Measuring in at just more than 6 feet and weighing in at about 170 pounds, junior Hayden Weichers had a very successful season playing on both sides of the ball for Coach Dave Peck at Bingham High School.
“My overall season this year, I thought it went pretty good,” Weichers said. “There were a couple games here and there where I wouldn’t see the ball, but for how many catches I had, I thought I did pretty good yard-wise. We lost to Freemont High School this year in the playoffs, which was pretty much a shock.”
On the season, Weichers rushed the ball three times for 36 yards, threw two passes for 63 yards, returned a kickoff for a 94-yard touchdown, and hauled in 33 catches for 710 yards and nine touchdowns.
Weichers was recently selected by Jordan High School’s Coach Eric Kjar to participate in Utah’s Elite 33 camp/competition in Washington over the Christmas break. The Utah team will face off against the best from Washington, Oregon and Alaska.
“I got invited to this 33 all-star camp to represent the 33 elite from Utah,” Weichers said. “Coach Kjar of Jordan is the one that’s actually running it. He got a hold of me and was like, ‘Hey, I'm in charge of this 33 Elite camp and all I asked for was one guy, because I'm running this offense I want you as my number one wide receiver. They can pick all the rest.’ I was like, ‘Ah, thanks!’ It was pretty cool actually.”
A few well-known names from the state of Utah have also been invited to attend the 33 Elite camp.
“It was me, Lowell [Lotulelei], Austin Lee, Cooper Bateman, Rhett Sandlin, and that’s pretty much all I know off the top of my head,” said Weichers. “I was surprised that Tueni [Lupeamanu] and Francis [Bernard] weren’t invited.
“We’re going up to Washington for this four-day camp. The first three days we’ll be doing seven-on-sevens and one-on-ones and controlled scrimmages against the 33 elite players from Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Then on December 30-31 we play in the all-star game, where it will be the elite 33 from Utah against the elite 33 of Washington.”
Coach Kjar isn’t the only coach to have taken notice of Weichers; BYU coaches have taken notice of him as well.
“They said that I'm always in the talk at their meetings,” Weichers said. “I was told that whenever they bring up the Utah recruits I'm always one of the first ones that’s brought up. I've been in contact with Coach Cahoon a little bit more and getting to know him a lot better.”
Weichers visited BYU’s practice Monday to take in some of the team preparation.
“They just invited me to come down and watch their practice and it went really well,” he said. “They wanted me to see how their practices go because it’s actually pretty intense with how they run things down there. They kind of joked that it always scares recruits away, and so they kind of wanted me to come get a feel of how they run the practices down there.”
So what did Weichers’ think of his BYU practice experience?
“Well, it was actually pretty intense,” he said. “I mean, especially coming from the high school to the college level. I had to kind of throw in that perspective, but they ran things a lot faster and everything is more intense with no waiting periods where you can just walk around the field. You’re always running and pads are always hitting. There is just an intense vibe to their practice.”
Weichers plays wide receiver, defensive back and kick returner for Bingham High School. While he was attending BYU’s practice he watched both sides of the ball to get a feel for what’s expected.
“My dad went down with me and we mainly focused on watching the wide receivers,” Weichers said. “To know a little bit, we kind of watched the DBs to see what they were doing. I played a little bit of DB this year too, so I wanted to watch that side of the ball just in case I get thrown in there.”
Weichers isn’t quite sure what position BYU is looking at him to play.
“When I went down to their football camp, Coach Howell loved my footwork because I played DB as a sophomore,” Weichers said. “He actually fell in love with me at the DB position and I actually won the defensive back MVP at BYU’s camp that one weekend. Coach Cahoon was telling me, ‘Don’t listen to him, you’re my wide receiver.’ Then Coach Howell would say, ‘Don’t listen to Coach Cahoon, you’re my DB.’ So I don’t really know how they’re thinking of me, but Coach Cahoon seems to talk to me a lot more than Coach Howell does.”
If Weichers had a choice, he would like to stay on the offensive side of the ball.
“Well, I would like to play wide receiver if I could,” Weichers said. “That’s the main position that I love, but my dad played safety down at BYU back in the days, so if they threw me in over there I could always go to my dad for some pointers.”
His father Greg played at BYU back in 1988, then left to serve a LDS mission before returning in 1990. He later suffered a blood clot that unfortunately shortened his Cougar college football career. Now his son is being courted not only by BYU, but other colleges as well.
“Utah is showing some interest now a little bit,” Weichers said. “Stanford sent me a couple of letters and wanted me to send them some highlight tape and my transcripts. Vanderbilt emailed my dad actually and sent us some recruiting letters. Over the summer I got some letter from USC saying that they wanted me to come out to their summer camps.
“The letter said something like, ‘Hey, you’re one of our top junior recruits for the class of 2013 and we would like you to come out for a camp on one of these dates so we can evaluate you and meet you more.’ They’re trying to get everybody to come out there now that their probation is up.”
Although he didn’t attend USC’s camp over this past summer, Weichers did attend BYU’s camp.
“I really hope that BYU offers me,” Weichers said. “I remember when I was six years old I told my mom that I was going to one day run out of BYU’s tunnel. I just want to try and fulfill my goals. If BYU offered me, that would be great.”
If BYU offered him a scholarship, he would be tempted to commit right then and there.
“I don’t know if I would commit right on the spot, but maybe I would depending on how I feel,” Weichers said. “BYU is probably my top school. My dad played there and four of my uncles played there, so BYU is my family school. It’s also close to home and it’s my church college, so those are some of the reasons why BYU is one of my top schools.”