How the Cougars bucked the trends in signing 44th-ranked class in 2024 cycle

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake speaks to the Cougar Club on National Signing Day in Provo on Feb. 7, 2024. | BYU Photo

There’s little question Kalani Sitake just finished signing the highest-rated recruiting class of his tenure.

To accomplish this, by his own admission, he refocused his efforts from a “developmental” approach to going after a “play as soon as possible” pool of prospects.

Also, there’s little question that he received a huge lift from the efforts of new defensive coordinator Jay Hill and his staff, working with a sense of urgency and this new focus. Sitake told the Cougar Club this past week he’d used more money than usual to get the job done and his personal involvement and time had also increased.

Just a couple of observations:

• BYU bucked the trend when late signees four-star Naki Tuakoi and three-star Sefo Akuila, edge rushers and teammates at Oakland’s Fremont High in northern California, signed in February.

• While rival Utah took more of the state’s top-10-ranked talent, BYU made major inroads by the numbers and in the view of some, got the state’s top player in Faletau Satuala.

• This signing haul became a top-45 class, a major step up in Big 12 recruiting standings as the smoke cleared.

Related

While Hill explained Tuakoi was one of the first prospects he focused on when he came on board at BYU just more than a year ago, signing Tuakoi late went against tradition.

BYU generally offers recruits early, hoping they get an early commitment. Players like Tuakoi and even Akuila, who do not commit in the summer or fall, generally do not end up signing with the Cougars. In fact, Tuakoi had committed to Stanford and Akuila had plans to go to Arizona.

Signing this pair late is a key watermark of this class and perhaps a sign BYU is doing something different. It also marks the…


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/cougars-bucked-trends-signing-44th-233000385.html

Author : Deseret News

Publish date : 2024-02-09 23:30:00

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