COUGAR TRACKS

Five Takeaways From 2021 BYU Football National Signing Day Class

Dec 16, 2020, 2:30 PM | Updated: 4:03 pm
Kalani Sitake - BYU Football...
BYU Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake calls a play against Texas State in Provo on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – The BYU football 2021 recruiting class is complete for the early signing period. BYU signed all 16 of the prospects committed to the Cougars heading into Wednesday’s National Signing Day.

With limited scholarships to work during this cycle, BYU’s class was smaller than in year’s past. This group of commits is the highest-rated class BYU has signed in four years according to the 247Sports Composite team rankings. And its produced the highest average composite rating during Sitake’s tenure as head coach with a 0.8369.

Here are my five takeaways from BYU’s National Signing Day class to put a bow on today’s festivities.

#1 A lot of people helped put together BYU’s 2021 class

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake opened his National Signing Day press conference thanking more than two dozen people for the help they’ve provided behind the scenes in putting together this recruiting class. A lot of hours, months, years go into bringing any class together. This one was unique, with the novel coronavirus pandemic shutting down in-person recruiting.

Newly appointed recruiting leaders Jasen Ah You and Jack Damuni helped organize the whole operation and their recruiting interns. From BYU Equipment staff to the creative design team, Sitake thanked them all.

It just shows the number of people and resources it takes to bring a recruiting class together and for it to be the best class by per recruit rating is quite the accomplishment.

#2 Star power at edge rusher

Ilaisa Tuiaki said last month that getting talented edge rushers will always be a top priority for his defense annually. Tuiaki and Sitake took care of that need in the 2021 cycle landing Timpview’s Logan Fano, Lone Peak’s John Henry Daley, and Chaparral High School’s (CA) Enoka Migao.

Fano and Daley were two of the nation’s top sack getters in all of high school football this past fall. Migao has yet to play his senior season due to COVID-19 restrictions in the state of California. Finding elite pass rushers is one of the hardest evaluations in recruiting; BYU feels good about the hybrid edge rushers they landed in these three.

#3 Year without a BYU Football Quarterback

When asked if he would be pursuing a quarterback in the February signing period of if he would pass, Sitake responded, “I want the best players. I’m not really worried about having too much. I just want the best of everything.”

BYU missed out on Corner Canyon star signal-caller Jaxson Dart who made a Signing Day commitment to USC. With current starting QB Zach Wilson being one of the highest-rated NFL Draft prospects, it would seem that BYU football is going to be breaking in a new starter in 2021.

Baylor Romney and Jaren Hall will be back next season along with Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters, and Jacob Conover, who Aaron Roderick said has already learned the playbook since enrolling in school after the season started.

With the blanket waiver for eligibility from the NCAA due to the pandemic, Romney and Hall will still have three years left to play, while Maiava-Peters and Conover will still be true freshmen. If there were a year not to have a quarterback, it would seem this is the perfect one as the Cougars still have two freshmen who will compete next year.

#4 Versatility

Look through BYU’s 16 commitments, and you’ll find many prospects that could play offense or defense when they matriculate into the program in Provo. Sitake’s BYU program loves signing those type of prospects.

It all starts with the frame and the build of the athlete.

When Sitake was at Utah, he offered a 230-pound tight end at Granger High in Khyiris Tonga. Sitake knew back then Tonga had the frame to be a nose tackle. Now the fourth-year BYU senior is 325 and getting ready to have a potential career in the NFL along the defensive line.

Bingham’s Isaiah Glasker, Provo’s Dallin Havea, and Ridgeline’s Jovesa Damuni are examples of this. Either could play offense or defense during their BYU careers. But they have the frame and measurables that could turn into something else when they arrive at BYU.

#5 BYU Football Returning Missionaries

BYU didn’t release a full list of the returning missionaries that will be joining the Cougar program in the 2021 season. That’s in part due to return dates have changed for many of these missionaries because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of seniors on this year’s current roster that could return next year, which would impact the 123-man roster but wouldn’t count against the 85 scholarship total, is another factor.

Some notable local prospects projected to be back with the BYU Football team in 2021 include Lehi High tight end Dallin Holker, American Fork wide receiver Chase Roberts, Lone Peak defensive lineman Michael Daley, East linebacker Viliami Tausinga, and Weber offensive lineman Tysen Lewis.

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 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.

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Five Takeaways From 2021 BYU Football National Signing Day Class