Big-time recruits and BYU

Vince Biegel is the 6-foot-3 linebacker from Wisconsin, whose father Rocky played at BYU.

But the younger Biegel is apparently still planning on signing with Wisconsin, rather than BYU, as reported by Deseret News recruiting expert Brandon Gurney last spring. Stories such as Gurney’s and the one in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel this week say the decision came down to BYU or the Badgers, but he decided to stay close to home.

Biegel actually announced last April that he was going to Wisconsin, though things can change. With signing day coming up on Wednesday, interest is high for players like Biegel. He would have been BYU’s top defensive acquisition. At least on the surface, he appears the type of highly recruited player that BYU has a chance to get.

At the same time, it also shows that top players with ties to either the LDS Church and/or BYU don’t just automatically go there. That’s why the issue of being in an automatic qualifying conference is so important. Though coach Bronco Mendenhall has said BCS status isn’t the main reason players come to BYU, it can be a big factor, especially for players from outside Utah.

Few players are going to say that, of course. But if you’re a recruit with the Big Ten and Rose Bowl on your list, or independence and the Poinsettia, Armed Forces or Fight Hunger bowls, which are you going to choose?

Recruiting to BYU isn’t as easy as people think, even if the player has ties to the LDS Church or parents who attended. Not all of them automatically choose Provo. With all of its appeal to LDS athletes, status as a BCS school would certainly help BYU when it comes to recruiting players as highly regarded as Biegel.

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