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Local college football: Cougars, Utes and Aggies announce midyear signees

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  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2013 10:04 p.m.

    Kurtz is a big time pickup for byu and utah's guy comes with a ton of potential too. It will be interesting to see how recruiting shakes out in the next few years. Utah has beaten byu in recruiting both head to head AND average stars every year for the last four years. In fact according to rivals, utah's worst year of the last four is still better than byu's best year of the last four.

    Clearly there is a pattern that recruits prefer PAC 12 Utah to Indy byu.

    But neither program has been too impressive lately.

    So who knows how the future will go.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Dec. 19, 2013 7:05 a.m.

    I'm very hopeful that Kurtz will be able to step in for Hoffman on Day 1 and contribute. I expect Hill's passing game to be much improved in 2014. Kurtz, Mathews and Apo will present real match up problems for DBs.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    I think all schools are excited about their prospects. Kurtz is a big pickup for byu. It will be interesting to see which school does the best in the next couple years, with Utah state having some good years, yet still being Utah state. And both byu and Utah have struggled to beat very great teams.

    The last 4 years Utah has beaten byu Utah state and byu in recruiting both head to head AND average stars. In fact, Utah's worst year of the last 4 is better than byu's or usu's BEST year of the last 4.

    The evidence shows that recruits prefer Pac 12 Utah to indy/WAC byu and WAC usu, but who knows if that will change.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Dec. 19, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    Not a good day for the new sc coach when a guy with those tools says no.

  • BigCougFan Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 19, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    Re: Chris B.

    "The evidence shows that recruits prefer Pac 12 Utah to indy/WAC byu and WAC usu, but who knows if that will change."

    If Utah can't get out of the bottom tier of the PAC12 it will certainly change. Four and five star recruits don't want to be at a bottom tier school. As BYU gets more and more national exposure and if USU continues to improve Utah will find themselves at the bottom of the recruiting list too.

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    Dec. 19, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    Congratulations to these guys. That's a big deal to get a quality education and play football.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    Dec. 19, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    Chris B

    Not many 3-, 4-, and 5-star recruits are going to be impressed with the "advantages" of spending bowl week on the couch with family and friends even if most of their games are televised on the PAC net.

    As BigCougFan said, top recruits don't want to be at a bottom tier school even if they've plastered PAC 12 stickers all over campus.

  • RSLfanalways West Valley, UT
    Dec. 19, 2013 10:31 a.m.

    The State of Utah will never really receive good recruits. Even good recruits from Utah High Schools usually prefere Norte Dame or Alabama any day over Ute's, BYU, USU. Utah is good at training coaches so that they can move somewhere better. But I will still love cheering for my team, even though Utah college teams will always be a 2nd tier team.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Dec. 19, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    "As BYU gets more and more national exposure"

    Utah will continue to out recruit byu *as byu gets more and more nationally exposed*.

    byu is the same program that it was in the MWC. I haven't seen improvement.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    BigCoug,

    In 3 yeas byu has beaten exactly 1 end of season ranked team, Utah state in 2012.

    If your claim is recruits wont Pick Utah if we're near the bottom of the Pac 12, you think recruits will be flocking to byu with 1 win against a ranked team every 3 years?

    That's light years away from playing for a national title like bronco talks about

  • AZUTE1 Mesa, AZ
    Dec. 19, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    bcf--

    "If Utah can't get out of the bottom tier of the PAC12 it will certainly change. Four and five star recruits don't want to be at a bottom tier school. As BYU gets more and more national exposure and if USU continues to improve Utah will find themselves at the bottom of the recruiting list too."

    This sentiment exists solely in ut cty..One recruit after another has stated their desire to play against a PAC-12 schedule and welcome its inherent challenge, while they simultaneously state the obvious fact that The U is very, very close to turning the corner and turning these close losses into victories.

    These kids are real/legitimate competitors and naturally seek the greatest challenge possible w/its inherent greatest potential reward..They're an entirely different animal, not content w/built-in wins taking them down the easier/softer route to padding records/ensuring bowl-eligibility.

    Quite frankly, this Non-competitor's approach to scheduling/subsequent applauding of it by byu is utterly mind-boggling to me/so thoroughly contrary to everything I've ever been taught in life..Surreal, in fact.. What's the point?

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    AZUte,

    The byu administration and athletic department know that byu would struggle even worse than Utah has with a top schedule in the country. They know they can keep the hope alive in byu fans if they build in 6-7 gimme wins, a couple 50/50 games, and a couple big time programs.

    Like you say, countless recruits have talked about how much they want to play a Pac 12 schedule. Its a high risk high reward situation. And I'll gladly take some bad years for a once in a while amazing year.

    Byu fans think that two #25 ranked seasons are better than a #5 ranked season and a #50 season.

    I disagree, as does most the football world.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2013 11:59 a.m.

    " top recruits don't want to be at a bottom tier school "
    There's no reason to pick on the California Golden Bears.

    UU will continue to get recruits that want to be in a major conference, have a shot at the NFL, and want to actually play. What's the point of accepting an offer from Oregon or USC, only to be buried on the depth chart behind the 5 stars?

    "America's Most-televised Mid-major Football Team" is a catchy slogan for BYU. Hopefully that will catch on with the recruits.

  • U 90 Corona, CA
    Dec. 19, 2013 12:37 p.m.

    CFIT,

    Is Apo a match-up problem for any team?

  • TheSportsAuthority Arlington, VA
    Dec. 19, 2013 1:52 p.m.

    SoonerUte

    BYU is one of the most televised major college football programs PERIOD - no disclaimer required.

    Chris B

    "The BYU administration and athletic department know that BYU would struggle even worse than Utah has with a top schedule in the country."

    It's laughable that you're forced to make stuff up based on nothing but your own biased opinion just to feel better about yourself. Remind us how many bowl games the Utes have played in since joining the PAC.

  • Crow Sandy , UT
    Dec. 19, 2013 2:50 p.m.

    @phoenix and bcf I guess 4star recruit the 7th rated OT Jackson Barton feels the same way. He chose Utah over several high profile schools and should be able to make an immediate impact. Utah is ranked 8th in recruiting for the PAC12and if they can land a couple of the kids that they are going after I would not be surprised if their ranking moved into the top five of the PAC12.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Dec. 19, 2013 3:11 p.m.

    Crow,

    I look forward to watching Barton play for the Utes. But keep in mind that both of his parents were scholarship athletes at Utah. That is likely why he chose the Utes over more prestigious programs.

  • U 90 Corona, CA
    Dec. 19, 2013 3:15 p.m.

    @TheSportsAuthority "Remind us how many bowl games the Utes have played in since joining the PAC."

    Do you honestly think Utah would have missed one bowl season had they played BYU's schedule? Utah had the #1 SOS in 2013, and sure BYU had the #32 SOS but they lost to every team on their schedule that made it #32. In other words BYU beat many very mediocre and cupcake type teams like Virginia, Middle Tennessee State, Houston, Nevada and Idaho State. Have you seen BYU's 2014 schedule... it only gets worse. Seven cupcakes.

    Want proof Utah would do just fine with BYU's schedule? Utah beat the Y 4 years in a row and 9 of 12. According Rivals BYU has also been dominated by Utah in recruiting which doesn't necessarily make one team better than the other but the recruiting war is consistent with the scoreboard. If Utah had BYU's schedule they would be on a 12 game bowl streak.

  • Truthfully Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 19, 2013 3:20 p.m.

    Utah is on par to sign it's lowest ranked recruiting class in the past 10 years. The class averages between 2.5 and 2.6 stars on both Scout.com and Rivals.com. One more year without a bowl game, not only possible but probable, and they will be looking for another coach. Both signs that the program is in serious jeopardy. It could be 4 or more years until they see a bowl game.

  • scott Alpine, UT
    Dec. 19, 2013 3:51 p.m.

    Crow

    The debilitating effects of bowl-less seasons on Utah's recruiting success won't be manifest overnight, but you're only fooling yourself if you think that the Utes won't begin losing a steady stream of 3+ star recruits if Utah's current bowl-less trend continues.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2013 4:37 p.m.

    Truthfully,

    Utah has outrecruited byu every year the last 4 years.

    In fact, Utah's WORST year of the last 4 is better than byu's BEST year of the last 4.

    LOL

  • OnlyInUtah Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 19, 2013 5:48 p.m.

    Chris B.

    "If your claim is recruits wont Pick Utah if we're near the bottom of the Pac 12, you think recruits will be flocking to byu with 1 win against a ranked team every 3 years?"

    To answer your question... Yes I do think that. You see, my dream world isn't much different than yours. Except mine is Blue and yours is red.

    Chris B. (again)

    "That's light years away from playing for a national title like bronco talks about"

    At least Bronco talks about like it's a possibility. He has faith and believes in his team. Even coach Whit doesn't believe his team could ever do it.

    I choose to be hopefully believing rather than hopelessly dreaming.

    Go Cougs... we'll be playing a bowl game in 8 days while our little sisters in SLC are cleaning up wrapping paper left over from Christmas.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Dec. 19, 2013 5:54 p.m.

    Surprisingly, I think this is the most objective so many Ute commenters have been. But I'll debate a few points.

    There seem to be more big time, non-LDS kids, who have no problem living the honor code - Kurtz, Williams, Johnson, etc. - which expands BYUs talent pool. I expect that trend to continue although I recognize there will always be a lot of athletes to whom this is a hindrance. Personally, I don't know why drugs, alcohol or smoking would appeal to anyone trying to improve their athletic ability.

    I agree that both BYU and Utah are playing at about the same level they did in the MWC. Neither has improved much. But I'm very optimistic about next year.

    I don't think BYUs schedule is a hindrance to any potential recruit. With a SOS around 30, we're above the AQ average. If we can continue to schedule teams like Texas, ND, Wisconsin, Nebraska, etc. with a SOS around 30, a PAC schedule is no more appealing.

    What's with the WAC reference? We've been out of the WAC the same number of years as U and the WAC no longer exists. Try to keep up.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Dec. 19, 2013 7:18 p.m.

    Let's not fool ourselves about the uphill battle to recruit in the PAC-12, nor pretend that the trend is encouraging.

    In the 2013 recruiting class there were 60 four star and above recruits that signed with PAC-12 schools, 1 of those signed with Utah. One out of 60 is not competitive. By contrast, UCLA had 17 and USC (even with their recruiting restrictions had 12. In fact, USC didn't sign any 3 star recruits, their entire class was 4 or 5 stars. So their worst recruit was as good as Utah's best.

    And 2014 isn't looking any better. So far 40 four star recruits have signed in the PAC-12 and just one of those is coming to Utah.

    Whatever the recruiting message is, there are no signs it's resonating. It's going to be a long, hard road.

  • TroyTown Anaheim, CA
    Dec. 19, 2013 10:49 p.m.

    U90

    @TheSportsAuthority

    "Do you honestly think Utah would have missed one bowl season had they played BYU's schedule?"

    YES!

    Utah fans continue to whine about SOS, but the truth is, any team that is capable of losing to Colorado(3-10) and Washington State(6-6), and barely beating Colorado(1-11) 42-35, is capable of losing to most of the teams on BYU's schedule the last 3 seasons.

    The Utes talk the talk, but can't walk the walk, when it comes to winning consistently again good competition.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    Dec. 20, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    CougFaninTX
    Frisco, TX

    "What's with the WAC reference? We've been out of the WAC the same number of years as U and the WAC no longer exists. Try to keep up."

    It's the arrogant put down of their former rival by some of their fans now that they're in a prestigious conference. They love to refer to BYU as just a mid major program and look down their noses at all the accomplishments the Cougars had while in the WAC and MWC, but they conveniently forgot that all the success BYU had were achieved during the same time period they too were competing in the same conferences. If it was the other way around and Utah won all those awards and achievements, eg, NC, Heisman trophy, Outland, Hall of Famers, etc, etc, and BYU had zilch, I doubt very much any Ute fan would belittle any of those. In fact I think they would've tout that as even more proof that they were much superior than their competition and use that to justify the legitimacy of their invite to the prestigious PAC 12. In the future, I hope they do very well in it.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 20, 2013 1:55 p.m.

    @phoenix

    As BigCougFan said, top recruits don't want to be at a bottom tier school even if they've plastered PAC 12 stickers all over campus.

    -----------

    And what top recruits are going to schools that Utah rolls over annually?

    Losing will hurt recruiting against other Big 5 teams, not against BYU or Utah State. Why because they lack "PAC 12 stickers". Here's the proof:

    Rivals Top 5:

    2014
    Barton (Utah)
    Schultz (Undecided)
    Mone (Michagon)
    Frison (Utah)
    Havilli (Utah)

    2013:
    Bateman (Alabama)
    Barton (Stanford)
    Stott (Utah)
    Lotulelei (Utah)
    Fakailoatonga (Utah)

    2013:
    Fanaika (Stanford)
    Hinds (BYU)
    Hansen (Utah)
    Ofahengaue (Utah)
    Afalava (Nebraska)

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 20, 2013 2:06 p.m.

    @TroyTown

    Utah fans continue to whine about SOS, but the truth is, any team that is capable of losing to Colorado(3-10) and Washington State(6-6), and barely beating Colorado(1-11) 42-35, is capable of losing to most of the teams on BYU's schedule the last 3 seasons.

    ----------------

    Wrong.

    Utah playing BYU's schedule has won 85% of their games since 2008 (Utah is 41-7, all loses to ranked teams).

    Same for TCU. Both would have no problem playing BYU's schedule.

  • Horrible Stumper Hyrum, UT
    Dec. 20, 2013 4:48 p.m.

    I am a little confused about Utah fans saying that they have closed the talent gap in the PAC 12 and they are just about to turn the corner. The first year they were in the PAC 12 they were 1 win away from playing for the PAC 12 championship, and they choked, to Colorado. Since then the Utes have gotten farther and farther away from competing in the PAC 12, so how can you say you are closing the talent gap. Yes I know you are going to point to the Stanford game, but as you know upsets happen. The loss to Utah must hurt them much in the same way that the loss to Virginia hurts the Cougars. The gap isn't closing, it's spreading. The Utah administration and coaches know this, if they didn't, they would not be grasping for straws, like hiring Wyoming's coach as an OC. If that doesn't signal panic, I don't know what does.

  • FelisConcolor North Salt Lake, UT
    Dec. 20, 2013 8:19 p.m.

    ekute:

    "byu is the same program that it was in the MWC. I haven't seen improvement."

    What a coincidence: Utah is still the same program that it was in the MWC. I haven't seen any improvement there, either.

    4-5, 3-6, 2-7. Two straight missed bowl games.

    Hmmmm. Maybe I was giving the Utes too much credit; it looks like they're in the same place they were in the old WAC. At the bottom of the conference.