PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Head coach Kalani Sitake today announced BYU’s 2017 recruiting class consisting of 24 high school signees, in addition to the six mid-year signees previously announced.

The Cougars will also welcome back to the program 10 scholarship players returning from serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 2017.

“We are excited about these young men and have felt like they are already part of our family,” Sitake said. “We feel good about our group. Our staff knows these young men better than anyone else and has done a great job along with our fans and alumni.”

The class includes 14 defensive players and nine offensive players, with some who could end up on either side of the ball. BYU also added one specialist representing nine different states. There are 12 prospects signing out of Utah with five recruits coming from California and one each from Hawaii, Arizona, Washington, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia and Connecticut.

On defense, BYU added seven defensive linemen and five defensive backs along with two linebackers. Three tight ends, two offensive lineman, two quarterbacks and one wide receiver were signed on the offense. Additionally, the Cougars signed one kicker, Ryan Rehkow. Several recruits signed that could play either offense or defense.

The 2017 BYU recruiting class features 19 players rated with three or four stars, including four-star prospects Chaz Ah You (6-2, 199) and Langi Tuifua (6-3, 225).

Ah You, a defensive back out of Timpview and Westlake High School, was nationally ranked in ESPN’s Top 300 and rated the No. 1 safety in Utah. A gifted athlete, Ah You played defensive back, wide receiver, quarterback, kick returner and punter in high school.

Tuifua, from Bingham High School, was ranked as the No. 1 defensive end in Utah. A consensus first-team all-state selection, Tuifua helped the Miners to three state titles in four years. Both Tuifua and Ah You were selected to the Polynesian Bowl.

The tradition and legacy continues for multiple players in the signing class, including Ah You. Ah You is the son of Jasen Ah You, current director of athlete relations for BYU. His grandfather Charles Ah You and several members of the Ah You family have also played for BYU. Lone Peak defensive back Ammon Hannemann (6-2, 190) and running back Jackson McChesney (6-0, 187) are the younger brothers of current defensive backs Micah Hannemann and Austin McChesney, respectively. Both three-star recruits, they helped the Knights to back-to-back state title games and earned all-state recognition.

Defensive back Tongi Langi (6-1, 180), a three-star recruit from Bingham High School is the younger brother of recently graduated Harvey Langi. Also, tight end Isaac Rex (6-5, 235) is the son of former BYU tight end Byron Rex. The San Clemente High School three-star product led his high school team to its first state championship in 2016. Another three-star tight end, Bentley Hanshaw (6-6, 220), is the son of former Cougar offensive lineman Tim. The younger Hanshaw comes from Moorpark High School, home of former BYU receptions leader, Dennis Pitta.

Another tight end with BYU connections, Donovan Hanna (6-5, 230) comes from Queen Creek, Arizona where he helped the American Leadership Academy to a 14-1 season and state championship. His offensive coordinator was BYU’s winningest quarterback in history, Max Hall. 

On the defensive line, BYU also added in-state products Lorenzo Fauatea (6-4, 260) and Alden Tofa (6-4, 260). Both three-star recruits, Fauatea and Tofa played in the Polynesian Bowl. Fauatea was his region’s defensive MVP and earned 5A First-Team All-State. Scout rates Tofa as the No. 2 defensive end in Utah along with earning region defensive MVP honors.

Khyiris Tonga (6-4, 300) is another three-star recruit, playing both defense and offense in high school. Seleti Fevaleaki (6-3, 290), Tanner Baker (6-4, 230) and Tyler Batty (6-4, 235) are other defensive linemen joining the 2017 squad.

BYU added more depth and speed to the secondary with Keenan Ellis (6-1, 170) and D’Angelo Gunter (6-1, 180). Both ran the sprints for track in high school and played offense and defense. The three-star prospects could play in the secondary or move to offense for the Cougars.

Another versatile athlete, Tariq Buchanan (6-1, 175) from Texas had 52 receptions for 684 yards and seven touchdowns during his senior season. Buchanan could also play defensive back in addition to wideout.

Linebackers Ben Bywater (6-3, 210), from Olympus High School, and Preston Lewis (6-2, 225), another Lone Peak product, joined the BYU family on Wednesday. Both led their squads to region championships in 2015 and 2016. Bywater earned region MVP honors while Lewis led the state in sacks with 14.5 as a junior.

Two quarterbacks also signed on Wednesday. Joe Critchlow (6-4, 210) out of Franklin, Tennessee and dual-threat athlete Mason Fakahua (6-3, 210) from Cedar City, Utah. Critchlow passed for over 4,400 yards while Fakahua totaled over 3,900 passing yards and 2,300 rushing yards in high school.

Bolstering the offensive line, Paula “Mango” Finau (6-5, 350) and Seth Willis (6-6, 325) joined the 2017 class. Finau was named to the Maui Interscholastic First-Team and selected as a Maui Interscholastic League All-Star. Willis was a first-team all-state selection in Connecticut and a two-time all-conference selection.

Ryan Rehkow (6-5, 205) was the only specialist signed on Wednesday. He is a three-star punter and kicker out of Veradale, Washington. He was rated the No. 1 kicker in the state, and his longest field goal in 2015 was a 57-yarder.

Mid-year additions announced earlier, Ula Tolutau, Wayne, Tei-Kirby, Taipe Vaka, Joe Tukuafu, Austin Lee and AJ Lolohea, also look to make an impact in 2017.

The Cougars also welcome back 10 scholarship players from missions who will join the program for the 2017 season for their freshman seasons. Of those 10 players, four are mid-year additions: Matt Bushman Garrett England, Teancum (Tico) Fuga and Earl Mariner. The other six, Will Sedgewick, Brady Christensen, David Lui, Motekai Langi, Mika Tafua and Kody Wilstead are expected to join in the fall.