Publish date:

Grading the 2020 Recruiting Class on Defense

The BYU defensive staff receives grades all across the spectrum on their 2020 recruiting class.

Barring any last-minute transfers, BYU’s 2020 recruiting class is in the books. Today, let’s look back and hand out recruiting grades for the defensive coaching staff by position group.

Before we get started, it’s worth defining what an ‘A’ grade looks like. For me, an ‘A’ grade for any position group would include a four-star prospect at the top, followed by solid players taking remaining scholarships. It’s highly unlikely to receive an ‘A’ grade at BYU, but it is possible? Absolutely. For example, the 2014 Linebacker group would receive an ‘A’ grade: Fred Warner, Sione Takitaki, Tyler Cook (career plagued by injuries), and Isaiah Kaufusi.

Defensive Line Grade: C-

Signees: (Name, 247 Composite Score)

  • Tuipulotu Lai - 0.8299
  • Sitalingi Havea - 0.8185
  • Isaiah Perez - 0.8025
  • Josh Larsen - 0.8025
  • John Nelson - 0.797
  • Mac Aloisio - NA

Grade Explanation:

BYU signed multiple under-the-radar type players along the Defensive Line that could make an impact in the future. Tuipulotu Lai is an intriguing prospect out of Hawaii. Isaiah Perez moves well for a player of his size. John Nelson is strong with an improving pass rushing skillset. So why the C- grade? Isaiah Perez was the only player from the group to receive a competing FBS offer. Offer lists don’t mean everything, but you’d like to see BYU be more competitive for Defensive Lineman that are highly sought-after by many schools. In addition, the average rating of this group was lower than any other position group in 2020.

Linebackers Grade: B+

Signees: (Name, 247 Composite Score)

  • Tate Romney - 0.8518
  • Bodie Schoonover - 0.8452
  • Josh Wilson - 0.8302
  • Ace Kaufusi - 0.8282
  • Logan Pili - 0.824
  • Drason Havea - 0.8198
  • Alex Muti - 0.8133

Grade Explanation:

BYU did a great job finalizing their 2020 recruiting class with Tate Romney and Bodie Schoonover. Those two players have the potential to be playmakers after they serve missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In addition to Romney and Schoonover, I really like Wilson (younger brother of BYU QB Zach Wilson), Kaufusi, and Pili at Linebacker. Drason Havea and Alex Muti are two candidates to move to DL in the future.

Defensive Backs Grade: B-

Signees: (Name, 247 Composite Score)

  • Preston Rex - 0.8227
  • Micah Harper - 0.8204
  • Dean Jones - 0.8123
  • Petey Tuipulototu - 0.8123
  • Jacques Wilson - 0.8
  • Ty Burke - 0.7953

Grade Explanation:

I gave the Defensive Backs a B- grade because the highest-rated DB recruit (Preston Rex) fell just outside of BYU’s top 10 2020 recruits. Despite the low position grade, I’m high on a few different players in this group. Micah Harper is one of the better Cornerback recruits that BYU has signed since going independent. Jacques Wilson will immediately provide depth and physicality to the Cornerback position. Preston Rex, a former Wide Receiver, has a natural feel for the Safety position and the physical development from his Junior season to his Senior season was noticeable.

Want to share opinions or ask questions? We want to hear them! Making a profile is free and it only takes ~1 minute to set up. Also, be sure to like us on social media for future coverage:

Facebook - @BYUSportsIllustrated

Twitter - @SI_BYU and Casey Lundquist at @casey_lundquist

Instagram - @BYU_SI