This is one special football season for Drew Mugleston, a defensive back from Arizona, the latest high school football recruit committing to sign at BYU.
Mugleston, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound athlete who plays receiver and defensive back for Mesa Mountain View, is lucky to have his father, Mark, seeing his games this season.
This past winter, everyone thought the father had pneumonia. Tests showed a mass in his lung, but a biopsy was inconclusive. Then in June the diagnosis became clear, he had a serious case of lung cancer and it had progressed to his spine.
"It was a pretty bad prognosis," according to his wife, Kendall Mugleston.
"He's still been able to see all my games," Drew said.
This week Drew called BYU's coaches and committed to sign with the Cougars, something his father, who attended BYU, pushed for him to do.
"My father's advice was to go to BYU, but it was just part of what went into making the decision," Drew said. "I liked the whole program, the facilities and the coaches. They've been following me since my freshman year, and I decided I'd commit early."
Drew is Mark and Kendall's only son in a family of five children. He's the middle child.
"I'm excited to be a part of BYU and I'm looking forward to going there," he said. Drew has been clocked at 4.5 in the 40 and 11.2 electronically for 100 meters.
Mountain View has been a recruiting stop for the Cougars over the years. Signees include former San Francisco 49er Todd Shell, All-WAC middle linebacker Bob Davis, defensive back Tyson Smith, linebacker Josh Lowe and current quarterback John Beck.
Mugelston's quarterback at Mesa Mountain View, Max Hall, attended BYU's summer camp with Mugelston and received an offer from the Cougars before committing to Arizona State last month. Mountain View is 16-0 dating back to last season, 2-0 this year.
This past weekend BYU received an oral commitment from offensive lineman Terence Brown from South Carolina's Summerville High. Brown received offers from South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Clemson. He is 6-4, 285 pounds and attended summer camps at BYU and Nebraska.
The oral commits to sign in February 2004 by Brown and Mugelston extend the Cougar verbal list to six athletes this summer and fall heading into a period where many athletes are just beginning to take official recruiting visits.
Those players are 6-7, 230 Box Elder defensive end/tight end Matt Putnam; Meridian High (Idaho) quarterback Jacob Bower (6-4, 200); Allan Hancock JC cornerback Eddie Scipio (5-10, 175) who prepped in Santa Maria, Calif., and 6-5, 280 offensive lineman Nick Alletto from Ponderosa High in Parker, Colo.
In basketball, two solid West recruits will make official visits to the Provo campus this weekend. They are 6-7 shooting guard/forward Lee Cummard from Mesa High in Arizona and 6-10 forward David Burgess out of Woodbridge High in Irvine, Calif.
The early signing date for high school players is in November.
Burgess is the younger brother of former Duke and Utah center Chris Burgess, who earned all-star honors at the 2002 ABCD Camp. He has narrowed his college choices to Louisville, Gonzaga, Florida and BYU with interest from nearby UCLA. Rick Pitino (Louisville) made an official home visit with Burgess last weekend, according to Greg Hicks of TheInsiders.com.
In an emergency move to grab a big man this summer, Burgess received a call to join USA Basketball's Junior World Championships squad while involved in the NBA Players Association Camp in Virginia. He was the only high school player to make the squad after flying to Team USA headquarters in Dallas.
BYU coach Steve Cleveland and chief assistant Dave Rose made a home visit with Cummard last week in Mesa. Most recruiting services experts predict Cummard will be named the No. 1 shooting guard in the West this winter. Cummard has other visits scheduled at Oregon State, Arizona State, Oregon and UCLA.
Cummard plans on serving an LDS mission right after high school.
Timpview's 6-10 center Chris Miles has whittled down his college choices to BYU, Utah, Utah State and Gonzaga. He will begin making recruiting trips in October.