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Red and blue recruits: Reviewing the 2017 football recruiting classes for Utah and BYU so far

In large measure, it’s been quiet on the recruiting front for the Utah and BYU football programs during the season, as neither team received a single commitment from Aug. 2 to Oct. 11.

Things are starting to pick up, however, as the Utes recently received three commitments and the Cougars one.

With high schools around the country starting the playoff phases of their seasons, here’s a review of both teams’ commitments thus far for the class of 2017. National Signing Day is Feb. 1.


John Penisini, DT, Snow College: The former West Jordan Jaguar committed to the Utes clear back in March. He redshirted this season to focus on school and heal from an arm injury.

Tristin McCollum, DB, Ball High School (Galveston, Texas): Having committed to Utah in June, McCollum told the Deseret News this week that he still loves the program. Season stats are not available for Ball High School.

Zyon McCollum, DB, Ball High School (Galveston, Texas): The twin brother of Tristin McCollum, Zyon McCollum committed to the Utes on the same day as his brother.

Jason Shelley, QB, Lone Star High School (Frisco, Texas): Complete season stats are not available for Shelley, but he’s had a number of standout performances throughout the season. Last week against Reedy High School, he threw for 229 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone. He committed in July.

Tyquez Hampton, WR, El Dorado High School (El Paso, Texas): The former Washington State commit, who flipped to Utah on Oct. 11, has tallied 57 receptions for 799 yards with 11 touchdowns so far this season.

Jaylen Dixon, WR, Lone Star High School (Frisco, Texas): Shelley’s high school teammate committed to the Utes the day after Hampton. Complete season stats are unavailable.

Jaylon Johnson, DB, Central High School (Fresno, California): A top 60 prospect overall in the entire country who committed Oct. 28, Johnson had 23 tackles and two interceptions on the season. Offensively, he had 23 receptions for 342 yards with three touchdowns. The Grizzlies are still in the playoff hunt, but Johnson had surgery on Wednesday to repair a torn labrum with the idea that he’ll be ready to compete in fall camp next year for the Utes.


Jackson McChesney, WR, Lone Peak High School: McChesney committed to the Cougars clear back in August of 2015 and has remained firm in that pledge. He has done most of his damage for the Knights this year on the ground, as he’s racked up 571 yards on 80 carries with nine touchdowns. The Knights will play in the 5A quarterfinals on Friday.

Isaac Rex, TE, San Clemente High School (San Clemente, California): Committed to BYU since March, Rex missed seven games this season because of a broken femur, but he returned to the field last week.

Tanner Baker, TE, Allatoona High School (Acworth, Georgia): An April commit, Baker has been sidelined the entire season because of a knee injury.

Preston Lewis, DE, Lone Peak High School: Highlights of his season statistics include 7.5 sacks, two interceptions and a fumble recovery. He committed to the Cougars in May.

Ammon Hannemann, S, Lone Peak High School: The third Knight to commit to the class (in June), Hannemann has tallied 49 tackles so far this season.

Donovan Hanna, TE, American Leadership Academy (Queen Creek, Arizona): With former Cougar quarterback Max Hall as his offensive coordinator, Hanna has tallied 41 receptions for 765 yards with eight touchdowns on the season. He committed on the same day as Hannemann.

Ben Bywater, LB, Olympus High School: Slated to be a linebacker for the Cougars, Bywater was the Titans’ leading rusher this season with 679 yards and nine touchdowns. Defensively, he had 75 tackles and one sack. Olympus was eliminated from the 4A playoffs last week in a 28-21 loss to Box Elder. He committed in June.

Tariq Buchanan, WR, Elgin High School (Elgin, Texas): Buchanan has done a little bit of a lot of things this season for the Wildcats. He’s had 50 receptions for 682 yards with seven touchdowns, 31 carries for 219 yards with five touchdowns and 14 kickoff returns. He also committed in June.

Seth Willis, OL, Newtown High School (Newtown, Connecticut): The offensive lineman has helped lead the Nighthawks to a 7-0 record thus far after committing to BYU in June.

Bentley Hanshaw, TE, Moorpark High School (Moorpark, California): Complete season stats are unavailable for the tight end who chose BYU in June over programs such as Utah and Oregon State.

Ryan Rehkow, P, Central Valley High School (Spokane, Washington): Season stats are unavailable for the kicker/punter who pledged to the Cougars on Aug. 2.

Keenan Ellis, WR/FS, Bonita Vista High School (Chula Vista, California): BYU’s most recent commit has tallied 24 receptions for 589 yards and five touchdowns in limited action this season.

Ryan McDonald is a sports reporter at Follow him on Twitter @ryanwmcdonald.