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BYU Football Continues To Make Preferred Walk-On Prospects A Top Priority

Jan 29, 2021, 2:22 PM
Micah Fe'a...
Orem Tigers and BYU football quarterback commit Micah Fe'a (12) skips out of Timpview Thunderbirds Calvin Tonga's (45) arms during the first half of the 5A state high school football game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.
(45)

PROVO, Utah – To find competitive depth in its program, BYU football has found diamonds in the rough in the preferred walk-on market. Guys like Dax Milne, Tyler Allgeier, Payton Wilgar, Masen Wake, have become significant contributors in recent years.

What caused this sudden surge of quality players in the walk-on ranks?

The Early Signing Day.

In 2017, the NCAA created the first-ever Early Signing Day, taking place six weeks before the traditional Signing Period in February. Creating an early signing period has allowed the BYU football program to make prospects who primarily receive scholarship offers from FCS programs a top priority to be walk-ons at BYU with a shot at soon getting a scholarship.

Every year, the build-up to the February Signing Day loses more of its luster with each passing year. With a few exceptions, BYU is signing most of its scholarship athletes in the December early period. So instead of investing resources into those guys with Zoom calls and non-stop texts and Twitter DMs, the staff can lock in on prospects who maybe have been overlooked during a given recruiting cycle.

Kalani Sitake and his staff pride themselves on identifying talent, and they’ve done that with many preferred walk-on prospects over the years, and they have landed some intriguing prospects in this cycle as well.

The latest preferred walk-on commit is Orem High QB Micah Fe’a, who has had a lifelong dream of playing at BYU.

Fe’a joins seven other prospects who have committed to BYU as PWO’s in this 2021 recruiting cycle.

Being a walk-on is not the easiest route. Sitake and the BYU program have built up the culture to where everyone in the program, scholarship or walk-on, will get equal opportunities to compete. Also doesn’t hurt that tuition cost at BYU is more affordable than other FBS schools, and it’s one of the top colleges in terms of providing value.

BYU continues to make preferred walk-ons a big piece of how they run their program, and it is likely to continue in the years to come. Here’s a list of BYU’s preferred walk-on commits for the class of 2021.

BYU Football 2021 Preferred Walk-On Commits

Maguire Anderson, J.W. Mitchell High School (FL) – WR

Austin Bell, Corner Canyon High School – RB

Micah Fe’a, Orem High School – QB/Athlete

Ryker Keele, Morgan High School – DL/OL

Cael Richardson, Timpview High School – LB

Joshua Singh, Orem High School – DL

Payton VanSteenkiste, Rigby High School (ID) – DB/WR

Will Zundel, American Fork High School – WR/TE

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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