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Daniel Coats chooses BYU

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Northridge High's Daniel Coats made a name for himself catching footballs as a wide receiver, and he wanted to continue doing that in college.

For that reason, the 2001 Deseret News Mr. Football and 2000 5A MVP Award winner verbally committed to play football at BYU.

Coats was also recruited by USC, North Carolina State, Colorado, Michigan and Washington, but they wanted him to play defense or tight end. Coats said North Carolina State was right there with BYU until he learned of its intentions.

"They (the NC State Wolf pack) picked up two other receivers and they didn't want me to be a receiver. The wanted me to play defense," Coats said. "That's what they told my head coach here and I definitely didn't want to play defense."

In his junior and senior seasons at Northridge, he had 2,386 yards receiving with 23 touchdowns. His team went 23-2 in those years and won back-to-back Class 5A state football championships over perennial power Skyline. In the 2001 semifinals against Bingham he had nine catches for 134 yards and a touchdown. In the championship game he had three receptions for 67 yards.

"They (the Cougars) wanted me the most out of anyone that recruited me and that helps," Coats said. "I'm happy with my decision and it's going to be fun."

With Coats' nod, the Cougars have received verbal commitments from Highland defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, East running back Taufui Vakapuna, Mountain Crest defensive tackle Jake Kuresa, Brighton linebacker Brian Kehl and Kearns linebacker Paulo Fuaalii. They also received a verbal commitment from the nation's top recruit and No. 1 quarterback, Ben Olson of Thousand Oaks, Calif.

E-MAIL: jhinton@desnews.com