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Get up to speed on the BYU Cougars’ 2022 recruiting class

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The BYU Cougars take the field at a nearly empty LaVell Edwards Stadium before their game against North Alabama in Provo on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Whether it be the middle of the college football season, the dog days of summer or the outset of spring camp, recruiting is an ever present part of college football.

There is no such thing as an offseason, and for head coach Kalani Sitake and company, finding the next batch of Cougars is always a priority.

With that in mind, here is a look at BYU’s 2022 recruiting class, with prospects listed according to reporting by 247 Sports, Rivals and the Deseret News.

(All commitments at this point are verbal and non-binding.)


National rankings

247 Sports — 51

Rivals — 59


The latest

Things have been working in BYU’s favor the last couple of days. In the wake of Bronco Mendenhall’s surprise resignation as the head coach at Virginia, BYU has secured commitments from three former Virginia commits: Lone Peak offensive lineman Joe Brown, and Pine View playmakers — and twins — Dominique and Marcus McKenzie.


Joe Brown

OL — Lone Peak (Highland)

6-3, 285

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals

A one-time Virginia commit, Brown decommitted to the Cavaliers after head coach Bronco Mendenhall resigned and committed to BYU on Dec. 10. Rated the 12th best prospect in Utah and a top 50 offensive line prospect in the country (per 247 Sports’ Composite rating) Brown choose the Cougars over offers from Indiana, Idaho and Morehead State.

Brown was a key piece in Lone Peak’s run to the 6A state championship as a senior, and played tackle and guard on the offensive line, as well as defensive tackle.


Kaden Chidester

TE — Richfield (Richfield)

6-8, 240

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals

Offered by BYU on June 16, Chidester committed to the program the following day. Chidester has been a standout basketball player for the Wildcats, but after talking to BYU defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki and offensive line coach Darrell Funk, he elected to pursue a future in football, with all indications being that he could play in the trenches on either line or at tight end.

Richfield head basketball coach Rand Jane’s comments on Chidester:

“Kaden is a great young man and a hard worker. On the court, he is always communicating with his teammates. He is key to our success defensively. He will bring a big body and a great work ethic to BYU. I am proud of him and wish him all the best.”


Cannon DeVries

ATH — Weber (Pleasant View)

6-0, 160

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals

The 29th-highest rated prospect in Utah — he is rated the 124th-best athlete in the country — DeVries chose the Cougars over offers from Colorado and Weber State (he has also received interest from UCLA and Nevada).

DeVries was a do everything kind of player for the Warriors.

As a junior, he hauled in 25 passes for 538 yards and eight touchdowns, averaging 59.8 yards per game, while rushing for an additional 162 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, DeVries proved a ballhawk. recording 32 tackles and seven interceptions.

As a senior, DeVries was even better. He led the Warriors in receiving, with 66 catches for 947 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 14.35 yards per reception. He also rushed for 408 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 9.95 yards a carry. He also tallied the second-highest tackle total on the team — 85 — and added five interceptions.


Peter Falaniko

OL — Pine View (St. George)

6-3, 305

★★★ – 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals

Rated the 25th-best prospect in Utah and the 82nd-best interior offensive lineman in the country, Falaniko chose the Cougars over offers from Colorado State, Fresno State and Hawaii, among others. BYU offered him on June 16 and he committed July 5. As a junior, Falaniko helped Pine View to a 12-2 record and a berth in the 4A state championship game, where the Panthers fell to Sky View 39-33. This season, Pine View finished 7-5 and lost to Dixie in the 4A semifinals.

Pine View head coach Ray Hosner’s comments on Falaniko:

“Peter Falaniko is one of the hardest working kids that I know. He’s never missed a weight training or an acceleration training in the last four years. Peter has shown amazing leadership. Although quiet, that has always shown through. Just the other day, Maryland offered, as well as a few other big schools, but he wants to be a Cougar.”


Cody Hagen

WR — Corner Canyon (Draper)

6-1, 175

★★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals

One of the premier playmakers on the top-ranked high school team in Utah, Hagen chose the Cougars over offers from more than 20 teams, including Power Five schools like Utah, Oregon, Michigan, USC and Stanford, to say nothing of Ivy League schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown and Dartmouth.

Currently BYU’s top rated commit, Hagen hauled in 89 catches for 1,804 yards and 23 touchdowns this season. In his prep career, Hagen has recorded 201 receptions for 3,926 yards and 51 touchdowns.

Rated the fourth-best overall prospect in Utah and the 48th-best wide receiver in the country, Hagen committed to BYU on September 30.


Brooks Jones

ATH — American Leadership Academy (Queen Creek, Arizona)

6-6, 200

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals

A dual-sport athlete — he also plays basketball — Jones was offered by BYU on May 17 and committed just under a month later, on June 16. Rated the 34th-best recruit in Arizona by 247 Sports — he is also rated the 199th-best athlete in the country — Jones’ only offer, thus far, is courtesy of the Cougars.

Jones’ HUDL lists him as a defensive end, tight end and wide receiver.

At American Leadership Academy, Jones plays for former BYU quarterback Max Hall (offensive coordinator) and Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer (head coach).


Jarinn Kalama

ATH — Wasatch (Heber City)

6-3, 200

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals

Considered the 14th-best overall recruit in the state of Utah and the 81st-best athlete in the country, Kalama has played both wide receiver and safety for Wasatch. In his two years in Heber City, Kalama was one of the Wasps’ most important and explosive offensive playmakers and as a senior he tallied 62 receptions for 779 yards and nine touchdowns. On defense, where he might be even better, Kalama racked up 42 tackles and two sacks.

Wasatch head coach Steve Coburn’s comments on Kalama:

“Jarrin was a large part of our team success in 2020, helping to lead us to the Region 8 championship. He started in all three phases of the game. Offensively, we did what we could to get the ball in his hands, he was the punt and kick returner and a free safety on defense. Jarrin was a difference maker for us. At BYU, he will bring the versatility that coach Sitake looks for in his players.”


Maika Kaufusi

S — Alta (Sandy)

6-3, 170

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals

The younger brother of two Cougar defenders, Jackson and Isaiah (who just finished his BYU career), Maika has been a key player for the Alta Hawks since he stepped foot on campus. As a junior last season — despite suffering a broken collarbone that forced him to miss the majority of the season — Kaufusi totaled seven receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown while playing wide receiver and added eight tackles as a safety. As a senior, he had 25 receptions for 622 yards and 10 touchdowns, while also racking up 29 tackles and a sack.

Alta head coach Alema Te’o’s comments on Kaufusi:

“Maika is a 4-year starter and a tremendous athlete that has great work ethic. Maika will fall in line with his older brothers Jackson and Isaiah at BYU, but I believe he is the more talented, which I’m sure his brothers will agree. Expect big things from him.”


Parker Kingston

ATH — Roy (Roy)

5-11, 175

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals

Rated the 40th-best prospect in Utah and the 158th-best athlete in the country, Kingston chose BYU over an offer from Air Force. Kingston was initially committed to the Falcons, but decommitted on Sept. 6, the same day he announced he’d chosen the Cougars.

Kingston has played wide receiver, running back, defensive back and quarterback for the Royals and as a senior he completed 77 of 131 pass attempts for 946 yards and 10 touchdowns, while also rushing for a team-high 1,129 yards and 18 touchdowns.


Liutai Kinikini

ATH — West (Salt Lake City)

6-3, 195

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals

Rated the 47th-best player in the state of Utah, Kinikini chose the Cougars over an offer from Weber State. As a junior last season, Kinikini played on both sides of the ball. On offense, he had one reception for 39 yards and a touchdown and also recorded one carry for 10 yards. Defensively, Kinikini tallied three tackles, two against Woods Cross and another against American Fork.

This season, Kinikini played primarily on defense and recorded 27 tackles, one of 11 Panthers to break the 20-tackle barrier.

West head coach Olossa Solovi’s comments on Kinikini:

“Liutai is the ultimate teammate. He always does what’s best for the team without hesitation. What he can do on the field is a representation of who he is off the field. Liutai is a humble, hardworking and respectful young man. We love him and his family!”


Dominique McKenzie

WR — Pine View (St. George)

6-0, 170

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals

Originally committed to Virginia, McKenzie decommited after the resignation of Cavaliers’ head coach Bronco Mendenhall. In addition to BYU and Virginia, McKenzie had offers from Oregon, Pittsburgh, Duke, Arizona and San Diego State, among others.

Rated the 10th-best prospect in Utah and 79th-best wide receiver prospect in the country, McKenzie was a difference maker for Pine View.

As a senior this past season, he led the Panthers with 34 receptions for 814 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 23.94 yards per catch. In his career, McKenzie had 3,208 receiving yards and 30 touchdowns.


Marcus McKenzie

ATH — Pine View (St. George)

6-0, 170

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals

Rated the 11th-best prospect in Utah and the 59th-best athlete in the country, McKenzie was originally committed to Virginia, but decommited after Bronco Mendenhall resigned as the program’s head coach.

McKenzie holds offers from Cal, Air Force, Pittsburgh and Arizona, as well as Princeton.

Playing both sides of the ball, but known more for his defense at cornerback, McKenzie was one of Pine View’s key players. As a senior, he racked up 16 tackles and an interception on defense, while chipping in 253 receiving yards and five touchdowns on offense.

For his career, McKenzie tallied 84 tackles and two interceptions, to go along with 298 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.


Aisea Moa

DE — Weber (Ogden)

6-3, 220

★★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★★ — Rivals

One of the best recruits in the state of Utah — Moa is currently rated No. 4 behind only Devin Brown (USC commit), Lander Barton (Utah lean) and Carsen Ryan (UCLA commit) — Moa initially committed to Utah over offers from BYU and Utah State, not to mention a host of Power 5 schools.

He announced on Sept. 29, however, that he was reopening in recruitment and committed to BYU in the wake of the Cougars’ loss to Boise State on October 9.

Rated the 40th-best defensive end in the country, Moa contributed on both sides of the ball for Weber as a junior. On offense, he recorded seven receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown. On defense, he contributed 17 tackles and a team-high three sacks.

As a senior, Moa racked up 73 tackles, 10 sacks, two interceptions and scored a defensive touchdown.


Noah Moeaki

OLB — American Fork (American Fork)

6-3, 205

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals

A long-time Cougar commit — Moeaki pledged to BYU in April of 2019 — Moeaki chose BYU over Utah, Utah State, Air Force and San Diego State. Rated the eighth-best recruit in the state of Utah and the 49th-best outside linebacker in the country, Moeaki was a key contributor on the American Fork defense as a junior last season.

He finished the year with 36 tackles, sixth-most by any Caveman, and added a sack and an interception, as American Fork advanced to the quarterfinals of the 6A state tournament.

As a senior, Moeaki was an impact player on both sides of the ball. On offense, he had 28 receptions for 422 yards six touchdowns. On defense, he recorded 44 tackles, a sack and an interception.


Trevin Ostler

ATH — Bountiful (Bountiful)

6-5, 240

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals

Ostler chose the Cougars over an offer from UNLV and reported interest from Oregon State. He was offered on June 1 and committed on July 21.

As a junior last season, Ostler recorded eight tackles for the Redhawks, who went 7-5 overall and advanced to the second round of the 5A state tournament. This season, Ostler was even better, tallying 23 tackles and a sack.

Ostler was the ninth player from the state of Utah to commit to BYU as part of the 2022 class.

Bountiful head coach Jason Freckleton’s comments on Ostler:

“Trevin is a great athlete and hard worker. He’s something special. He’s not only a great football player but a great young man. He brings a fun, yet hard working culture with him in everything he does. We believed that he was flying under the radar with recruiting, but that once he got out there he would have some great opportunities. We’re so proud that he’ll be a great addition to BYU and help take that program where they want to be.”


Cooper Ross

TE — Heritage Academy (Mesa Arizona)

6-5, 245

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals

The seventh player to commit to BYU for 2022, Ross was offered by the Cougars on June 15 and committed on the same day.

Rated the 110th-best tight end in the country and 35th-best overall recruit out of Arizona, Ross was actually offered a scholarship by BYU defensive coaches, specifically defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki, raising the possibility of a position change once he arrives in Provo. In addition to playing tight end, Ross also played defensive end.


Vae Soifua

OL — Orem (Orem)

6-4, 285

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals

The 26th-best player in Utah, per 247 Sports Composite rating, and the 84th-best offensive line prospect in the country, Soifua chose the Cougars over offers from Hawaii, Louisiana Tech, North Texas and Florida Atlantic, among others.

Soifua was an integral part of the Tigers’ 8-2 campaign that ended in a 5A state championship in 2020 and as a senior, he had seven tackles and two sacks.


Talin Togiai

DL — Rigby (Rigby, Idaho)

6-6, 290

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals

Ranked the 4th-best prospect in Idaho and 194th-best defensive lineman in the country, Togiai chose the Cougars over offers from Nebraska and Utah.

Per 247 Sports, Togiai is being recruited to play offensive line — he has played both on sides of the ball in high school — despite playing primarily on defense for Rigby. Togiai was the fourth lineman to commit to BYU for the 2022 class.


Micah Wilson

ILB — Corner Canyon (Draper)

6-2, 195

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals

Ranked the No. 23rd-best prospect in Utah, Wilson has picked up where his brothers Zach and Josh Wilson left off. As a junior last season, Wilson racked up 133 tackles and a half sack for the 6A state champion Chargers. Wilson’s tackles were the second-most recorded by any Corner Canyon player, behind only Harrison Taggart.

As a senior, Wilson was less prolific for the 6A runner-ups, recording 47 tackles, a sack, an interception and a defensive touchdown.

BYU offered Wilson on Dec. 19, 2020, his only offer thus far, and Wilson committed to the Cougars on April 20, 2021.


Transfers

Kingsley Suamataia

OL — Orem (Orem)

6-5, 317

★★★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★★★ — Rivals

The top rated recruit in Utah and the sixth highest rated offensive lineman in the country in the class of 2020, Suamataia signed with the Oregon Ducks and played in one game this season, Week 3 against Stony Brook. He was a four-year starter and four-time Utah 5A state champion and entered the transfer portal in late October before committing to the Cougars on Nov. 5.

247Sports’ Mountain Region recruiting analyst Blair Angelo:

“Long limbs and well-proportioned frame without bad weight. Broad shoulders and plenty of room to build mass. Strong and sturdy at under 300 lbs. Athletic, nimble blocker who sets a wide base. Shows great burst out of his stance. Very good feet to stay in front of defenders. Flexible and quick to seal blocks, showing the agility to halt speedier edge rushers. In run game displays the mobility to consistently reach the second level. Can pull to opposite side with ease. Positional versatility to fit at either tackle or guard. Must improve toughness and relentlessness. Potential multi-year starter at elite Power Five level and future NFL Draft high-round selection.”