AMERICAN FORK — Of the 26 recruits signed by BYU this past year, it could be argued none of them have as much upside as American Fork athlete Bodie Schoonover.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound linebacker/tight end prospect was pursued by programs such as UCLA late in the process before deciding to follow through on his early commitment to BYU.
Schoonover grew up attending BYU games and had the program well in mind throughout the process, stating, “I never really thought like I was decommited. I didn’t ever rule BYU out. BYU was always the choice for me.”
Schoonover will serve a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before enrolling at BYU, which is the case for many recruits signed each year. But what will the talented athlete show upon his return?
- American Fork’s Bodie Schoonover (28) was rated a three-star linebacker prospect by 247 Sports. He will serve a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before playing for BYU. Courtesy Rachel Johnson
- American Fork’s Bodie Schoonover, shown here playing against Lehi, signed with BYU in February and also held scholarship offers from UCLA, Utah, Nebraska and Utah State as well, according to 247 Sports. Courtesy Rachel Johnson
- American Fork’s Bodie Schoonover warms up prior to a game at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. Schoonover was rated the No. 5 prospect from the state of Utah in the 2020 recruiting class, according to 247 Sports. Courtesy Rachel Johnson
- American Fork’s Bodie Schoonover tips a pass as the Cavemen play at Lehi during the 2019 season. Schoonover had nine tackles and a sack in the game. Courtesy Rachel Johnson
- American Fork’s Bodie Schoonover, shown here playing against Lehi last season, had 105 tackles, 8.5 sacks and an interception during his Caveman career. He also played tight end on offense. Courtesy Rachel Johnson
- American Fork’s Bodie Scchoonover, shown here playing against Herriman, had two 10-tackle games as a senior for the Cavemen in 2019, including one against the Mustangs. Courtesy Rachel Johnson
Unlike most athletes, there’s not an abundance of film on Schoonover, as he missed most of his senior year due to injury. Fortunately for him, he showed more than enough prior to his final season, leading Cougars coaches to make an offer to him early on.
So what does Schoonover show on film to make him arguably the highest-regarded prospect of BYU’s 2020 signing class? We sat down with former BYU player Ben Criddle, who hosts Cougar Sports on ESPN960, to break down his film.
What are your overall impressions of Bodie Schoonover?
“He’s raw, big and rangy. But he’s very athletic, which is very apparent, even though he didn’t publish a lot of film on himself. He had the offers he wanted, and didn’t really need to put out a lot of additional film during the process.
“So we’re going mostly off his junior film, and what I see is a guy with some very good top-end speed for someone of his size. I see a guy who can possibly be in the 4.6 to 4.7 (40-yard dash) speed for someone who is 6-4 and 210, which is great.
“What’s interesting about his film is he already knows how to lower his body well when tackling. He doesn’t just go for kill shots, like a lot of high school athletes do with his size and ability. He’s already a really good-form tackler who finishes, which I love, as a former defensive player.
“He’s not a well-defined talent right now, which is exciting. He has NFL talent, he really does, if he continues to work hard. There’s a lot to work with, considering his base, speed and natural instincts.”
Which position do you see him playing at BYU?
“What I see is an elite defensive end who can play at between 250-260 pounds. BYU hasn’t had a lot of elite rush ends lately, so that could be a big thing for Bodie to develop and really push that position to the next level.
“I really like how he finds the ball and he shows the ability several times on film to bat down passes at the line of scrimmage. In this age of RPO offenses, his natural abilities at defensive end will serve any defense well, if he develops like I think he can.
“He could play a multitude of positions, and I’m certainly not saying he couldn’t play linebacker, but based on what I see on film, I like him as a defensive end.”
Which former BYU player does he remind you of?
“I’d compare him with Bryan Kehl. I feel Bodie is more physical than Kehl coming out of high school, but the comparison is how they both move laterally and their top end speeds are probably similar.
“But I feel he’s going to play at a higher weight than Kehl, and potentially develop into a defensive end-linebacker-hybrid type, much like Brady Poppinga. I mean, there’s just so much athleticism and potential there, and I really go believe he has NFL potential, and is probably has the highest ceiling of any recruit BYU signed this past year.”