“It was incredible being there, it was definitely one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” said Bingham linebacker commit Manoa Pikula. “I mean, I’ve been at BYU and around that campus a lot, but to be treated like we were, they just spoiled us and it was awesome.”
As with past recruiting weekends, the recruits attended meetings, went snowmobiling, watched a BYU basketball game at the Marriott Center, and ate lots and lots and lots of food.
“It seemed as if we were always eating,” said offensive line commit Stehly Reden. “We ate at some really nice restaurants and it was all really good.”
“I think I may have put on all that weight I tried so hard to lose just by how much we ate,” said Pikula jokingly.
Throughout the weekend the recruits were able to better familiarize themselves with BYU the coaching staff and players, as well as the program and school in general.
“We met Coach Omer and went through what workouts will be like at BYU and watched one of the workouts,” related Timpview’s Colby Jorgensen, who committed to BYU last summer. “It was intense and it really made you want to get out there and join them right away.”
One of the highlights of the weekend obviously was the snowmobiling excursion.
“That was a blast and we had a big poly group and we really got after it, maybe too much,” said Pikula. “Lene [LeSatele], who was my roommate, went off a cliff and it looked bad when it happened, but he was fine and just got right back on.”
Pikula got along very well with LeSatale, who he described as a very “quiet and humble kid.”
“That’s really the best thing about the trip for me: sitting around and talking to all the guys and feeling part of the team and of the program,” said Pikula. “I love BYU, I love my teammates, the guys already there, everything.”
One of the players already there was former Bingham kicker Justin Sorensen, who just recently returned from serving a mission.
“We’re all so close at Bingham and our program is a lot like what we’ll see at BYU, so it’s not going to be a big change that way,” Pikula said. “There’s a lot of Bingham guys there already and we’re all just so excited to keep representing well at BYU.”
It wasn’t all fun and games for the recruits, however, as they each took special note of the many coaches and others who spoke to them.
“One of the best thing, probably my favorite thing, was listening to Chad Lewis speak to us on Saturday morning,” said Jorgensen. “He was great letting us know of how great of a program we’re about to be part of and how we need to use it the best we know how.”
“Chad Lewis was incredible and really got us all very excited,” added Reden. “The way he spoke about the program and how it’s helped him become the person he is, I don’t know how anyone could have left that room not feeling like you wanted to do everything you could for the team and take full advantage of the chances we have to be part of such a great program.”
The recruits were also privileged to listen to head coach Bronco Mendenhall during church service Sunday morning.
“That was great because he really emphasized the things other than football, which is what sets BYU apart from other programs,” related Jorgensen. “He stressed at how we won’t only have the chance to grow as football players and as students, but as people, which is such a great opportunity for all of us.”