BYU: Losing and winning on big-time recruits

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            He was considering BYU, but Mesa, Ariz. big man Payton Dastrup said Thursday he was going to Ohio State to play basketball.

            Among his other suitors were Florida, Kansas, Arizona and UCLA.

            Yes, he was a big-time recruit. And apparently a big-time Mormon, since he plans to graduate high school next spring and then serve a 2-year LDS mission. Which raises the obvious question: Why didn’t he go to BYU?

            There are a lot of factors, but the signing of Jabari Parker by Duke last year, and now Dastrup by OSU, underscores something coaches have long understood: Mormon does not always equal BYU.

            Considering players like Eric Mika and T.J. Haws almost automatically committed to BYU, it’s easy to get into the mode of thinking that all top LDS athletes want to attend college in Provo.

            BYU is in the conversation with nearly every active LDS athlete, but it’s not a guarantee. Playing in a mid-major basketball conference and as an independent in football has its drawbacks. If you’re a top 100 player, those things factor in.

            However, so do the advantages, such as good academics, spiritual support and, of course, plenty of LDS people to date.

            BYU has an in with LDS athletes that no one else does. But its challenge is to be “big-time” enough that recruits will go there for that reason alone. Everything else just seals the deal.

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  1. blue and white

    What factors influence an Elite LDS athlete when deciding not to choose BYU? Are they afraid their chances of not making it to the pros is diminished? if you good enough you will make it in the pros. you want to win an NCAA championship? if so and all the best LDS athletes decide to attend BYU will make it an elite team every year and increase your odds. BYU represents the church so why not support the church in that way with your talents? there are exceptions a kid may want to stay home. I wish all elite LDS athletes would reconsider when deciding not to go to BYU.

  2. poyman

    Dastrup will come to understand just how big of a mistake he has made with his choice to shun BYU in favor of Ohio State… He could have been a Rock Star at BYU but instead will simply be another empty face in a world of empty faces…

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