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The latest on the BYU Cougars’ 2023 recruiting class

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BYU coach Kalani Sitake walks the sidelines prior to a game in Logan on Friday Oct 1, 2021.

BYU football coach Kalani Sitake walks the sidelines prior to a game in Logan on Friday Oct 1, 2021.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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

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

The early signing period is nearly here — recruits can sign from December 21 to December 23.

Here is a look at BYU’s 2023 recruiting class, with prospects listed alphabetically according to reporting by 247 SportsRivals, On3 the Deseret News.

Owen Borg

Corner Canyon’s Owen Borg tips a pass

Corner Canyon’s Owen Borg defends a pass to Teagen Calton during a high school football game at Corner Canyon in Draper on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. Corner Canyon won 38-23.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

LB — Corner Canyon High School View (Draper)

6-foot-2, 190 pounds

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals 

★★★ — On3

  • Chose BYU over offers from like Colorado, Utah State, San Diego State and Air Force, among others, including multiple Ivy League schools.
  • As a junior in 2021, Borg recorded 119 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 3 interceptions.
  • This year, as a senior, Borg racked up 93 tackles, five interceptions, a sack and a defensive touchdown.
  • Is considered a top 20 prospect in Utah by 247 Sports’ Composite and a top 120 linebacker in the country.

Jackson Bowers

TE — Mountain View High School (Mesa, Arizona)

6-foot-5, 225 pounds

★★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals 

★★★ — On3

A big-bodied prospect with broad shoulders and thick upper half. Solidly built from the waist down with room to add muscle definition. Great athlete and remarkably mobile for his size. Terrific hand-eye coordination and concentration level in the catch window. Physical at the point of attack, but nimble enough to wiggle free into space. Matchup issue in the box where he can jostle for position. Fits true hand-in-the-ground mold, although carries some flex potential. Major weapon in the red zone and up the seam. Shows very good blocking effort with chance to impact run game. Upside as an All-Conference type performer and projects as a late-round NFL Draft selection. — 247 Sports recruiting analyst Blair Angulo

  • Either the highest rated or second highest commit in BYU's class (depending on the recruiting service).
  • Bowers chose BYU over Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Oregon, Washington and Arizona.
  • A top 20 tight end prospect nationally — No. 18 — Bowers is the fifth-best overall prospect in Arizona.
  • As a sophomore (in eight games played), Bowers had 25 receptions for 345 yards and four touchdowns. As a junior, (in 11 games played), he had 47 receptions for 861 yards and five touchdowns. As a senior this year (in 10 games played) he has 37 catches for 334 yards and three touchdowns.

Ryder Burton

Springville High Ryder Burton throws a pass during 5A football championship game against Lehi at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Springville High School’s Ryder Burton throws a pass during the 5A football championship game against Lehi High School at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. Lehi won 35-6.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

QB — Springville High School

6-foot-2, 180 pounds

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals 

★★★ — On3

  • Ranked the 14-best 2023 prospect in Utah and the 70th-best pro-style quarterback prospect in the country, per 247 Sports’ Composite.
  • Completed 156 of 243 pass attempts as a junior — a 64.2% completion percentage — for 2,300 yards — 14.74 yards per completion — with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
  • As a senior, Burton threw for 1,758 yards, 20 touchdowns and four interceptions while completing 53% of his passes,
  • Currently has one FBS scholarship offer (from BYU).

Saimone Davis

TE — Nolan Catholic High School (Fort Worth, Texas)

6-foot-5, 220 pounds

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals 

★★★ — On3

  • Committed to the Cougars over offers from Indiana, Kansas, Kansas State and Virginia, as well as a host of Group of 5 schools.
  • Ranked a top-60 tight end nationally (No. 58) and among the best 220 overall prospects in Texas, per 247 Sports’ Composite rating.
  • Primarily an offensive player in high school — playing tight end and full back — Davis is projected to play on defense in college, as an edge rusher.
  • Has 23 receptions for 213 yards and three touchdowns as a senior.

Siale Esera

LB/DL — Timpview High School (Provo)

6-foot-3, 250 pounds

★★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★★ — Rivals 

★★★★ — On3

  • Chose the Cougars over offers from Power 5 programs Arizona, California, Colorado, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Tennessee, USC, Utah, UCLA, Virginia and Washington State.
  • Is ranked a top 10 overall prospect in Utah (No. 4 overall) and a top 50 edge rusher (No. 40) in the country, per 247 Sports’ Composite.
  • Has played at both defensive end and linebacker in high school.
  • Is the only BYU commit rated a four-star recruit by the three major recruiting services (ESPN is the only site to rate him a three-star).
  • Had 74 tackles, two sacks and an interception as a senior.

Matthew Fredrick

TE — East High School 

6-foot-5, 230 pounds

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals 

★★★ — On3

This (Matthew Fredrick) is a BIG TIME (tight end) — he is going create a lot problems. — East coach Brandon Matich

  • Chose BYU over offers from Army, Navy, Nevada, Idaho and New Mexico State.
  • Is rated a top 20 overall prospect (No. 18) in Utah and a top 70 tight end (No. 68) nationally, per 247 Sports’ Composite.
  • Per the Deseret News’ statistical database, had eight receptions for 131 yards as a junior, and added three carries for an additional 94 yards.
  • This season, as a senior, Fredrick racked up 164 receiving yards on 15 receptions.

Miles Hall

ATH — Skyline High School 

6-foot-2, 195 pounds

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals 

★★★ — On3

Miles Hall is an amazing young man and it has been a true honor to coach him. He is an amazing leader and he has an extraordinary work ethic. He constantly pushes the guys around him to be better on and off the field. On the field, he is a true competitor and is always going full speed. He will be a wonderful addition to BYU and I am sure he will continue being a fantastic teammate, student and person. — Skyline coach John Rowbotham

  • Chose the Cougars over an offer from Utah State.
  • Is rated a top 12 overall prospect in Utah and the 114th-best athlete in the country, per 247 Sports’ Composite.
  • As a junior last season, Hall caught 36 passes for 426 yards with three touchdowns. Also recorded 30 tackles on defense.
  • As a senior, Hall led Skyline with 789 receiving yards — on 36 receptions — and had nine touchdowns.

Pokaiaua Haunga


Timpview’s Pokai Haunga (88) and Puna Alatini (48) teases Vave Adolpho (6) after he breaks up a pass against Salem Hills during a 5A football state semifinal game at Cedar Valley High School in Eagle Mountain on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020.

Yukai Peng, Deseret News

ATH — Timpview High School (Provo)

5-foot-11, 200 pounds

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals 

★★★ — On3

  • Ranked the 11th-best 2023 prospect in Utah and the 103rd-best athlete (ATH) in the country, per 247 Sports’ Composite.
  • Played on both sides of the ball for the T-Birds in 2021, with most of his damage coming on offense. Had a team-high 35 receptions for 710 yards — 20.29 yards per catch — nine touchdowns and added 141 rushing yards and a score.
  • As a senior this year, he played primarily on defense and racked up 28 tackles, a sack and an interception. Haunga also had two catches for 65 yards and a touchdown.
  • Holds scholarship offers from four FBS programs: BYU, Nevada, Utah State and Washington State.

Andrew Heinig

DL — Glenpool High School (Glenpool, Oklahoma)

6-foot-6, 255 pounds

★★★ — 247 Sports

Not rated — Rivals 

★★★ — On3

  • A shot put track state champion, Heinig has played both offensive and defensive line for Glenpool High.
  • Has one current scholarship offer — from BYU.
  • Was offered by the Cougars on Aug. 4 and committed the same day.
  • Is considered the 17th-best prospect in Oklahoma and the 150th-best defensive lineman in the country, per 247 Sports’ Composite rating.

Josiah Phillips

WR — Sierra Canyon High School (Chatsworth, California)

6-foot-4, 190 pounds

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals 

★★★ — On3

Jojo runs great and the great thing about him is he bought into football. He’s working hard. He’s being a great teammate and I think when we played this summer he was the best player on the field most games. I think he’ll be a dynamic playmaker for us this year and really give us that vertical threat that we’ve been looking for, — Sierra Canyon coach Jon Ellinghouse (per SBLive)

  • Phillips holds a dozen scholarship offers from FBS schools, according to 247 Sports, including programs such as Oregon, LSU, California, Michigan State, Pittsburgh and Oregon State, plus Utah State.
  • Per 247 Sports, Phillips’ decision came down to BYU, California and San Diego State.
  • BYU’s move to the Big 12 played a significant role in his commitment, per 247 Sports’ Greg Biggins.
  • Phillips is considered a top 100 prospect in California (No. 83) and the 132nd-best wide receiver in the country.

Talitu’i Pututau

DL — West High School (Salt Lake City)

6-foot-5. 255 pounds

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals

Not rated — On3

  • Rated the 18th best prospect in the state of Utah and the 167th best defensive line prospect in the country, per 247 Sports Composite.
  • Chose the Cougars over the likes of Arizona State, Colorado, Utah State and Weber State, according to multiple recruiting services.
  • Played on both sides of the ball for the Panthers, as an offensive tackle and defensive end.
  • Recorded six tackles, two sacks and a quarterback hurry this past season, per Max Preps, and 40 tackles, 4.5 sacks, three interceptions and two defensive touchdowns, per the Deseret News’ statistical database.

David Tangilanu

EDGE — Menlo-Atherton High School (Menlo Park, California)

6-foot-4, 255 pounds

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals

★★★ — On3

He’s mean and strong and he wants to be dominant. — Menlo-Atherton High coach Chris Saunders

  • Chose the Cougars over offers from Air Force, Army and San Jose State.
  • Is rated a top 150 edge rusher (No. 138) and a top 170 prospect (No. 163) in California, per 247 Sports’ Composite.
  • Has played on both sides of the ball as a defensive end and offensive tackle.
  • In 11 games played in his senior season, recorded 99 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and three sacks.

Ethan Thomason

OT — Rocky Mountain High School (Fort Collins, Colorado)

6-foot-8, 325 pounds

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★★ — Rivals

★★★ — On3

He’s got a lot of genetic tools other kids don’t have, but Ethan is a lot bigger than that. He’s a competitor, he’s an athlete, he’s a student of the game, and he cares about his teammates. So, wherever he ends up, they’re going to get a heck of a kid, a heck of a young man and a great football prospect. — Rocky Mountain High coach Mark Brook (per The Coloradoan)

  • Held 18 scholarship offers, most from Power 5 programs, at the time that he committed to BYU, according to 247 Sports.
  • Rated the 56th-best offensive tackle prospect in the country and No. 5 overall in Colorado, per 247 Sports’ Composite.
  • Plans on serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before enrolling at BYU.
  • A multi-sport athlete who’s also competed in basketball and wrestling.

Pierson Watson

LB — Coconino High School (Flagstaff, Arizona)

6-foot-3, 210 pounds

★★★ — 247 Sports

★★ — Rivals

★★★ — On3

  • Holds offers from five schools, including 3 FBS programs — BYU, Air Force and Nevada.
  • Plays on both sides of the ball, as a linebacker (MLB) on defense, and at wide receiver and fullback on offense.
  • Was offered by BYU on June 15 and committed to the Cougars two weeks later on June 28.
  • A multi-sport athlete, also competes track and field. Runs the 400 meter dash and does the long jump.

BYU’s recruiting efforts aren’t limited to only high school prospects. The Cougars have utilized the transfer portal under Sitake and have raided the JUCO ranks as well.

Jayden Dunlap

CB — Cerritos College (JUCO)

6-foot-2, 180 pounds

  • Played in 11 games for Falcons this season, recording 38 total tackles and a team-high 10 pass breakups.
  • Just completed his sophomore season, Dunlap’s one and only campaign with Cerritos.
  • Has played throughout the defensive backfield, as a cornerback and safety.

Will Ferrin

K — Boise State

6-foot-3, 160 pounds

  • From Utah, Kaysville specifically — he played at Davis High School.
  • Shared kickoff duties with the Broncos’ primary kicker, Jonah Dalmas, this past season.
  • Recorded 36 kickoffs (Dalmas had 41) for 2,197 yards, an average of exactly 61 yards per kick. Of those, 17 resulted in a touchback and two went out of bounds.
  • Originally was committed to Utah State, but flipped his commitment while on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Aidan Robbins


6-foot-3, 230 pounds

  • A former Louisville Cardinal and most recently a UNLV Rebel, Robbins rushed for a 1,011 yards and nine touchdowns this past season, leading all UNLV running backs.
  • Was a three-star prospect coming out of Dupont Manual High School in Louisville, Kentucky with offers from BYU, Colorado State, Missouri and Purdue, per multiple recruiting services.
  • Played sparingly in two seasons with the Cardinals and broke out this year with a somewhat resurgent UNLV team.
  • Has two years of eligibility remaining.