This weekend is one of the most important recruiting weekends in BYU football history.
It is difficult land an official visit from a 4-star recruit. Recruits only get five official visits and most of the 4- and 5-star recruits take trips to the top programs around the country. An official visit is akin to being named in the recruit’s “Top 5” and means that the recruit is seriously considering that school.
So, landing an official visit from any 4-star recruit at BYU is a big deal.
Getting THREE 4-star recruits in the same weekend for official visits to BYU is unprecedented. And they’ll be joined by a high 3-star recruit as well.
Of course, recruiting to BYU is not easy. The honor code, living in Utah, and having an older average age (due to LDS missions) can all be obstacles in getting young men to sign with BYU. Fortunately, all four are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and have taken one, if not multiple, unofficial trips to BYU in the past.
Here’s a breakdown on who will be visiting this weekend.
Walker Lyons (Folsom HS, Folsom, CA). The 4-star (0.9637) tight end is ranked by 247 Sports as the no. 4 tight end nationally for the Class of 2023 and the no. 79 overall recruit. He has 33 scholarship offers including Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, and USC. Following the BYU visit, he has official visits scheduled at Utah (June 10) and USC (June 16). If signed to BYU he would be the 4th highest rated recruit of the modern era, and the highest rated recruit since 4-star Tanner Mangum in 2012.
Hunter Clegg (American Fork HS, American Fork, UT). The 4-star (0.9159) defensive end is ranked by 247 Sports as the no. 3 overall recruit from Utah in the Class of 2023, the no. 15 edge rusher nationally, and the no. 134 overall recruit. He has 18 scholarship offers including Baylor, LSU, Stanford, Wisconsin, and USC. Clegg will visit Utah on June 17th and Stanford on June 24th.
Jackson Bowers (Mountain View HS, Mesa, AZ). The 4-star (0.9038) tight end is ranked by 247 Sports as the no. 13 tight end nationally, the no. 166 overall recruit, and the no. 4 recruit in Arizona for the Class of 2023. He has 26 scholarship offers, including Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Oregon, and Texas. Following his BYU visit he has scheduled official visits to Arizona (June 10) and Washington (June 17).
Ethan Thomason (Rocky Mountain HS, Fort Collins, CO). The high 3-star (0.8719) offensive lineman is rated by 247 Sports as the no. 5 recruit from Colorado and the no. 56 offensive tackle nationally. He has 17 scholarship offers including Nebraska, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, and Texas Tech. Following his BYU visit he will visit the Utes on June 10.
How can BYU fans show their support?
All four of these recruits are active on social media and have posted about their BYU visits in the past.
Most recruits today truly value engagement with fans on social media, as it helps them to feel supported and accepted, but it also helps them build their personal brands so they might land future NIL deals.
Fans can show their support for the recruits visiting this weekend by following them on the various social platforms (see links below) and by liking, sharing, and commenting on their posts.
All it takes is something simple like a “go Cougs!” or a “glad you liked your visit” to show recruits that our fans are behind them. And when recruits get offers or take visits to other competing schools fans can still share and comment with a congratulations… and then it doesn’t hurt to tack on a “go Cougs”.
Here’s where on social media you’ll find the recruits visiting BYU this weekend:
- Walker Lyons on Instagram @WalkerLyons and on Twitter @WalkerLy0ns
- Hunter Clegg on Twitter @HunterClegg
- Jackson Bowers on Instagram @jackbb10 and on Twitter @jackson_bow3rs
- Ethan Thomason on Instagram @ethanthomason76 and on Twitter @EthanThomason77
Supporting Current BYU Players
Fans can also support current BYU players, who are also trying to build up their social brands so they can land NIL deals and have better relationships with the fans.
At BYU Insider we’re updating all of the player profiles this summer as part of our #CountdownToKickoff series. Each day we’re profiling 1-2 players and connecting to their social media accounts. For some this also includes LinkedIn, a platform not previously used by student-athletes. Given the current NIL landscape, students are networking and creating relationships from day one on campus.
Here are the players that have been spotlighted so far this summer. Check out their new profiles and then connect with them on social: