Desert Hills’ Penei Sewell is on track to be the most highly recruited prep football player in the state of Utah. The 6-foot-5, 330-pounder holds offers from both BYU and Utah, as well as Alabama, USC, UCLA, Michigan, Florida, Oklahoma, Washington and a running list of other top schools.
The Top 100 recruit in the country recently visited UCLA after he was invited to participate in the Rivals 3 Stripe Camp. Sewell ended up taking home offensive line MVP honors and was just one of seven players who punched his ticket to the Five-Star Challenge in June where the Top 100 recruits in the country will come together.
— Woody Wommack (@RivalsWoody) April 9, 2017
— Rivals Camp Series (@RivalsCamp) April 9, 2017
Sewell could jump on any team in the country and make a difference which is why it was surprising to hear what happened at the 2017 Governor’s State of Sports Awards at Vivint Smart Home Arena last week.
Desert Hills head football coach Carl Franke was at the event along with the school’s athletic director. The Thunder were competing in the Event/Highlight of the Year category after scoring an incredible touchdown pass as time expired to win the 3AA State Title at Rice-Eccles Stadium this past season.
— Justin Giles (@JustinGiles_) November 18, 2016
With numerous sports stars, coaches and players at the event, Coach Franke wrote on Facebook that he introduced himself to BYU offensive coordinator Ty Detmer — the 1990 Heisman Trophy winner — but that his interaction wasn’t what he was expecting.
“Met Ty Detmer at awards deal tonight. Introduced myself and told him who I was and what school I represented. He looked at me like a deer in the headlights. He didn’t know if Desert Hills was in Utah or on the moon the way he was looking at me.” – Franke
The Sewell’s joint family Facebook account then followed it up by leaving a confused/sad emoji comment under the post.
Coaches aren’t perfect by any means as they look at hundreds of recruits every year on top of everything else they have to do. Even former Utah head coach Urban Meyer, who is now at Ohio State, even lost a recruit (Bruce Judson) after a recruiting gaffe, as well as Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Maybe Detmer just simply misunderstood what was said or didn’t hear the name of the school clearly. But in this day and age where people are easily offended, it’s certainly not the impression you want to have out there as schools around the country are “promising” and doing everything they can to land kids. Sewell is expected to narrow his top schools by the end of summer.
So far BYU has four offensive line commitments in three-star players Connor Pay, Jaren Kump, Jacob Smith and Campbell Barrington. But landing Sewell — who attended BYU’s Fan Fest in St. George with his family last month — would certainly be the icing on the cake for the Cougars.