Loyal Cougars

Is BYU or Utah winning the recruiting “Holy War?”

Contrary to popular belief, Utah is not actually beating BYU in head-to-head recruiting.

An analysis of recruiting data shows that in the four years since BYU went independent and Utah joined the Pac-12, there have been 38 recruits that received scholarship offers from both BYU and Utah who ended up signing with one of the two programs. So, there are about 10 head-to-head recruiting battles on average each year. Each program signed 19 of the recruits. Exactly half of the recruits chose Utah and half chose BYU.

This recruiting parity is a trend in favor of BYU, which had lost the head-to-head recruiting battle with Utah for six straight years before the 2014 class. Here is the data since Mendenhall and Whittingham were hired.

2015 Rivalry Recruiting

Source data

Possibly more significant than BYU pulling level with Utah in recruiting wins is that BYU is winning the battle for the top prospects. Since 2012, there have been four recruits rated 4 stars by both Scout and Rivals. All four signed with BYU (Troy Hinds, Tanner Mangum, Fred Warner, Brayden Kearsley). In fact, the lone true 4-star recruit that Utah has signed over BYU in the last 6 years is now playing for BYU. His name: Harvey Langi.

This data would indicate that Utah doesn’t have significant recruiting advantages over BYU…but don’t tell Gordon Monson.

Follow John Ahlander at @NoneTheYser


  1. Keith Holdaway

    February 11, 2015 at 8:24 am

    love the jab at Monson John—-made me laugh. Keith Holdaway 🙂

  2. Keith Holdaway

    February 11, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Talking to a parent of a player the other day and I was told that Dallin Brazinski 7’0 at Utah
    (who served in Croatia) and his older brother Jordan 7’2 (ASU) tried to get themselves on the team and they were turned down. They both led the league in rebounds or shots blocked. Makes me so sad and mad that we miss on a big man. We have all the other parts. very sad. What do you know?

  3. mbenedict26

    February 11, 2015 at 8:55 am

    So, why do we keep losing to the Utes? Coaching? Mindset?

    • 1byu fan

      February 11, 2015 at 10:58 pm

      Becuse BYU haze Hy standards and Utah lets things go more

  4. Mark Hawkes

    February 11, 2015 at 9:07 am

    We lose because transition offense and a player that will shoot every time he gets the ball doesn’t win championships.

  5. Gayle

    February 11, 2015 at 11:43 am

    The article is talking about football recruits, but half of the people commenting seem to be in basketball mode.

  6. Jim

    February 13, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Give me a break….talk about picking out favorable stats and ignoring the not so favorable! Let me break this down for you, Utah gives out way more offers than byu so most of these lds players are gonna choose byu and utah knows that, but they throw the offer out anyway. Utahs recruiting is way more focused on black and other non lds athletes out of state to go along with the instate kids they do get. So in the overall sense, Utah is destroying byu in recruiting. Hence, the head to head record, NFL players and downright team athleticism. So have fun making yourselves feel better with these articles that try and mask the whole story by cherry picking some random facts that go byus way. Ha

  7. Jim

    February 13, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Oh and one more thing, monson (even though he’s a hack a lot of the time) is absolutely right here. He’s taking the whole picture in perspective and not your 10% of the recruiting picture when he said that. It’s pretty obvious when you don’t try to mask the situation!

  8. Kameron

    February 15, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Utah wins because they recruit speed. As more than half of BYU athletes serve missions, they come back after 2 years of non contact. Most lose speed and never come home the same.
    Also three star athletes are not the same as three star athletes in California, Texas and Florida as they play against better athletes each week. BYU gets more Utah players.