Timpview Prospect Jake Wahlin Couldn’t Ignore His ‘BYU Blood’ In Commitment To Cougars
PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball added its first commitment in the class of 2021 on Tuesday as 6-foot-8 Timpview guard Jake Wahlin verbaled to Mark Pope’s staff.
A three-star prospect according to 247Sports and a Top-150 recruit on Rivals, Wahlin picked BYU over Arizona State, Nevada, San Diego State, and Utah State. But BYU was the place for the late-bloomer originally from Keller, Texas who averaged 13.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game for the Thunderbirds.
“I grew up a BYU fan, I grew up in Texas, but my dad played football there, and I’ve had some brother-in-law’s play there. So I’ve kind of grew up under that BYU blood,” Wahlin said to KSL Sports. “But Coach Pope brought it out in me during this recruiting process, and he really made me wanna go play for them Cougs. I’m more excited than ever. It’s going to be a great ride.”
Wahlin family produces college athletes
Playing college sports runs in the Wahlin family. Jake’s grandfather, Marvin, was a halfback at Arizona State earning “Outstanding Devil” honors in 1952. His father, Rick, played on the BYU football team in the late 1980s. Sister Malery, was part of the BYU women’s volleyball team that played Penn State in the National Championship in 2014. On top of that, Wahlin’s brother-in-law’s are former BYU football stars Harvey Langi and Colby Pearson.
With so many BYU connections around him, Wahlin always had aspirations of playing for the Cougars.
“Yeah, I’d say for sure it was [a dream to play at BYU]. As recruiting kind of went on I started to realize, hey, I’ve got a whole lot of other good options. But when it came down to it, I couldn’t ignore that BYU blood in me and it’s surreal, I love it.”
The moment Jake Wahlin received the BYU offer
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more challenging than ever before for prospects like Wahlin to garner the exposure necessary to pull down coveted scholarship offers. Since March, there were zero Under-17 live periods during the AAU circuit. So it wasn’t until last week that BYU extended an offer to the Timpview standout. When the offer happened, it was a moment that the combo guard won’t soon forget.
“We were just on a Zoom call with my parents and the whole staff. It was a really cool experience for everyone on it. Because you could feel that I belonged with them and I need to go in their hands, it was a cool experience. I’ll remember that forever.”
Timpview to BYU pipeline
Timpview High is just a quick drive from BYU’s campus, and it has been a hotbed for the Cougar basketball program in recent years. Since Wahlin moved to Utah in the eighth grade, BYU players Gavin Baxter, Hunter Erickson, and Nate Hansen have all been individuals that Wahlin has looked up to in his development as a player.
Last season, Wahlin was one of the top players on a Timpview squad that finished as the 5A runner-up to Springville. He’s looking to bring the T-Birds their first state title since 2010.
“We’ve got the same team. We had no seniors last year, and we made it to the state championship. It’s not going to be easier, but we know that it’s ours to take this year, and we’re going to put our head down and go take it with passion.”
Jake Wahlin ready for life experiences at BYU
A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Wahlin plans to serve a Latter-day Saint mission before enrolling at BYU. He wants to leave out into the mission field this June and be ready to compete for playing time in the 2023-24 season.
“One of the main things that Pope has emphasized to me is this will be the hardest thing I’ll ever do, but it’ll be the best thing I’ll ever do. He and his staff are all about the guys, and they make you a completely different man at the end of the day. That’s what I’m all about tons of life experiences. As long as you are improving at basketball –both on and off the court– it’s going to be a great experience.”
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.
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