Bronco Mendenhall and his team of recruiters seek talent from across the country, but new recruits are often just a short trip up or down I-15, and sometimes University Avenue. BYU is a popular destination for local prep standouts, and BYU likes its local boys. More than a third — 38 percent — of the Cougar roster is made up of Utahns.
But not every local prep standout ends up in Cougar Blue. These six Utah County-bred athletes are suiting up for schools as far away as California and as close as Salt Lake City.
Dallas Lloyd, Pleasant Grove High School, Stanford University
The sophomore quarterback is back for his second year at Stanford after his two-year mission in Chile. He was on the Stanford roster last year, but didn’t see any action.
Lloyd was Utah’s top-ranked prep quarterback in 2010, when he completed 71 of 111 passes with 16 touchdowns as a senior. He suffered a season-ending injury as a senior after playing in eight games for the Vikings. Lloyd was inducted into the National Football Foundation Utah Chapter Hall of Fame in 2010, made the all-state academic first team and was a member of National Honor Society.
Jake Murphy, American Fork High School, University of Utah
Jake Murphy, a junior from Alpine, is the University of Utah’s top returning tight end this year. He signed with BYU out of high school but transferred to the University of Utah after serving a full-time mission in Sydney, Australia.
Murphy played in all 12 of Utah’s games last season and started in five. He is ranked second on the team in receptions with 33, third in receiving yards with 349 and leads the team with four touchdown catches. In 2011, Murphy started twice, played in 10 games and suffered a knee injury.
Murphy, a son of Atlanta Braves legend Dale Murphy, led American Fork High School to regionals in football and baseball in 2007. He was named to the 2007 5A All-State First Team by the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News.
Xavier Su’a-filo, Timpview High School, UCLA
Su’a-filo, a junior at UCLA, enters the 2013 season after starting all 14 games at left guard last season. His first season was in 2012 after serving full-time in the Florida Tallahassee Mission.
Su’a-filo has started in all 27 games during his career at UCLA, including all 13 games of his freshman season — more starts by a Bruin true freshman at any non-kicking position. He was also the first true freshman to start a season opener on offense for the Bruins.
Su’a-filo was named a Second-Team All-American by FoxSportsNext, a Third Team All-American by the AP and CBSSports.com, and earned an honorable mention on SI.com’s All-America team. Before his college career, Su’a-filo helped Timpview to the state championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Kevin and Kyle Whimpey, Lone Peak High School, Utah State University
The Whimpey twins, Kevin and Kyle, will both begin their third season with Utah State University this fall. Both Kevin and Kyle served full-time missions in California from 2008 to 2010 — Kevin in Ventura and Kyle in Riverside — and they now play side by side on the Aggies’ offensive line.
In 2012, both Kevin and Kyle played in all 13 games, with Kevin starting in 12 and Kyle starting in all 13. Kevin posted 45 knockdowns and Kyle posted 67.5, combining for 112.5 of Utah State’s knockdowns. Both redshirted in 2011 and played one year at Idaho State prior to their missions.
Both Kevin and Kyle were two-year lettermen in football at Lone Peak High School and helped
the Knights to a 2008 regional championship. They are also both well-rounded, with high school letters in basketball, track and field and wrestling. They also both made the Lone Peak Honor Roll and earned Eagle Scout awards.