Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Top 5 signees ready to make immediate contributions for BYU and Utah (12 items)

By Brandon Gurney and Dan Sorensen, Deseret News

Feb. 10, 2014

Both BYU and Utah signed what coaches believe to be stellar signing classes last Wednesday on National Letter of Intent Day. Some are expected to make immediate contributions, while others will be headed for LDS mission service and take awhile to see the field of play.

So which players signed can fans expect to make immediate contributions?

Dan Sorensen, of Utezone.com, gives his best estimation for Utah recruits while Brandon Gurney does the same for BYU.

See BYU's Top 5

See Utah's Top 5

1 of 12. BYU's Top 5 (by Brandon Gurney)

The Cougars' top five signees ready to make an immediate contribution include athletes at two different positions where BYU was depleted by departures.

2 of 12. 1. Nick Kurtz, WR, 6-foot-6, 206 pounds



Kurtz is already on campus and has already received rave reviews from both coaches and teammates. Kurtz is a junior college transfer from Grossmont Junior College (Calif.) who held offers from such schools as USC, Oregon and LSU before signing with the Cougars.

Kurtz will work to help replace Cody Hoffman and has the size and skill to supplement much of what the offense loses with Hoffman's graduation. Kurtz should see immediate contribution next season.

3 of 12. 2. Jordan Leslie, WR, 6-foot-3, 203 pounds

Leslie is a UTEP transfer who will have one year to help contribute to the team. Given that he's already seen success at the Division I level, he should be able to fit right in and contribute.

Leslie brings good size and speed to a position that is relatively thin at BYU. He already has a great relationship with position coach Guy Holliday, which should put him on the fast track to immediate contribution.

4 of 12. 3. Devon Blackmon, WR, 6-foot-1, 185 pounds



Blackmon was teammates with BYU running back Jamaal Williams in high school before signing with Oregon. He transferred to Riverside Junior College after leaving Oregon's program after a year.

Blackmon is already considered by coaches to be one of the fastest, if not the fastest, receiver in the program. His ability to stretch the field should add considerably to the Cougar offense.

5 of 12. 4. Tyler Cook, OLB, 6-foot-3, 220 pounds



Coaches are very high on Cook, who is one of the most overlooked signees of the 2014 BYU class. Cook shined his senior season at Vista Murrieta High School and has the size and physical makeup to make an immediate contribution at outside linebacker.

There are a lot of spots to be filled at outside linebacker with the graduation of both Kyle Van Noy and Spencer Hadley, so Cook should be afforded a lot of looks.
1. Uteology
East Salt Lake City, Utah,
Feb. 10, 2014

We didn't have a true starting RB last season. So what about Dacorius Law, is he good enough to be a starter this season? Does he have academic issues?

Regardless, can't wait until fall camp.

Go UTES!

2. StGtoSLC
SALT LAKE CITY, UT,
Feb. 10, 2014

I'd replace Hobbs with either Kenric Young, who has the height, speed and athleticism to be able to compete for good time in the rotation with Dres and K Scott at wideout if he can adjust to the physicality and read coverages in the college game, or DJ Law, if (according to reports) he is able to get his grades in order, who looks like a stronger version of Bubba Poole, and is already accustomed to the spread option run game from high school. This isn't a knock on Hobbs, he looks very athletic and fast, but with Thomas, Orphey and Porter all gaining a lot of experience and developing throughout last year, I see them taking about all of the reps this season.

Also, Tasini may be interchangeable with Havili-Katoa as a 3- or 4-tech tackle/end.

Excited for spring ball to get started to see how a few of these guys develop, and then for the lineups to shape up in August.

3. Robyuuki
Lewisburg, PA,
Feb. 11, 2014

A strong WR recruiting class, many returning missionaries, a lighter schedule for 2014, should be another enjoyable year. I am grateful for a school that represents so well.

4. wallyball
SALT LAKE CITY, UT,
Feb. 11, 2014

Robyuuki,
I couldn't tell if your comment was tongue-in-cheek or you just didn't realize you posted on the Utah football team.