Where Does BYU Football’s 2023 Recruiting Class Stand?
PROVO, Utah – The 2023 BYU football recruiting class will be BYU’s first as a member of the Big 12 Conference. That fact alone is a reason for excitement but also daunting.
Because now, BYU has a set of teams they will be stacking their selves up against annually.
The early signing period begins this Wednesday. Here’s a snapshot of where BYU’s 2023 recruiting class and commitments currently stand.
Jackson Bowers | TE
Mountain View High School
— Jackson Bowers (@jackson_bow3rs) December 20, 2022
Bowers remains BYU’s highest-rated commitment. The four-star tight end committed to BYU over the summer and has stayed true to his pledge throughout the process.
Bowers can potentially add to BYU’s legacy of star tight ends.
Siale Esera | EDGE
Timpview High School
— Siale Tuiteelagi Esera (@EseraSiale) December 1, 2022
Esera committed to BYU at LaVell Edwards Stadium before the Cougars home game against Baylor.
He continued to listen to opportunities from other schools, even taking an official visit to UCLA. But he seems to be locked into BYU. After all, he was seen on the sidelines at the New Mexico Bowl with his father, who works within the BYU athletic department.
Ethan Thomason | OT
Rocky Mountain High School
Fort Collins, Colorado
Really felt the love at my graduation party. My future coaches came and supported me and chilled with all my friends and family for a couple hours! Meant the world to me. Couldn’t be more proud to be a part of @BYUfootball! 💙🤙 #GoCougs pic.twitter.com/u9A3wCgs0B
— Ethan Thomason (@EthanThomason77) December 12, 2022
Thomason picked BYU over Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Stanford, and Utah in a hat ceremony for a local NBC affiliate in Colorado.
The 6-foot-8, 315-pound offensive tackle plans to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before enrolling at BYU.
After he returns home from his mission, he has the size and potential to be a bookend tackle along BYU’s offensive line.
Josiah “Jojo” Phillips | WR
Sierra Canyon High School
— Josiah “jojo” phillips (@josiahphillip20) August 21, 2022
Phillips began receiving scholarship offers from Power Five programs, such as LSU, in 8th grade. Then COVID-19 hit, and Phillips’ football career went on pause due to restrictions in the state of California.
Phillips focused on basketball, where he was a teammate with Bronny James at Sierra Canyon. He returned to the gridiron this fall, and BYU secured a commitment from Phillips before his senior season.
He hauled in 36 receptions for 545 yards and four touchdown grabs.
Miles Hall | ATH
Skyline High School
Salt Lake City
— Miles Hall (@MilesHall004) July 1, 2022
Hall did it all for Skyline High. He piled up 991 receiving yards as a wide receiver. Then on the defensive side, he recorded 75 tackles, one sack, and one interception. BYU projects him as a defensive player, potentially a linebacker. But Hall is athletic enough to play anywhere there’s a need.
Saimone Davis | EDGE
Colleyville Heritage High School
God & Family is all it ever took, unconditional gratitude for @BYUfootball !!! Ofa i api💙@kalanifsitake @BYU_CoachJustin @Jared_Reid46 @jernarogilford @unga45 @CoachJayHill @Coach_Popp & many more men of God and staff, Thank you dearly☝🏽💙 pic.twitter.com/AOs2c2b01P
— $aimone L.M Tonga Davis (@SaimoneDavis) December 12, 2022
BYU dipped into Big 12 country to land an intriguing prospect in Saimone Davis. Davis primarily lined up at tight end during his high school career, but BYU projects him as an edge rusher. At 6-foot-5, 220-pounds, he’s got measurables that could turn him into a big get down the road.
Andrew Heinig | DL
Glenpool High School
@BYUfootball Had an amazing experience at my BYU official visit this weekend. Thank you to all the coaches and staff for everything and making my family and I feel at home! @kalanifsitake @CoachJayHill @BYUFBRecruiting @BYU_CoachJustin pic.twitter.com/9YFzzvppkY
— Andrew Heinig (@Andrew_Heinig) December 12, 2022
Heinig was a standout at BYU’s football camp last summer. Shortly after receiving an offer, he pounced and committed to the Cougs. Heining could play on either side of the ball in the trenches. Along with football, Heinig competes in track & field in the shot put and discus events.
Ryder Burton | QB
Springville High School
— Ryder Burton (@RyderBurton5) October 8, 2022
BYU’s high school quarterback commit in the 2023 cycle is Springville’s Ryder Burton. Burton will enroll in January when Brigham Young University’s winter semester begins. So he will be available to compete in spring practices.
Burton is already diving into Aaron Roderick’s offensive playbook to try and hit the ground running to compete in BYU’s quarterback room.
Over the summer, Burton put together an impressive performance at an Elite 11 regional that was among the top performers. In addition, Burton has put in a lot of work with former BYU star John Beck in California at 3DQB.
In his senior year at Springville, Burton finished with 1,972 passing yards, 21 touchdowns to only six interceptions, and completed 52% of his passes.
Pokaiaua Haunga | ATH
Timpview High School
— Pokaiaua Haunga (@PokaiauaHaunga) August 5, 2022
The first commitment in BYU’s class of 2023, Haunga has remained committed to BYU since January 2021. Haunga could play a variety of positions. If he’s on the offensive side, Haunga likely ends up at running back. On defense, he could be a safety or a linebacker.
Haunga has shined on the 7-on-7 circuit with the Pink Outlaws, led by Corner Canyon QB Isaac Wilson (2024 prospect).
Owen Borg | LB
Corner Canyon High School
— Owen Borg (@Owenborg10) December 12, 2022
Borg was the heart of Corner Canyon’s defense that finished as the 6A runner-up in 2022. During his senior season with the Chargers, Borg recorded 93 tackles, five interceptions, and one sack. When Borg committed to BYU in August, he called it a “childhood dream” to play for the Cougars.
Talitu’i Pututau | DL
West High School
Salt Lake City
— Talitu’i Pututau (@tui_pututau) December 11, 2022
The first commitment to Jay Hill as BYU’s defensive coordinator is Talitui Pututau. Pututau is the younger brother to Utah defensive linemen Fua and Taniela Pututau. The former West High standout on the defensive and offensive line picked BYU over Arizona State and Colorado offers.
Matthew Fredrick | TE
East High School
Salt Lake City
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Fredrick didn’t have many targets in his high school career because he was in an offense that primarily focused on running the football. But at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, Fredrick has good size to bolster the future depth at tight end.
Pierson Watson | LB
Coconino High School
— Pierson Watson (@PiersonWatson) November 8, 2022
Watson impressed BYU coaches during multiple visits to BYU football camps. A good athlete, Watson is physically ready for the college game at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds. In his prep career, Watson recorded 137 tackles, 13 sacks, three fumble recoveries, and three forced fumbles.
David Tangilanu | EDGE
Menlo-Atherton High School
Menlo Park, California
@BYUfootball Official Visit was amazing. Thank you to the all the coaches who made it possible and for having me and my family over! I really appreciate the love really felt like home when I was there. #GoCougs pic.twitter.com/zFKx8v9Yhj
— David Tangilanu (@DavidTangilanu) December 12, 2022
Tangilanu committed to BYU during the 2022 football season. The Bay Area native has a motor along the defensive line. He finished the senior year of his prep career with 67 tackles and three sacks in 11 games.
Jayden Dunlap | CB
— Jayden Dunlap (@DunlapJ26) December 12, 2022
Dunlap was a unanimous first-team selection to the All-National Division Central League. A 6-foot-2, 185-pound shutdown corner prospect, Dunlap led Cerritos College with 10 pass breakups and typically covered an opponent’s top receiver each week.
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.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.
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