, Gifford Nielsen grew up in Utah.
WorfYes, Gifford grew up in Utah, but he has lived in Houston longer
than he ever lived in Utah. He now serves as Area President for the LDS Church
in Houston, Texas. He may have TV sports broadcaster and key figure in a lot of
charities. BYU could use him as a resource.
I'll send this to a family in Austin with a 6'5" freshman right
tackle and d-line. His three brothers will be about the same size. Loving Texas
football in huge stadiums. Good coaching and discipline.
What BYU need to do is figure out how to recruit the premier blue chip LDS
talent.Year after year be it basketball or football, the premier
talent goes elsewhere,be it burgess, jacobsen, jabari, or ngata, or
manti teo, among many others, even a mark madsen or mark pope went
else where,it seems this way ever since they recruited sean covey
over scott mitchell, (and mitchell wanted to go to BYU!)and were unable to hold on to shawn bradley or ben olson or pollard.If they can't land the premier LDS talent or keep them, then what
difference can they really make in texas? What has Apo done?
Careful Dick.This is perilously close to critisism of BYU's
program.Such attitudes are frowned upon from within the BYU bubble.
Howard S.Nope, nowhere near. This was merely fond memories and
wistful thinking.But thanks for visiting and sharing, as usual.
Dick, I hear you but your reasoning fails me. You mean if the Bingham high
school players all moved to Texas, they would be better football players? And
how do you explain Steve Young (Connecticut), or the long list of great players
from Hawaii, and California, and...everywhere else? I'm all for recruiting
the best players, but to simply point to Texas as the solution to all that ails
BYU is odd reasoning. And if BYU recruits from all those LDS people who just
moved to Texas, does that really make them Texans?And then you need
to do a followup article on all those "great" LDS athletes who did not
go to BYU, but were not happy out there in the big bad world and either
transferred later to BYU (after missions, etc), or did not thrive as a bench
warmer in some other hotbed of football or basketball. If other schools are
desperate to recruit Utah players, why should BYU go to Texas to find players?
I'd buy a house right across the street from Trinity High in Useless, TX
and recruit all the LDS Tongans and Samoans that go there.Bring
Detmer in as the QB coach and that pipeline opens back up.
Having grown up in the middle of Texas football and raised my kids in it, let me
answer a few questions from above. Yes, Texas football IS that much better.1. Remember that incredibly great Bingham team that went down to Texas
to play a very good Trinity team? Yes, Trinity smashed them 42 to 21 only
because the 2nd and 3rd string Trinity players were on the field. Please note
that there are about 10 to 15 5-A teams of that caliber every year that fight
for the championship and about 30 more that are just a level under Tinity.2. Football in Texas just does not start in Jr. High, Most players play full
pads little league with very, very good coaches who train them to think and
react like football players. Boys who join football in 7th grade in Texas are
usually relegated to the B-teams.
3. There are many, many 4-A schools and on down that have incredible players
too. Texas is loaded with players that can play Division 1 ball and there are
many LDS players too.4. Yes, if kids move to Texas from California or
Washington or where-ever, they will be taught a very high level of football so
that high level will be instinctive to the player. 5. I have seen
personally several times players from Texas go to BYU football camp and dominate
in all aspects and not get a chance at BYU. Why? these guys played with and
competed successfully against some of the most elite college players in the USA
when in high school.I am a diehard BYU fan but BYU is missing the boat by
not proactively recruiting from down here. I know several high school coaches
who would love to have a BYU connection. I truly hope BYU is more active down
in Texas in the future.
I think Coach Mendenhall and his staff have lost many of the recruiting
connections Lavell Edwards used to take advantage of every season. Not only do
the Cougars no longer have the strong presence of good Texas players, but also
many from the islands. I would like to find out why Coach Edwards had such a
broad recruiting pool and that is no longer the case with Coach Mendenhall.
Don't forget the state of Florida. They also have a great football
tradition in their high schools.
Those of you who question Texas high school football, don't know Texas
high school football. I was blown away when I moved here a couple of years ago.
I echo everything Lone Star Cougar said. I'll only add one other point -
as a general rule, I think it's also easier to find non-LDS kids who
won't find a problem with living the honor code than some other areas. The
"Bible belt" teaches these values, just like Mormons do.I
also like Flashback's idea of bringing in Ty as QB coach. He would open
doors to Texas, but it would also take pressure off Doman and let him focus on
the big picture. With young, talented QBs coming in, we need someone who can
focus on them.
Opening up a pipeline in Texas by bringing on a Texas connection to the coaching
staff actually makes a lot of sense, same as having a Polynesian connection.
There are great football players in the state of Utah, but it really
doesn't compare to the gold mine that is Texas.
While Texas has a gold mine of talent it is shortsighted to think that a roster
full of Texans is going to just solve BYU's problems. Good players are good
players regardless of where they are from. The University of Texas recruits 90%
of their roster from Texas. Is the super duper amount of Texas talent solving
their recruiting woes? Texas A&M made a slam dunk with Johnny Football but
they still went 9-3. Heck Baylor got RGIII and they still went 9-3. So to think
that Texas football players are the answer isn't necessarily the case. Ross
Apo has taken awhile to develop and will probably be a good receiver, but guys
aren't guaranteed freshman all-americans in college just because they are
from Texas. You might be familiar with a guy named Percy Harvin who
was an elite triple-threat for the University of Florida. He was from Virginia.
So good players are good players, whether they are from California, Florida
Texas, the East Coast, wherever.
Totally agree, but really the emphasis needs to shift a little more to offensive
players. As we can see from the players that have committed in the last year BYU
is doing okay recruiting defensive players because they see how good BYU's
defense was this year. But I just don't see the good offensive players,
likely for the same type of reasoning! What offensive player wants to play for a
team that has struggled offensively for years? No great offense to go to, no
great offensive coach, so no attraction for offensive players. I think it starts
with a great offensive coach!
As I recall, the stadiums at junior high schools in Texas are much larger than
the high school stadiums in Utah. And in Texas, they fill them with fans for
Doesn't matter who you recruit if you don't change who designs the
offense and who calls the plays. NFL ALL PRO players would be hard-pressed to
win with lame offense & play calling we have now.
Is there some large untapped pool of LDS football talent in Texasm or is Dick
Harmon suggesting recruitment of a bunch of non-LDS players? That sounds like
selling your soul to obtain some football fame. Interesting value.An 18
year old kid may think he understands the BYU honor code, but every year one or
more prove they didn't fully get it. Sure, the news writes a story about
the honor code, but is that really the national attention they want?
Since most of the recruiting at byu occurs in Provo, at the MTC, it doesn't
matter where they attended high school.
Sooner UteWhat is wrong with going after non-LDS talent with similar
values? Recruiting non-LDS is "selling your soul?" Really?Hmm. And
to think I "wasted" 2 years trying to convince people that what BYU
represents--The LDS Church--was for everyone.Are you really that
concerned that BYU might close the gap a little in the advantage Utah enjoys in
their recruiting base?
I read in this paper that we should never critize the coaches? BYU does not
want 4 star players, the prefer walk-ons who talk loud and pump their fist a
lot. Players from Texas might be too good and we would not want that.
toosmartforyouIs dead on, non-LDS football stars are not going to
look at BYU. Its a different world in Texas, The community all goes to the
Friday night games, the team has its own, misters, portable tunnel with smoke to
run out of, the High School Bands are top notch equivalent to College, they sell
season tickets in a sold out stadiums the size of two year colleges, the rivalry
teams play in Cowboy stadium and fill it half way! Lived in Carolton, saw it
all.There is No Way BYU can recruit the blue chip non-mormon
players.Stick to the locals, legacies and family lines, that all BYU
has now. Other than cool T-shirts
I get that this is probably not a direct solution to BYU's problems, but
the underlying point is that is it is difficult to be great with average
recruiting (it can still be difficult to be great with above-average recruiting,
but that is not the debate intended by this article).Texas goes 100
deep without hitting a player with less than 3 stars (Florida does the same).
The 98th ranked player in TX held offers from 5 PAC-12 schools, 5 SEC schools,
and Oklahoma before selecting TAMU. The player in the same position in Florida
holds offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Nebraska, and West Virginia. BYU has zero
players committed for 2013 from either state. So, how are the
Cougars faring at home? According to Rivals.com, BYU got only 2 of Utah's
top 10 players (#9 and #10) and is only in the running for one of the uncommited
players in that group. Note: There is not a single 5-star athlete in the state
of Utah.The lack of success in TX is unacceptable since data,
according to commonconsensus.org, lists BYU as the 5th most popular team in DFW
and 9th in Houston.
Having gone on a mission to the Dallas area prior to 1980, I can say that we
never did any work on Friday nights during Football season. No one was home.
We went to football games in the fall. In 1978 I attended all of the Trinity
High home games in Useless. Got more referals from being at the football games
than three weeks of tracting.There are a lot of good kids there.
Many, like Detmer would have no problem with the honor code. In fact they would
fit right in, Mormon or not. Seems like the most trouble with the honor code is
from Mormons lately (Unga, Davies).
@rafinsure"I think Coach Mendenhall and his staff have lost many of
the recruiting connections Lavell Edwards used to take advantage of every
season. Not only do the Cougars no longer have the strong presence of good Texas
players, but also many from the islands. I would like to find out why Coach
Edwards had such a broad recruiting pool and that is no longer the case with
Coach Mendenhall."Because Hawaii and California has good surfing
and Texas does not. Just kidding...but with the focus for coaches at BYU on
having more quality time at home with their families there has to be a give and
take. More time at home with families means less time on the road recruiting or
recruiting more in conveniently located places like California and the PacNW.
Some thoughts regarding some of the above posts: Recruiting non-LDS players is
part of the gospel program - what better way to introduce them to the gospel, by
recruiting them to BYU FB, BB, etc. I like the idea of hiring Detmer to come to
BYU as QB coach - the OC problem is now solved with bringing back Anae. If this
is the last year for Mendenhall (his contract is through 1913), as some believe,
why not bring Detmer in as QB coach and prepare him for OC in 2014, moving Anae
up to head coach.