Kyle Van Noy is a 6-foot-4-inch, 205-pound athlete from Reno, Nevada that could play any number of positions wherever he decided to play, but will likely be playing outside linebacker for the Cougars this coming season and throughout his career while at BYU.
Van Noy credits all his social influences along with everything else BYU has to offer for making his commit from soft to solid this past weekend.
"I just show up and right there is my boy, Jake Heaps," explained Van Noy. "He's there with X [Xavier Su'afilo], Manti [Te'o], Rich [Richard Wilson], Jray [Galea'i], Brett [Thompson] and just everyone, and I was like, ‘Yeah, these are my boys. Not all of them are committed yet, but man, these are my boys. How could I play anywhere else?'"
Van Noy spent his trip strengthening those bonds already formed with current and future BYU players, leading up to the now famous snowmobiling excursion that accompanies each and every official visit at BYU.
"I went out snowmobiling with Levi [Te'o], Manti, X , Jray and Rich, and it was a total blast," related Van Noy. "Just seeing X and how big he is on that snowmobile, it cracked us up, and it cracked up X too. He loved it. All those guys are my boys."
Friendly, but not Pushy
Although Van Noy is firm in his commitment and he would love nothing more than his friends Manti Te'o and Xavier Su'afilo to make firm commitments, he knew that it wasn't his place to pressure those uncommitted players while on their trip.
"Why pressure them?" said Van Noy. "Just hang out, have fun, and that way let them decide. They don't need pressure. They already know we want them to come here, so the best thing for everyone I think was to just hang out, have fun and let BYU and what they have to offer and how they feel about BYU work on them. BYU has things that no one else has and Manti and X don't need us to force that on them. They know it, believe me, they already know."
As far as Van Noy goes, no one pressured him to make his commit. Instead, it was by those very things that he explained would work best to commit Te'o and Su'afilo that worked to commit him.
"I honestly knew the second I showed up and just felt what I had felt before, that yeah, this is the place for me," said Van Noy. "Just the feeling, the environment, all my brothers, everything, that is why BYU is the place for me, and Manti and X just need to decide for themselves that it is the place for them, but I know they felt it while they were here, they had to."
Sooner Rather than Later
Of all the things said to Van Noy during his trip, one thing stood out among all others as he had a talk with his future position coach Barry Lamb.
"When Coach Lamb told me that he expected me to be BYU's starting outside linebacker next year, wow, that was the thing I'll remember most above anything else said to me," said Van Noy. "It just made me so excited. He said that I'll start out right away competing for a starting spot, and that's all you want. To compete and to hopefully start as a freshman, it doesn't get any better than that."
Van Noy is an athlete who played just about every position on the football field while in high school, but is just about locked in to play outside linebacker while at BYU.
"I know that they need a lot of help there and I'm ready to help," said Van Noy. "I don't care where I play and where I help as long as it gets me on the field against Oklahoma in that first game. If it's at linebacker, then so be it. I love playing linebacker."
Those who have viewed Van Noy's film immediately draw comparisons with former Cougar and now New York Giant Bryan Kehl.
"Everyone, and I mean everyone, tells me that I'm the next Bryan Kehl," said Van Noy. "It's a great honor to be compared to Kehl since he's so good, but I want to be Kyle Van Noy and have others compared to me. I think I'm similar to Kehl athletically, and hopefully I can grow to be at least as good as him, but I want to be remembered for being Kyle Van Noy."
Van Noy met individually with head coach Bronco Mendenhall, as is the norm for every visiting recruit while on their official trip to BYU.
"We didn't talk much about football," said Van Noy about his meeting with Mendenhall. "We talked about school - BYU as a school more than a football team - and I loved that. We talked about everything about life, and he's just the greatest man ever. I couldn't have more respect for Coach Mendenhall, and the chance for him to be my head coach is something too good to pass up."
Van Noy expects great things from himself and from his future teammates while at BYU.
"We're going to maintain the great tradition at BYU while reaching new heights. I really believe that and that is why I'm committed to BYU. My heart is already at BYU and now I'm completely and totally committed to the football program and to everything else that BYU has to offer. Hopefully others follow along with me because we're going to help lead this program to new heights."
It all starts this offseason, when Van Noy will be working as hard as possible to make himself into the type of outside linebacker that can not only start as a true freshman, but star as a true freshman.
"I need to get bigger, but that won't be a problem," said Van Noy. "I remember getting down to 185 and then building back up to 210 without much problem at all. I'll be as big as ever before I get to BYU, probably around 220 or so, and I'm going to do everything possible to be ready to compete from day one. I've never just focused on football or on just playing one position, and when I do I know that I'll be that much better."