This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
As you can read in my report on Monday's annual Rivalry for Charity golf tournament at Hidden Valley Country Club in the Sandy-Draper area, BYU football coach Kalani Sitake briefly spoke to reporters after the event and said camps are in full swing in Provo and the program is gearing up for media day on Friday.
As for the flurry of transfers into the program recently guys such as Tristen Hoge and James Empey Sitake credited his assistant coaches for the hard work and deflected praise for landing the linemen who were big-time recruits a few years ago. Hoge is transferring from Notre Dame and Empey signed with Utah before his church mission.
"I mean, for what we are doing, a lot of players like being on the team and the way it is going. It is not me," Sitake said. "I think it is what we have as a culture and a program, and that's what most of our coaches do and where our leadership on the team is done.
I have been really excited about the progress they are making on and off the field and obviously I think a lot of people don't recognize that, but I don't know if that will happen quite a bit, because there are a lot of guys who want to come here and like to transfer. Hopefully, we can recruit them and get it right the first time."
Much as been made of the civility that Sitake has brought to the Utah-BYU rivalry, deservedly, and that obviously continued Monday with the second-year BYU coach and his mentor, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, sharing a golf cart and playing on the same team.
Still, a lot of media organizations left the event disappointed Monday because the traditional "money shot" one of the coaches singing the other school's fight song didn't happen. Tournament organizers should figure out how to remedy that or the coverage will dry up and the Rivalry for Charity, which benefits the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho, will become just another charity golf tournament on the summer calendar.
The singing deal is what put the event on the map.
Still, it was nice to see the camaraderie that existed on the course Monday, instead of the awkwardness in the Whittingham-Bronco Mendenhall era when neither coach said a word to the other.
"It has been really really good for us," Sitake said of that friendship he has with Utah's coaches. "We had a lot of guys go to the NFL from Utah that we were able to coach, so connecting with them is good and having those conversations is good. A lot of people don't notice, but there is a lot of crossover and good relationships. You just don't injure your relationships and friendships just because you go to a different school or program.
I don't think it is anything that is ever going to change. We are always going to be connected to Utah, myself and coach [Ilaisa] Tuiaki. Right now it is kind of like an openness between the programs as far as our guys going to them, and them coming to us.
Our recruiting paths cross here or there, but we have nothing but good to say about both programs. It is kinda nice to let recruiting be on the young men.
We are obviously going to go for some of the same guys, but it is just good to have it go a decent way instead of having so much bitterness and things like that."
Speaking of recruiting, BYU's list of commits from the 2018 class is now up to 14, if my tabulations are correct.
BYU recently picked up commitments from Arkansas linebacker Oliver Nasilai and Weber High offensive lineman Tysen Lewis. Both are rising seniors, Nasilai at Har-Ber High in Springdale, Ark., and Lewis at Weber High in the North Ogden-Pleasant View area of Utah.
Also last week, BYU got a commitment from defensive end Brooks Maile, a member of the 2019 class who will be a junior at Pine View High in St. George this fall.
Here are the current lists of 2018 commits, 2018 decommits, and 2019 commits:
2018 commits (14)
Campbell Barrington, 6-6, 280 DE from Spokane, Washington (University High School)
Connor Pay, 6-5, 270 OL from Highland, Utah (Lone Peak High School)
Nathan Latu, 6-5, 212 OLB from Salt Lake City, Utah (Olympus High School)
Brandon Ale Kaho, 6-3, 215 LB from Reno, Nevada (Reno High School)
Jaren Kump, 6-5, 250 DE from Herriman, Utah (Herriman High School)
Tevita Fotu, 6-3, 215 DE from Herriman, Utah (Herriman High School)
Jacob Smith, 6-6, 290 OL from Rosemount, Minn. (Rosemount High School)
Dallin Holker, 6-4, 220 TE from Lehi, Utah (Lehi High School)
Allan Mwata, 6-0, 170 DB from Henderson, Nev. (Liberty High School)
Joshua Oglesby, 5-7, 180 RB from Katy, Texas (Katy High School)
Zadock Dinkelmann, 6-4, 215 QB from San Antonio, Texas (Somerset High School)
Jaren Mitchell, 5-10, 175 WR from Lewisville, Texas (Hebron High School)
Oliver Nasilai, 6-1, 235 LB from Springdale, Arkansas (Har-Ber High School)
Tysen Lewis, 6-5, 270 OL from North Ogden, Utah (Weber High School)
2018 decommits (3)
Tyler Manoa, 6-3, 280 DT from Hayward, California (St. Francis High School)
Cameron Latu, 6-5, 230 DE from Salt Lake City, Utah (Olympus High School)
Sekope Latu, 6-3, 230 Punter from Kahuku, Hawaii (Kahuku High School)
2019 commits (5)
Apu "Siaki" Ika, 6-3, 295 OL from Salt Lake City, Utah (East High School)
Chuck "CJ" Alatini, 6-3, 250 DE from Orem, Utah (Orem High School)
Tausili Fiatoa, 6-2, 195 OLB from Orem, Utah (Orem High School)
Khymani Martin, 6-2, 180 ATH from Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Archbishop McCarthy High School)
Chase Roberts, 6-4, 185 WR from American Fork, Utah (American Fork High School)
Brooks Maile, 6-3, 241 DE from St. George, Utah (Pine View High School)