A lot has been written and said about the efforts of the BYU staff to extend their recruiting reach this season. Jaterrius Gulley was a beneficiary of that wide net and was very thankful for the BYU football staff’s efforts in extending that net.
“I feel blessed that (BYU) found me and offered me a scholarship to play football for them,” Said Gulley “It’s just a good feeling that they came all the way to Alabama to find me.”
Jaterrius came to Provo last weekend with the hopes that he would be extended a scholarship offer. Saturday afternoon that moment came.
“I was officially offered on Saturday afternoon about 12:30,” Said Gulley “I had a one-on-one visit with Coach (Bronco) Mendenhall and he offered me then. I accepted the offer right away without hesitation.”
Coach Mendenhall usually has some words of advice for each commit and Gulley explained what advice he received.
“Coach Mendenhall said he was proud of me for deciding to come to BYU and he was hoping I would commit so that I could play for him,” Said Gulley “He said that’s why he wanted to talk to me personally and offer the scholarship (in private).”
Jaterrius said he feels relieved to have finally committed and is excited to sign his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday.
“It’s a relief (to have committed). I found the school I wanted to go to and play football for. All I have to do (now) is sign on that dotted line (on Wednesday),” conveyed Gulley.
It is anticipated that Gulley will man the nose tackle position for BYU. Both he and his high school coaches are excited for that opportunity.
“My defensive line coach is really excited for me to play at BYU in a 3-4 defense as a straight up nose (tackle),” Stated Gulley “He’s very excited for me to work hard and get that starting spot hopefully. I am really excited to play that position.”
Many of the recruits had family visiting with them over the weekend. While Gulley traveled to Provo on his own, his family was very pleased with his decision.
“My mom was really excited, same with my grandmother,” said Gulley “They’ve never been to Utah but my grandma used to travel a lot; my mom doesn’t fly. She’s going to try and make the flight for my first game though. It’s tough to travel to and from (Alabama) for games so I am going to get her set up with BYUtv so she can see all my games that way. Hopefully she’ll make it out to a few games.”
The camaraderie of this year’s recruiting class has been a theme repeatedly brought up by committed prospects. Gulley was no different and dished on what happened the last night the recruits were together.
“It was nice to meet the guys and connect with everybody,” Said Gulley “We actually sat down early Sunday morning and had a 2 hour conversation about recruiting; who’s been recruiting who, how everyone’s (official visits) went and stuff like that. It was nice getting to know everyone better.”
BYU fans may be curious as to who Jaterrius became friends with in this recruiting class and it looks like he gained some friends over the weekend who will be suiting up in trenches with him.
“I got pretty close to Tejan Koroma, Isaiah Kaufusi, and Tico Fuga, who also going to play nose tackle,’ Said Gulley “Sione Takitaki was my roommate and Travis Tuiloma was my player host.”
Gulley came away from his visit with great impressions of Provo and the surrounding areas.
“Everybody is just really nice in general, it was a beautiful campus, beautiful scenery, and the mountains were something new. I really liked the mountains,” Stated Gulley.
Saturday night the recruits were seated front and center in the ROC as the BYU Men’s Basketball team took on Saint Mary’s in the Marriott Center. Jaterrius loved the atmosphere and enthusiasm of the fans.
“It was cool. The crowd was going crazy the whole game, and it was a great game to watch,” Said Gulley “I saw (Sione) Takitaki had a picture (BYU students were) holding up. I didn’t see my picture but it was cool that they knew who we were and were cheering for us.”
When asked, Jaterrius was quick to respond as to what sold him on BYU as the school where he wanted to spend the next 4-5 years of his life.
“The atmosphere (sold me on BYU), I really liked the campus, and the entire coaching staff was really nice,” Said Gulley “The biggest thing was how the recruiting class clicked and how we got to know one another really well. It was really nice.”
Many players that get lost in the recruiting shuffle usually feel that they need to make sure that they work hard to prove that overlooking them was mistake. Gulley is no different.
“It does motivate me to work hard to become the best player I can be to prove that my receiving a scholarship from BYU was worth it,” Said Gulley.
Gulley will be signing his NLI tomorrow morning and will submit the paperwork to BYU shortly thereafter. Congratulations to Jaterrius on his commitment and decision to suit up for BYU.