 240 lbs.
Named to the Deseret News 4A All-State First Team … Named to the Salt Lake Tribune’s 4A All-State First Team … Deseret News 4A Region 6 All-Region First Team … Also plays basketball and baseball … Anchored an offensive line that helped the Bountiful offense rush for 218 yards per game … Helped team to an 8-3 overall and 5-1 regional record into the first round of the Utah 4A state playoffs … Coached by Larry Wall … Also recruited by Air Force.
* Denotes plans to serve a two-year mission prior to enrolling in school
Returning Scholarship Missionaries
NAME POS HT WT CLASS PREVIOUS SCHOOL HOMETOWN
Nathan DeBeikes RB 6-2 196 Fr. Thousand Oaks HS Thousand Oaks, California
Matt Hadley DB 6-0 191 So. Connell HS Connell, Washington
Micah Hannemann DB 6-1 190 So. Lone Peak HS Alpine, Utah
Austin Hoyt OL 6-7 268 Fr. Argonaut HS Ione, California
Moses Kaumatule DL 6-1 254 Fr. Bingham HS South Jordan, Utah
Moroni Laulu-Pututau TE 6-4 190 Fr. Mountain Crest HS Hyrum, Utah
Lene Lesatele LB 6-1 238 So. Gahr HS Artesia, California
Tanner Mangum QB 6-3 195 Fr. Eagle HS Eagle, Idaho
Butch Pauu LB 6-0 220 Fr. Servite HS Anaheim, California
Sawyer Powell DB 6-1 203 So. Richland HS West Richland, Washington
Rhett Sandlin LB 6-2 220 Fr. Alta HS Sandy, Utah
Talon Shumway WR 6-3 200 Fr. Lone Peak HS Highland, Utah
Taumata Tofi DL 6-3 270 Fr. Perris HS Perris, California
Josh Weeks WR 6-4 200 Fr. Show Low HS Show Low, Arizona