PROVO — Signing Day at BYU began early Wednesday morning, highlighted by a distinct Lonestar State flavor.
The first national letter of intent rolled in from Fort Thomas, Kentucky quarterback Beau Hoge, the son of ESPN analyst and former NFL player Merrill Hoge.
Then came a slew of NLIs from the state of Texas: OL Jacob Jimenez, who recently flipped from Oregon State to BYU; WR Akile Davis; DB Trevor Brent; and RB Charles West; WR Micah Simon; and OL JJ Nwigwe.
Yes, wide receiver coach Guy Holliday’s recruiting efforts in Texas is paying off for the Cougars. And maybe the fact BYU crushed the Texas Longhorns the past two seasons played a factor as well.
Other NLIs that arrived early Wednesday included:
• BYU received an NLI from OL/DL Motekiai Langi, a 6-foot-7, 410-pounder from Tonga. He is a cousin of BYU LB Harvey Langi, and he’ll be serving a mission to Arizona before enrolling. Langi’s signing received considerable national attention on Twitter due to his enormous size and lack of football experience (he’s reportedly never played football, only rugby).
• OL Kieffer Longson, a four-star prospect, was offered by Ohio State, UCLA and Utah.
• Bountiful OL Brady Christensen, a de-commitment from Air Force.
• Pine View quarterback Kody Wilstead, who will serve a mission to Argentina before enrolling.
• Layton DB Dayan Lake, who had originally committed to BYU as a sophomore, then reassessed his options this past month before signing Wednesday.
• Timpview LB Devin Kaufusi, son of offensive line coach Steve Kaufusi and younger brother of staring DL/LB Bronson Kaufusi.
• Box Elder DB/RB Riley Burt, who hails from the small town of Mantua, not far from Brigham City.
• DB Eric Takenaka, a Snow College transfer, arrived at BYU in January as a mid-year transfer and is expected to vie for a starting safety job when spring ball begins in March.
• Pleasant Grove OL Demetrius Davis.
Meanwhile, BYU lost out on Virginia OL Zachary Hoyt, who signed instead with Virginia Tech. San Jose City College safety Khari Vanderbilt, who committed to the Cougars last summer but backed off that commitment, announced via Twitter that he won’t be signing an NLI today.
Numerous former BYU football players — Austin Collie, Brady Poppinga, Reno Mahe, Dan Coats, Daniel Sorensen, Jordan Pendleton, Terence Brown, Carlos Nuno, Manase Tonga, Chad Lewis, Robbie Bosco, Gary Sheide, Harvey Unga, Bryan Kehl, Jake Kuresa and Steve Young and Chris Hoke — participated in the festivities Wednesday, introducing the latest signees when their letters arrived. Young and Hoke did their via video.
Here is a list of BYU's signees for its 2015 class. It will be updated as information becomes available.
Zayne Anderson, 6-3, 200, defensive back, Stansbury High School, was previously committed to Utah State before flipping to the Cougars.
Trevor Brent, 5-10, 165, cornerback, Dallas, Texas, announced his commitment to the Cougars after an official visit last weekend.
Riley Burt, 6-1, 200, running back, Box Elder, was originally signed as a defensive back, but will likely play running back at BYU.
Squally Canada, 5-10, 192, running back, Milpitas, California, transferred to BYU from Washington State and will sit out the 2015 season due to transfer rules.
Brady Christensen, 6-6, 240, offensive lineman, Bountiful, de-committed from Air Force and committed to BYU on Saturday.
Akile Davis, 6-1, 190, receiver, DeSoto, Texas, held offers from San Diego State, Maryland and Nevada, among others.
Demetrius Davis, 6-4, 265, offensive lineman, Pleasant Grove High School, is one of several offensive line commitments added late to the 2015 Cougar recruiting class.
Beau Hoge, 6-0, 200, quarterback, Fort Thomas, Kentucky, is the son of ESPN analyst and former NFL player Merril Hoge.
Jeremiah Ieremia, 6-2, 225, linebacker, Hurricane, had offers from Utah State, Boise State, Oregon State and Washington, among others.
Jacob Jimenez, 6-6, 275, offensive lineman, Pflugerville, Texas, flipped his commitment from Oregon State just days before signing day.
Devin Kaufusi, 6-6, 215, defensive end, Timpview, is the son of current BYU defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi.
Dayan Lake, 5-11, 190, defensive back, Dallas, had originally committed to BYU, then recently opened up his recruitment to consider other options before re-committing to the Cougars.
Motekiai Langi, 6-7, 410, offensive lineman/defensive lineman, Tonga, is currently serving his LDS mission in Phoenix. He is a cousin to current BYU linebacker Harvey Langi.
Kieffer Longson, 6-7, 300, offensive line, San Ramon, California, held offers from UCLA, Ohio State and Utah, among others, and was rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com.
David Lui, 6-3, 250, defensive line, Pittsburg, California, plans to serve an LDS Church mission before enrolling and held offers from Hawaii and Weber State.
Tevita Mounga, 6-2, 290, defensive line, Murrieta, California, was offered by Utah, Washington and Washington State, among others.
J.J. Nwigwe, 6-4, 260, offensive lineman, from Heath, Texas, held offers from California and Kansas, among others.
Will Sedgwick, 6-2, 220, linebacker, Laguna Hills, California, committed early to the Cougars and was consistently ranked as one of California's top linebackers by experts.
Micah Simon, 6-0, 175, receiver, Dallas, played quarterback in high school, but will play receiver for the Cougars.
Mika Tafua, 6-3, 230, linebacker, Honolulu, was considered a soft commit to BYU before announcing via Twitter he is headed to the school. He was also considering offers from USC, Oregon and Oregon State, among others.
Eric Takenaka, 5-9, 205, defensive back, Snow College, is already enrolled in the program as a mid-year transfer and is expected to compete immediately for a spot at safety.
Charles West, 5-9, 180, running back, Coppell, Texas, chose BYU over offers from San Diego State and SMU, among others, and claims a 4.49 40-yard dash time.
Kody Wilstead, 6-6, 215, quarterback, Pine View, held offers from Louisville and San Diego State, among others, and will serve an LDS Church mission before enrolling.