BYU has prioritized the preferred walk-on (PWO) program since Kalani Sitake was named the head coach. It paid off in a major way last season. BYU's leading rusher (Tyler Allgeier) and leading receiver (Dax Milne) both arrived on campus as PWOs in 2018. BYU has eight PWO commits so far. Obviously, not every one of those will turn into Dax Milne or Tyler Allgeier, but a few of them could turn into contributors down the road. With that in mind, here is the list of 2021 PWO commits:
Austin Bell - Corner Canyon RB
On the same day that BYU football offered Austin Bell a PWO spot, Bell committed to the Cougars. Bell is a running back out of Corner Canyon who describes BYU as his "dream school."
Bell is rated as a three-star prospect by 247Sports with scholarship offers Air Force, Army, and Navy.
Bell amassed over 1,300 yards at Corner Canyon as a sophmore and over 1,400 yards as a junior where he earned first team all state. He suffered a season-ending injury that prematurely ended his senior campaign. Bell tells Sports Illustrated that he is "three months out of surgery and making huge progress. I'm going to come back stronger than ever." Bell will enroll at BYU this Summer.
Joshua Singh - Orem DL
Joshua Singh is a defensive line prospect out of Orem that committed to BYU as a preferred walk-on over PWO offers from Utah and Washington. I caught up with Singh after he committed to BYU.
On why he chose BYU of the three schools that were recruiting him, Singh said, " I chose BYU is because I felt it was great place for me to be at to grow as a player and as an individual. They had everything I needed to be successful in the classroom and on the field. My parents have both worked at BYU throughout the years here in Provo and at BYU-Hawaii."
Singh, listed at 6'1 270 pounds, is undersized but his speed and quickness jump out on film. Check out his senior film below, and pay special attention to his spin moves and swim moves in pass-rushing situations:
BYU fans won't have to wait to see Joshua in Cougar blue, Singh will enroll at BYU for the 2021 Fall semester and play immediately.
Will Zundel - American Fork WR/TE
Zundel held a competing offer from Southern Virginia University. On why he decided to commit to BYU over other schools recruiting him, Will said, "I chose to go to BYU over other options because I grew up watching their games, I have been a fan my whole life and have dreamed about playing for BYU football my whole life."
Zundel played wide receiver for American Fork. Listed at 6'5, 220 pounds, Zundel has the frame to play a few different positions at the next level. That could be at wide receiver, tight end, or even somewhere on the defensive side of the ball. Zundel believes he can "thrive in any position because of [his] experience all over the field, including the defensive side of the ball." You can check out his senior film below:
Cael Richardson - Timpview LB
Richardson is an inside linebacker out of Timpview High School who held scholarship offers from Penn and Northern Colorado. I caught up with Richardson to discuss his decision to commit to BYU.
He listed three different reasons that drove his decision to commit to BYU:
"First, I’m confident in my abilities to earn my spot and eventually earn a scholarship. Second, BYU is a great environment that will help me become the person I want to be and help me achieve my goals in football and also in life. Third, it’s always been one of my dream schools and I will be close to family and friends and surrounded by great coaches and teammates."
Richardson joins teammates Logan Fano and Raider Damuni as the third Timpview player to commit to BYU as part of the 2021 class. Richardson said playing with his teammates at the next level played "huge role" in his decision:
"Logan and Raider played a huge role in my decision! I’ve been playing with Logan since 5th grade and we’ve all been super close since freshman year. Those guys are my brothers and I’m so excited to step onto the field with them again."
Cael will serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints after he graduates from high school. He will enroll at BYU upon his return.
Maguire Anderson - Florida WR/KR
On Tuesday, Maguire Anderson committed to BYU as a preferred walk-on. Anderson is a wide receiver and return specialist from Florida. He is also the son of former BYU wide receiver RJ Anderson who played for BYU from 1995-1997.
Anderson says offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick was his main recruiter. "I did most of my communicating with him," Anderson said. "But him and coach Kalani were the ones that really wanted to get me into BYU." Maguire's dad was a wide receiver alongside Coach Roderick at BYU from 1996-1997. Head coach Kalani Sitake was also on the 1997 team.
Committing to BYU is a part of a lifelong dream for Maguire: "My dad played football at BYU and ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to be just like him and follow in his footsteps."
On why he decided to commit to BYU over the other schools that recruited him, Maguire said, "I had a couple smaller division one offers and another PWO to the University of Utah. BYU was the easy option - I chose BYU because I want to go to a great school where I can get a great education while playing for a great football team in a really good environment."
As a senior, Anderson returned two kickoffs for touchdowns on only nine tries - he averaged 42.4 yards per kick return. He also returned two punts for touchdowns. In total, he returned 16% of his returns for touchdowns last year. In a Florida-Georgia high school all star game, he had 9 catches for 195 yards and 3 touchdowns. You can check out those highlights below:
Anderson is not only a return specialist - he is a proficient route runner and he has reliable hands. Listed at 6'1, 185 pounds, there's a lot to like about Anderson's game. BYU’s success with preferred walk-ons speaks for itself, and the Cougars might have found a hidden gem out of state of Florida.
Maguire says he was recruited as a wide receiver, but Coach Roderick and Coach Sitake also "want [him] to play some special teams and maybe try a little free safety as well."
Maguire will play right away, he plans to enroll in classes this fall
Micah Fe'a - Orem QB/ATH
On Thursday, Orem QB Micah Fe'a committed to BYU as a PWO. Fe'a who won three-straight state championships during his career at Orem.
On why BYU his dream school, Fe'a said, "BYU has always been my dream school since I was little. My family grew up just up the street in Orem. My Grandma had a huge influence, because she worked at games and the bookstore. I grew up never missing a game."
Coach Roderick, who is Fe'a's main contact at BYU, extended the offer as a quarterback. Listed at 6'4 210 lbs., Fe'a has the frame that college coaches look for at quarterback. However, Coach Roderick also told Fe'a that he "could play different positions as [he] continues to grow in size." Fe'a has some experience at other positions already. Before starting at quarterback for two years at Orem, he played wide receiver as a sophmore.
Payton VanSteenkiste - Idaho DB/WR
Payton VanSteenkiste is a defensive back out of Rigby, Idaho. You can check out his senior film here:
Ryker Keele - Morgan DL/OL
Ryker Keele is a DL/OL prospect out of Morgan, Utah. He held PWO offers from BYU, Utah, and Utah State. You can check out his highlights below:
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