In college football, the ability to put players in the NFL is paramount for continued recruiting success. Unfortunately for BYU fans, the Cougars haven’t had multiple draft picks in the same draft since 2009 – that has undoubtedly hurt BYU on the recruiting trail. Since 2010, BYU has had seven total players selected in the NFL Draft. Kalani Sitake committed to improving those numbers when he arrived at BYU in 2016.
Five years later, one of Kalani’s first graduating classes will buck the trend that started in 2010. For the first time since 2009, BYU will have multiple players selected in the NFL Draft. Zach Wilson, Brady Christensen, Khyiris Tonga, Matt Bushman, Chris Wilcox, and Dax Milne were invited to this year’s NFL Combine. In my conversation with former UCLA head coach Jim Mora, I asked him how an increased number of NFL Draft picks will help BYU on the recruiting trail.
“I think they are already reaping the benefits,” Mora stated. “Every high school player thinks they are going to go play in the NFL. If you’re a program like BYU that is showing an increasing number of players going to the NFL, and you’re getting more national exposure cause you’re playing so well, that’s where players want to go.”
You can listen to Mora’s complete comments in the video above. He goes on to explain why a head coach like Kalani Sitake is a guy that recruits want to play for.
In an interview with BYU Sports Nation last week, BYU wide receivers coach Fesi Sitake commented on how BYU’s on-field success has helped the staff on recruiting trail:
“Winning is so much of someone’s decision. You can sit in someone’s living room, or to talk to them on the phone, or talk to parents, and talk to them about culture and all the great things that any University has to bring. But if you don’t win, those things can be pretty clouded and get bogged down. When you win, those truths surface and they stick a bit more…that 11-1 season is huge. It showcases our players and shows that we can bring in high-level talent. If you goals to play in the NFL, you can do that here, no question about it, the proof is there.”
You can listen to Sitake’s comments below beginning at the 11:07 mark.
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