Reggie Bush, this year. He said BYU was the best defense they played last year because it confused them a lot. He said he took some real licks in the game and I told him to get ready for some more…""/>

Chanti Bloomer Hopes to be an Early Bloomer at BYU

Chanti Bloomer Hopes to be an Early Bloomer at BYU

"I get to play against my best friend from high school, (USC running back) <b>Reggie Bush</b>, this year. He said BYU was the best defense they played last year because it confused them a lot. He said he took some real licks in the game and I told him to get ready for some more…"

And with that insightful statement, standout Grossmont College defensive back, Chanti Bloomer, a 6-0, 195 pound athlete with 4.4/40 speed, confirmed he quietly committed to BYU coaches Jan. 12 after an eye-opening weekend recruiting trip to Provo. "My commitment is still strong," he said.

A First-Team All-Conference selection, Bloomer was named the team's "Best Defensive Back" and recorded an impressive 72 tackles, 7 caused fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, and 3 interceptions.

"Before my (Jan. 9) trip, a lot of people – some family and some coaches from other schools recruiting me – were talking down Mormons, BYU and Utah," Bloomer confided to Sunday night.

"Even my mom was skeptical at first because it was a Mormon school. She didn't really want me to go at first because she was a little concerned for me as an African American. I met most of the African Americans on the team and they were really cool. I know I wouldn't feel like an outcast or weird," he said. "After my trip, I told her (mother) how welcome and comfortable I felt at BYU. The trip overcame everything! All the things people said is because of a lack of knowledge about the school," Bloomer said.

His mother, Vandra Lewis, raised Bloomer and nine other children on her own, Bloomer said in explaining her protectiveness. "We're from five to 31 years old. There's Veronica (S-31), Atiyah (B-24), Tanisha (22), me (20), Sherricca (S-18), twin brothers Derrell & Jerrell (17), Brittany (S-14), Keyhanti (B-11), and Yehmelah (5)."

At Provo, Bloomer will join all-star teammate wide receivers Todd Watkins and Joe Griffin. The trio represents the most recruits committed to BYU this year from the same school.

"That's going to make it easier up there with Joe (Griffin) and Todd (Watkins). I talk to Todd almost every day and he's excited about us hanging out up there. Me and Todd went to middle school, high school, junior college and now BYU."

Watkins, 6-3, 185-pounds athlete with blazing 4.28 40 speed who has enrolled at BYU as a mid-year transfer, was named Grossmont's Offensive Player of the Year as a wide receiver and kicker; named to the Junior College Athletic Bureau's and J.C. Grid-Wire's First Team All-American teams; honored as Region III Offensive Player of the Year; and was named as First Team All-State and First Team All-Conference. Griffin, a 6-3, 195-pound receiver, was named as Grossmont's Receiver of the Year and will enroll this fall with Bloomer.

Bloomer, who is still being actively recruited by UNLV despite his commitment to BYU, said he received scholarship offers from Kansas, UNLV, Arizona, Wyoming, San Jose State, Tulane and Temple.

In committing to Cougar assistant Lance Reynolds a day after his weekend visit, Bloomer said that Reynolds "made me feel real comfortable there. He didn't sugar-coat anything. He's really straight forward."

Bloomer noted that another compelling reason he committed was the personal attention he received from BYU head coach Gary Crowton during his visit.

"Coach Crowton impressed me a lot. He took me by myself on a tour and showed me the weight room and locker room. He told me he was fired up about me and wanted me to contribute and play a big role on the team. I really like that a lot. That's one of the reasons I committed there," Bloomer commented.

He added his individual meeting with defensive coordinator Bronco Mendenhall motivated him as well. "He told me straight out that I would have to come there and work hard to earn a starting spot. Other schools were telling me I would be a starter. I appreciated his honesty."

Bloomer said the school's stringent Honor Code was not an issue since "I've never smoked or drank (alcohol) before. I'm going there to take care of business – education and play football."

He noted he was awestruck by BYU's new athletic complex. "The facilities are the best I've ever seen. Astonishing! I couldn't believe it. I found the school and the experience far different from what I expected," Bloomer declared.

Growing up in the warmer climes of San Diego, Bloomer said Provo appealed to him specifically because of the weather. "I've always wanted to live in a place where it snows and I felt it was time for a change. The snowmobiling was the funnest thing of my life and I almost killed myself a couple of times," he joked.

Bloomer concluded "one of the best things about BYU is the fan support. I'm ready to play in front of a big crowd and my family feels real good about it now. I'm just fired up about being there (BYU). I can't wait to go…"

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