Jaterrius Gulley is a big guy, both literally and figuratively. The 6’3”, 325-pound defensive tackle started for the back-to-back Alabama 6A State Champion Hoover Buccaneers as a junior and senior. Gulley was overlooked by most collegiate programs but his play caught the eye of BYU Defensive Line Coach Steve Kaufusi.
“My coach sent my film out to a bunch of schools,” Jaterrius said “Coach Kaufusi called my coach to get my number and then called me. He said he liked my film and wanted to visit me. He came to visit me at my school last week. He also visited my house that night as well.”
Gulley said he wasn’t all too familiar with BYU before his interactions with Coach Kaufusi, but was quickly filled in on the particulars.
“Before (I met Coach Kaufusi) all I knew was that (BYU) was a Mormon school. That’s pretty much it,” Gulley said “Coach Kaufusi filled me in and told me it is the largest private (university) in the country and that you need good grades to get in.”
When asked what the main topics Coach Kaufusi and he discussed were, Gulley said that they talked about BYU in general, how far away BYU is from Alabama, and how it would be to be so far away from his mother and family at school in Utah.
During Coach Kaufusi’s visit to the Gulley residence, he met Jaterrius’ mother. When asked what his mother wants in a school, Gulley was quite frank.
“My mom wants me to go to a good school, first,” Said Gulley “She wants me to get a good education, to be happy, and also be safe (while at school). She wants me to be able to focus on school and my education at the same time.”
Gulley played in a 4-3 defensive scheme at Hoover but he feels that he would be able to play the 2-gapping nose tackle position that BYU’s 3-4 scheme requires.
“I played in a 4-3 in high school but I was pretty much a nose tackle the way we ran our defense,” State Gulley “I have been practicing 2-gapping since my coach told me that I would (most likely) be playing in a 3-4 scheme in college. I enjoy lining head up on the center and being able to make plays in both “A” gaps.”
When prodded to list his strengths as a defensive lineman, Gulley was a bit hesitant to list them.
“I feel like I take up a lot of space and I require a double team to keep me from making plays in the backfield,” Said Gulley “I also feel that I use my hands well. I don’t want to brag, but I feel that I can fill up the ‘A’ gaps well.”
Jaterrius was born and raised in Alabama and hasn’t ventured outside of the south but he was quite interested in learning more about the state of Utah.
“I don’t know anything about Utah,” Stated Gulley “It doesn’t snow in Alabama so I don’t know if I will like (the snow) or not, but I don’t mind the cold.”
Jaterrius will be visiting BYU on January 31st along with a bevy of other prospects and commits. He is looking forward to snowmobiling activity that the recruits are taken on.
“It would be an interesting activity (going snowmobiling) since I have never been skiing or snowboarding,” Said Gulley “I have never been outside of Alabama, but I am excited to experience it.”
Gulley is not LDS but isn’t overly concerned about BYU being predominantly LDS.
“I am not LDS but I am Christian,” Said Gulley “I am not worried about it. We all believe that same thing(s), so I don’t think it would be a big deal.”
Coach Kaufusi talked with Gulley about BYU’s stringent Honor Code and Gulley said living those guidelines would not be an issue.
“Coach Kaufusi talked me about it (the honor code),” Gulley said “I think it is a good thing to have (those rules) because I don’t do those things and I wouldn’t want my kids to do those things either, so I think it a good thing.”
When asked what he would like to study in school, Gulley did not hesitate in answering.
“I want to study something math-related,’ Said Gulley “Probably something like engineering or accounting.”
Gulley said that Coach Kaufusi did not mention BYU’s world renowned Marriott School of Business during his visit but that he would be sure to look into it.
When asked about if he had been offered a scholarship, Gulley said he had not been offered yet, but he thought one might come later.
“They (BYU) haven’t said anything (about an offer), but I guess I would expect they will offer me because I am going all the way out to BYU to visit,” Said Gulley.
Gulley said he has received scholarship offers from Troy, Southern Miss, Hawaii, Southeastern Louisiana, and Savannah State. He has also received recruiting interest from Auburn, Mississippi State, South Alabama, and Jacksonville State. Gulley said that he’s been most aggressively recruited by Southeastern Louisiana, and that he will be visiting their campus this weekend (Jan. 24th).
When asked what was most important to him in a school, Gulley said that he was looking for a school with a good football program, but that it was more important to get a better education.
“I want to have something to fall back on if I don’t make it to the next level, or if my career ends early,” Said Gulley.
Total Blue Sports will catch up with Jaterrius after his visit to BYU and report on how it went.