PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – BYU head coach Kalani Sitake already signed 14 players in the early signing period, so Wednesday’s Signing Day was a little anti-climatic for the Cougars.
But Sitake did bring in four more players, including speedy San Diego running back Javelle Brown and pass rushing specialist Cade Albright.
In all, the Cougars added 18 signees from six states. Six in-state prospects out of Utah signed, with five from California, two each from Texas, Arizona and Hawai’i, and one from Colorado. The new signees include 10 offensive players—one quarterback, three offensive linemen, three receivers, two tight ends and one running back—and eight defensive players, including four defensive backs, three defensive linemen and one linebacker.
“This is a wonderful group,” head coach Kalani Sitake said. “I am excited for what they bring to our football program and for everything else in the future for these young men. These are good kids from great families with diverse backgrounds who are all great fits for BYU football.”
Quarterback Jacob Conover, an ESPN Top 300 recruit and one of the most sought-after quarterback prospects in the country, headlined the early signees for 2019. Conover, a high school teammate of current BYU freshman wideout Gunner Romney, led Chandler High School to three consecutive state titles while throwing for more than 10,000 yards with 102 passing touchdowns in three seasons.
The Cougars also added Under Armour All-American receiver Chase Roberts. Roberts, from American Fork High School, is a two-time all-state first-team receiver who totaled 1,717 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior in 2018. He amassed more than 3,700 receiving yards and 40 touchdowns in high school.
BYU picked up some additional offensive weapons with two more wideouts in Trinity High School receiver Keanu Hill and Javelle Brown from Mira Mesa High School in California, along with speedster back Luc Andrada from Pueblo East High School in Colorado.
Hill at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds is a big-bodied receiver from Euless, Texas, who was a two-time all-district honoree. Brown, at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, played multiple positions in high school with nearly 1,500 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior.
Andrada, a 5-foot-10, 175-pounder, played mostly quarterback in high school, amassing 3,135 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2018. He was also a state champion track star, running a 10.62 in the 100-meter and 21.41 in the 200-meter.
The Cougars added a pair of tight ends in Carter Wheat and Ethan Erickson. Wheat starred at Red Mountain High School in Arizona and Erickson was a standout at Kahuku High School in Hawai’I, offering a big upside as a pass catcher with his long frame at 6-foot-5.
Ready to help out up front, three offensive linemen officially joined the program. Blake Freeland, Brock Gunderson and Eli Unutoa all signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday.
Freeland is a 6-foot-8 athlete who played quarterback, defensive line and tight end in high school but is expected to be an offensive tackle for the Cougars. Gunderson is a Texas product out of Cypress Woods High School that was a three-time all-district selection. Unutoa, a three-star prospect, is the Cougars’ second signee from the state of Hawai’i out of Kapa’a High School.
On defense, BYU added a pair of interior defensive linemen in Brooks Maile and Bruce Mitchell. Maile at 6-foot-4, 285 pounds, and Mitchell at 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, have the size and strength to contribute in the middle.
On the edge, the Cougars picked up coveted California star Cade Albright from San Juan Hills High School. Albright, at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, has the frame to be a pass-rushing force at BYU after totaling 19 sacks and 33 tackles for loss as a senior in 2018.
Michael Daley, a linebacker from Lone Peak High School, joins the program after earning Deseret News 6A MVP honors for his 2018 performance that included 40.5 tackles for loss and 24.5 sacks in his senior season when the Knights won the state championship.
Four defensive backs were signed, with all four bringing more speed and athleticism to BYU’s secondary. Caleb Christensen, Eric Ellison, George Udo and Dimitri Gallow will bolster the Cougars’ defensive backfield.
Christensen, an in-state product, returned three kicks for touchdowns as a senior at Sky View and posted 71 tackles and eight interceptions during his junior and senior seasons. Ellison, a junior college signee, played one year at San Jacinto after a prep career at Banning High School in California. Ellison scored touchdowns as a kick returner, punt returner, wide receiver, running back and on defense in his career.
From the same junior college at Mt. San Jacinto, Gallow was a two-time all-conference selection and posted 50 tackles and led the team with three interceptions in 2016.
Udo, another multi-sport athlete with speed, earned first-team all-league honors on defense as a senior after playing football for only the past two years. Udo could end up at linebacker or on offense with his sub-4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash and 6-foot-1, 210-pound frame.
The Cougars are also expected to welcome 18 players who will the join program for the 2019 season for the first time, with many returning from missionary service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Of the 18 new additions, seven are mid-year enrollees this winter in Solofa Funa (linebacker from Spanish Fork, Utah), Caden Haws (offensive lineman from Little Rock, Arkansas), Freddy Livai (defensive end from Fontana, California), Keenan Pili (linebacker from Provo, Utah), Chaz Ah You (linebacker from Eagle Mountain, Utah), Jake Oldroyd (kicker from Southlake, Texas) and Alex Miskela (linebacker from Los Alamitos, California).