2003 Football Signing Day: Crowton Takes Quality Over Quantity

Official Site for 2003 BYU Football Signee Information

PROVO -- Highlighted by a group of talented offensive and defensive linemen, BYU head football coach Gary Crowton today announced the signing of 13 newcomers to national letters of intent.

The class, which is made up of four top offensive line recruits, two highly recruited defensive linemen, two linebackers, tight ends and defensive backs, as well as a skilled, long-range field goal kicker, constitutes Crowton's third recruiting class since taking over the BYU program in December, 2000.

"Most of our recruiting was geared towards the front seven on both sides of the ball," Crowton said. "We had some key positions to fill, and build for the future. I think we were able to sign some guys who will be able to make an immediate impact in some of those positions. Last night I was really nervous. I got a few phone calls, and my mind was just thinking of what could go wrong. I was excited, I was worried, but everything worked out. This is an extremely talented group of players, and we're excited to have them join the program."

Already regarded by recruiting services as the top offensive line class in the country, the Cougars signed the No. 1 offensive line prospect in the nation, Ofa Mohetau (Euless, Texas). Mohetau turned down impressive offers from the likes of Miami (Fla.), Texas and Arizona State to play for the Cougars next season. Equally impressive in the eyes of BYU recruiters, SuperPrep All-Region performers Dallas Reynolds (Provo, Utah), Jason Speredon (West Valley City, Utah) and R.J. Willing (Kahuku, Hawaii) also signed letters to play for the Cougars. All three players had offers from Pac-10 and Big-12 programs.

"Offensively, we needed to get offensive lineman in the program that we can work with and build up. Ofa Mohetau is, in our opinion, along with many others, the best run blocker in the country," Crowton said. "I was happy when he came on the recruiting trip, and we were able to have a good visit. He shook my hand and gave me his word that he would come to BYU. This is the place he belongs. He is a great young man.

"Along with Ofa, I am really excited about the local kids we signed. Dallas Reynolds, Jason Speredon, and also R.J. Willing are going to be a great group for us. They have got good size, they are athletic, and they are all good kids. These guys are already at a different level coming into the college game.

"Willing could have gone anywhere," Crowton added. "He'd narrowed it down to Washington, Oregon and BYU. Everybody thought he was going to Oregon for a long time. BYU is big-time college football. So, I feel like we're going to continue to get more guys like Ofa, R.J., Dallas and Jason."

Brian Soi, a high school All-American, and a highly regarded defensive line prospect from Provo's Timpview High School, will join Brett Denney, a defensive standout from Thornton, Colo., along BYU's defensive line.

"Defensively, Brian Soi has a chance to play early," Crowton said. "He could have an impact on this program very early."

Crowton said he was also pleased to receive letters from linebackers Matt Ah You (Cedar Hills, Utah) and David Nixon (College Station, Texas).

"David is a very talented player," Crowton said. "I like him, and think he will help our program because he moves well, runs well and has a good sense for the ball. Matt is very physical and can hit"

Including JUCO transfer Walt Williams, the Cougars signed defensive back Aaron Attig from Moapa Valley High School in Moapa Valley, Nevada.

"We needed to address some current, as well as future needs at defensive back. I think these two guys will help us a great deal. Walt Williams is a good player and he is worth waiting for. He has a unique situation."

Crowton also said tight end Dan Van Sweden, who helped lead Northridge High School to a third straight 5A state championship, will be a welcome addition, along with Philip Niu, who originally signed with Colorado State before serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

And, as if one Payne weren't enough, the Cougars added all-state kicker Mitch Payne, who is the younger brother of current BYU kicker/punter Matt Payne. Mitch averaged nearly 42 yards per punt and hit 11 field goals, including two 53-yarders during his senior campaign.

2003 BYU FOOTBALL SIGNEES

Matt Ah You

6-0 - 230 - Linebacker

Cedar Hills, Utah (Lone Peak HS)

A first-team, all-state selection as a linebacker and fullback ... All-Region 7 Defensive MVP ... All-Utah Valley Elite 11 ... an Honor Roll student at Lone Peak HS ... averaged 5.5 yards per carry as a full back at Lone Peak ... helped Lone Peak to the State 4A championship game ... a four-year letterwinner in wrestling ... rated the state's top wrestler in his weight class ... both wrestling and football team captain ... younger brother of current BYU player C.J. Ah You ... his father, Charles, was a three-year letterwinner for the Cougars from 1973-1975 ... parents are Charles and Joyce Ah You ... recruited by Hawaii, Utah, Arizona State, UCLA and Colorado State.

Aaron Attig

6-3 - 190 - Defensive Back

Logandale, Nevada (Moapa Valley HS)

Recorded 54 unassisted and 77 assisted tackles as a senior ... credited with 4 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, 1 blocked kick ... also had 29 receptions for 492 yards, averaging 17.0 yards per reception ... averaged 4.7 yards per carry ... helped Pirates to a 6-5 record ... Parents are Barto and Margaret Attig.

Brett Denney

6-4 - 255 - Defensive End

Thornton, Colo. (Legacy HS)

Recorded 48 tackles, including 9 sacks ... credited with 5 fumble recoveries ... younger brother of current defensive lineman John Denney, and former All-MWC performer Ryan Denney (now with the Buffalo Bills) ... parents are Craig and Sheri Denney.

Ofa Mohetau

6-3 - 320 - Offensive Line

Euless, Texas (Trinity HS)

Regarded as the top high school offensive lineman in the country ... a CNNSI High School All-American ... A SuperPrep Elite 50 selection ... ranked as the top offensive line prospect in the nation by SuperPrep Magazine and Student Sports Magazine ... a PrepStar Magazine top-100 selection ... helped Trinity HS to a 9-2 overall record ... recorded 104 knockdowns and 45 pancakes as a senior ... parents are Sione and Siva Mohetau ... Recruited by Texas, Arizona State, Colorado, Miami (Fla.) and Nebraska.

Philip Niu

6-5 - 240 - Tight End

Gilbert, Arizona (Highland HS)

Totaled 41 receptions for over 400 yards as a senior at Highland High School ... credited with 3 touchdowns ... earned first-team all-conference and second-team all-state honors as a senior ... selected as a team captain ... played outside linebacker on defense ... a three-year letterwinner for the Hawks ... also lettered as a junior in volleyball ... served an LDS Church mission to Atlanta, Georgia ... first cousin to former Cougar and NFL star Vai Sikahema ... helped guide Highland High School to an 8-3 record as a senior ... recruited by Utah State, Utah and Colorado State ... signed with Colorado State out of high school.

David Nixon

6-3 - 200 - Linebacker

College Station, Texas (A&M Consolidated)

A SuperPrep All-Southwest Region selection ... a PrepStar Magazine All-Region selection ... recorded 87 total tackles as a junior ... credited with 12.5 sacks ... led A&M to the Class 5A playoffs ... an all-district selection ... clocked at 4.5 in the 40-yard dash ... parents are Clair and Laura Nixon ... one of 10 children ... third cousin of former U.S. President Richard M. Nixon ... recruited by Texas A&M, Arizona, TCU, Rice, SMU and Houston.

Mitch Payne

6-3 - 185 - Kicker / Punter

North Ogden, Utah (Weber HS)

A Salt Lake Tribune First-Team, All-State selection ... kicked 11 field goals for the Warriors as a senior, including two from 53 yards out ... averaged 41.6 yards per punt, and never missed an extra-point attempt ... younger brother of current BYU kicker/punter Matt Payne ... carries a 4.0 grade-point average ... recruited by Air Force, Stanford, Arizona and Washington State ... plans to serve a two-year Church mission before participating ... parents are Gordon and Mary Payne.

Dallas Reynolds

6-5 - 310 - Offensive Line

Provo, Utah (Timpview HS)

A two-time Deseret News First-Team All-State selection ... a two-time all-region performer ... the son of current BYU offensive line coach Lance Reynolds ... older brother, Lance, plays linebacker for the Cougars ... a SuperPrep All-Midlands selection ... a PrepStar Magazine All-Region selection ... team captain ... parents are Lance and Leslie Reynolds ... recruited by Stanford, Arizona, Ohio State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Colorado and Oregon ... an Eagle Scout ... will serve a two-year Church mission before enrolling at BYU.

Brian Soi

6-4 - 295 - Defensive Line

Provo, Utah (Timpview HS)

A national top-100 defensive line prospect ... A Student Sports, Inc. and Prep Star All-American ... a two-time Deseret News First-Team All-State selection ... a three-time all-region selection ... played both offensive and defensive line for the Thunderbirds ... A SuperPrep Elite 50 selection ... ranked as the No. 2 defensive tackle prospect in the nation by SuperPrep Magazine ... named the SuperPrep Midlands Defensive Player of the Year ... a PrepStar Magazine All-American ... parents are Motu and Puna Soi ... recruited by Arizona State, Penn State, Tennessee, Nebraska, USC and Oregon.

Jason Speredon

6-5 - 275 - Offensive Line

West Valley City, Utah (Granger HS)

A two-time Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune First-Team All-State selection ... a PrepStar Magazine All-Region selection ... a high Honor-Roll student at Granger High School ... recorded 75 tackles, including 12 sacks as a senior defensive lineman ... a three-year starter for the head coach Dan Eckert ... team captain ... a SuperPrep All-Midlands selection ... a Student Sports Magazine Junior All-American ... a three time letterwinner in wrestling ... placed fourth in the state finals as a sophomore, and third as a junior ... an Eagle Scout ... parents are Joe and Carol Speredon ... recruited by 47 different schools, including Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Stanford, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Oregon.

Dan Van Sweden

6-3 - 210 - Tight End

West Point, Utah (Northridge HS)

A first-team all-state selection ... credited with 29 receptions for 532 yards, including 4 touchdown receptions ... earned Region 1 Defensive Player-of-the-Year honors ... earned team Defensive Player-of-the-Year honors ... named team captain ... recognized as the Most Improved Offensive Player ... tallied 39 solo tackles and 46 assisted takedowns, including 10 sacks and 22 hurries ... under the direction of head coach Fred Fernandez, helped lead Northridge to an 11-2 record and a third straight Utah 5A championship ... also lettered in basketball and track ... parents are James and Michelle Van Sweden ... recruited by Utah, Utah State, Idaho State, Weber State, Southern Utah and Wyoming ... plans to major in construction management.

Walt Williams

6-0 - 170 - Defensive Back

Miami, Florida (Eastern Arizona JC)

A native of Miami, Fla. ... parents are Shellie Hill and Walter Williams Jr. ... listed as a 2001 JC Football.com Top-100 prospect ... named Defensive Player of the Year in Dade County during his senior year ... a First-Team All-ACCAC as a punt returner and second-team defensive back ... following the 2001 season, listed as the 21st-ranked junior college player in the nation by TheInsiders.com ... recruited by Wisconsin, East Carolina, Auburn, Mississippi State and Kansas State.

R.J. Willing

6-4 - 290 - Offensive Line

Kahuku, Hawaii (Kamehameha HS)

A national top-100 offensive line prospect ... a Honolulu Advertiser First-Team, All-State selection ... a SuperPrep All-Farwest selection ... recruited by Oregon, Washington, Utah and Hawaii ... parents are Richard and Susan Willing.

2003 BYU Football Signee Roster

Name HT WT POS HOMETOWN/SCHOOL

Matt Ah You 6-0 230 LB Cedar Hills, Utah/Lone Peak HS

Aaron Attig 6-3 190 DB Logandale, Nev./Moapa Valley HS

Brett Denney 6-4 255 DL Thornton, Colo./Legacy HS

Ofa Mohetau 6-3 320 OL Euless, Texas/Trinity HS

David Nixon 6-3 200 LB College Station, Texas/A&M Consolidated

Philip Niu 6-5 240 TE Gilbert, Ariz./Highland HS

Mitch Payne 6-3 185 K/P North Ogden, Utah/Weber HS

Dallas Reynolds 6-5 310 OL Provo, Utah/Timpview HS

Brian Soi 6-4 295 DL Provo, Utah/Timpview HS

Jason Speredon 6-5 275 OL West Valley City, Utah/Granger HS

Dan Van Sweden 6-3 210 TE West Point, Utah/Northridge HS

Walt Williams 6-0 170 DB Miami, Fla./Eastern Arizona JC

R.J. Willing 6-4 290 OL Kahuku, Hawaii/Kamehameha HS