Loyal Cougars

Final BYU Signing Day Predictions

With less than 24 hours until the faxes (and emails) start rolling into the BYU football offices, Brandon Jones takes a look at where BYU stands with the Big 12. No, not the football conference, but the twelve undecided recruits that are still on the BYU coaching staff’s 2016 recruiting board.

Many of you read my breakdown of last week’s official visitors in which I gave the chances of each player signing with BYU on Signing Day. Well, the big day is almost upon us and there are still 12 players BYU is targeting whose commitment is yet to be announced. I’ve provided my thoughts on the chances of each recruit signing with BYU and a prediction for where I think they will end up. Note that despite recent reports of interest from South Carolina, I haven’t included Hank Tuipulotu in this group, as I believe him to still be firmly committed to BYU. As for the others, here are my guesses:

Keanu Sealeapaga, DE, 6’6″, 265 lbs, La Mirada, CA

About: 3-star prospect; BYU in Final 2 (with Colorado); former USC commit; not a member of the LDS church; played with Tyler Luatua in H.S.
Status: 80% chance BYU, 20% chance Colorado; visited BYU last weekend; it seems like he and his family had a great visit
Prediction: BYU

Hirkley Latu, S, 6’3″, 200 lbs, Kahuku, HI

About: 3-star prospect; BYU in Final 3 (with Oregon State & Utah State); #14 Safety in the west
Status: 50% BYU, 40% Oregon State, 10% Utah State; former BYU commit; I think he still picks BYU; Mission first
Prediction: BYU

Jaylen Morgan, CB, 6’1″, 170 lbs, Hawthorne, CA

About: BYU in Final 3 (with Hawaii & SDSU); son of former BYU DB Omarr Morgan; teammate of BYU commit Lisala Tai
Status: 70% BYU, 15% SDSU, 15% Hawaii; there are questions about whether Jaylen maintains a BYU offer; if he has one, I think he’ll sign with BYU.
Prediction: BYU

Wayne Kirby, DT, 6’3″, 305 lbs, Pocatello, ID

About: 3-star prospect; BYU in Final 4 (with Utah, Oregon, Washington State); #10 Defensive Tackle in the west
Status: 5% BYU, 70% Oregon, 20% Utah, 5% Washington State; former BYU commit; visited BYU 1/28-29, then Utah 1/29-30; very unlikely that he chooses BYU
Prediction: Oregon

Bradlee Anae, DE, 6’4″, 220 lbs, Kahuku, HI

About: 3-star prospect; BYU in Final 2 with Utah; teammate of Hirkley Latu; son of former BYU DL Brad Anae
Status: 60% BYU; 40% Utah; recent offer from BYU; visited BYU 1/27-28; visited Utah 1/29-30; I’d put BYU as probably a slight favorite
Prediction: BYU

Keaton Bills, DE, 6’5″, 275 lbs, Draper, UT

About: 3-star recruit; BYU in Final 2 with Utah; coached by former Utah player & coach Don Eck
Status: 50% Utah, 50% BYU; has played his recruitment very close to the vest; visited BYU last weekend; will announce tomorrow at 1:45pm MT
Prediction: Utah

Sione Finau, SS/CB, 5’11”, 170 lbs, Kearns, UT

About: Tremendous athlete at Kearns H.S.; played RB & DB, rushing for 1160 yards & 16 TDs and recording 88 tackles (8 for loss, 2 sacks)
Status: 90% BYU, 10% Other; really loves BYU’s coaching staff; visited Provo last weekend; Mission first; will announce tomorrow at 10:00am MT
Prediction: BYU

Simi Fehoko, WR, 6’4″, 183 lbs, Salt Lake City, UT

About: 4-star WR; ranked #19 WR in the country; teammates with Jackson Kaufusi & Drew Jensen; close friends with Reno Mahe
Status: 15% BYU, 85% Stanford; still could switch to BYU post-mission depending on the success of the two programs; Mission first
Prediction: Stanford

Cole Fotheringham, TE, 6’5″, 215 lbs, San Clemente, CA

About: 3-star TE; committed to Utah in July 2015; family of BYU fans; receiving lots of late BYU interest
Status: 60% Utah, 40% BYU; visited BYU 1/22; visited Utah 1/29; will probably stick to Utah commitment; mission first
Prediction: Utah

Fua Pututau, DE, 6’3″, 230 lbs, Salt Lake City, UT

About: 3-star DE prospect; new coaching staff giving lots of interest (3 home visits in January); 54 tackles & 4 sacks as a Senior at Cottonwood
Status: 50% BYU, 40% Utah, 10% Colorado; visited BYU 1/15; mission first; will announce tomorrow at 10:30am MT
Prediction: BYU

Alema Pilimai, OLB, 6’4″, 200 lbs, Tustin, CA

About: 3-star OLB prospect; new coaching staff giving lots of interest (3 home visits in January); cousin of BYU LBs Keenan & Trajan Pili
Status: 60% BYU, 40% Utah; committed to Utah in October 2015; visited BYU 1/22; mission first; I think he’s leaning towards flipping to BYU
Prediction: BYU

Mique Juarez, OLB, 6’2″, 210 lbs, Torrance, CA

About: 5-star Recruit, Ranked as #1 OLB and #8 overall by Scout; BYU in Final 4 (with Alabama, UCLA, Ole Miss); mother is Tongan
Status: 35% BYU, 35% UCLA, 25% Alabama, 5% Ole Miss; I still give BYU a better chance than most; visited BYU last weekend; will announce tomorrow at 1:30pm MT
Prediction: BYU (ALL IN, BABY!)

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. I predict BYU will sign 8 of the 12 available prospects, including the top recruit on the board in Juarez. And let’s be honest, that’s optimistic, but I’d honestly be surprised if BYU doesn’t receive the NLIs from at least half of these recruits. And if my percentages are anywhere close to realistic, then here’s a breakdown of the chances of signing at least that many:


It will be interesting to see how many of my predictions come true. Back in 2014, I correctly predicted the Signing Day choice of 6 of the final 7 prospects on BYU’s radar. Let’s hope that my 2016 predictions are similarly accurate. And don’t be surprised if BYU gets at least one player to flip that was previously not even on the radar.

As for Signing Day coverage, stay tuned to LoyalCougars.com where we’ll put the prospects up on our “Signing Day Central” page as soon as the NLIs are received. You can also follow along with the 2016 recruiting class on my GoogleDoc and on Twitter. Here’s to an exciting final few hours until the 2016 class is complete. Go Cougars!