BYU football announces 2015 football recruiting class

Posted at 4:14 PM, Feb 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-04 18:14:02-05

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.


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

Kieffer Longson*

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… 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.

Akile Davis

6’1” 186 lbs.


DeSoto HS

DeSoto, Texas

Three-star prospect by 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.

Micah Simon

6’1” 185 lbs.


Bishop Dunne HS

Dallas, Texas

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.

Beau Hoge

6’1” 198 lbs.


Highlands HS

Fort Thomas, Ky.

Three-star recruit by 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.

Kody Wilstead*

6’6” 215 lbs.


Pine View HS

St. George, Utah

Three-star recruit by Scout, Rivals, 247Sports and… 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.

Charles West

5’10” 187 lbs.


Coppell HS

Coppell, Texas

Three-star recruit by Rivals, 247Sports, and… 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.

JJ Nwigwe

6’4” 260 lbs.


Rockwall-Heath HS

Rockwall, Texas

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.

David Lui*

6’4” 255 lbs.


Pittsburg HS

Pittsburg, Calif.

Three-star prospect by Scout, 247Sports and… 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.

Tevita Mo’unga

6’3” 300 lbs.


Vista Murrieta HS

Murrieta, Calif.

Three-star prospect by 247Sports,, 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.

Mika Tafua*

6’3” 225 lbs.


Kamehameha HS

Laie, Hawaii

Four-star prospect by 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.

Devin Kaufusi*

6’6” 240 lbs.


Timpview HS

Provo, Utah

Three-star rating by 247Sports and… Uses his length and speed to pass rush the opposing offense… Ranked No. 12-overall prospect in Utah by… 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.

Will Sedgwick*

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.

Jeremiah Ieremia*

6’1” 250 lbs.


Hurricane HS

Hurricane, Utah

Three-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals, 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.

Riley Burt

6’1” 195 lbs.


Box Elder HS

Mantua, Utah

Three-star rating by 247Sports and… 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.

Zayne Anderson

6’2” 190 lbs.


Stansbury HS

Stansbury Park, Utah

Three-star recruit by 247Sports, 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.

Dayan Lake

5’11” 190 lbs.


Northridge HS

Layton, Utah

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.

Trevor Brent

5’10” 165 lbs.


West Mesquite HS

Dallas, Texas

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.

Demetrius Davis

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.

Jacob Jimenez

6’6” 275 lbs.


Pflugerville HS

Pflugerville, Texas

Three-star recruit by… 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.

Motekiai Langi*

6’ 7” 410 lbs.


Tonga HS

Liahona, Tonga

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.

Eric Takenaka

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.

Squally Canada

5’10” 192 lbs.


Washington State/Milpitas HS

Milpitas, Calif.

Transfer from Washington State, who was a four-star recruit by 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.

Brady Christensen

6’6’’ 240 lbs.


Bountiful HS

Bountiful, Utah

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                                                                                                               


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