ST. GEORGE – Pine View coach Ray Hosner made a big deal of his former quarterback, Kody Wilstead.
He said at the Elite 11 Camp no one threw the ball better than the PVHS man. No pressure, as Wilstead now heads to BYU to become the next big name behind legends like Steve Young, Jim McMahon and Ty Detmer.
Wilstead headlined a group of five Pine View Panthers who signed national letters of intent Wednesday, including Raymond Fiame (Southern Utah), Bladen Hosner (Southern Utah), Blake Ence (Dixie State) and Harrison Goebel (Northern Arizona).
“It’s hard to describe,” Wilstead said. “I just how I felt at BYU. Just the feeling I had, it’s where I wanted to be.”
Wilstead joins former Hurricane Tiger Jeremiah Ieremia at BYU. Both of them plan to begin the 2017 season after they return from missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“I’m excited to be Jeremiah’s teammate,” Wilstead said. “We bonded last spring during our official visit to BYU. He rode up with my family, and we became friends.”
As a potential future star quarterback at BYU, the audacity to play one final season of high school basketball didn’t make a bunch of sense, especially because Wilstead graduated early. But that didn’t matter to him. He wanted the chance to play hoops with his friends one last time.
“I didn’t want to look back and regret it if I didn’t play,” he said. “I didn’t want to miss out and have teammates share in emails about the great season.”
Wilstead leaves for his LDS mission in March to Argentina.
Following his brothers, Ence becomes the latest to commit to Dixie State to play football.
The Red Storm may have gotten him anyway, but the idea of playing in Blaine Monkres’ offense has Ence thrilled to get out on the field following his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“The program is going up,” Ence said. “They’re doing good things like with the coaches they brought in. Coach Monkres is a genius of a coach, and I’m excited to play in his offense.”
Fiame stays local with his college decision by choosing to play in Cedar City at Southern Utah University.
“I went up there and felt like I belonged there,” Fiame said. “I had a great bond with the football team.”
Fiame joins the Thunderbirds as a hopeful anchor for their offensive line, and he said he had fun being courted by them.
“It was nice and overwhelming,” Fiame said. “I only learned a month ago that SUU was looking at me. It’s great. I’m blessed.”
The Utah State Aggies just wouldn’t give up in trying to get Goebel to be their longsnapper. It went so far as to Hosner receiving two phone calls from USU during the Pine View signing Wednesday, begging him to make Goebel change his mind away from Northern Arizona.
But being a Lumberjack is what Goebel wants to do.
The opportunity to play multiple positions for NAU — and not just longsnapper — appealed to him, so he signed to play in Flagstaff, Arizona.
The idea of getting to play against former Pine View teammates Fiame and Bladen Hosner — both SUU Thunderbirds — had an exciting draw, too.
“It’s going to be fun playing against them (in the Big Sky Conference),” Goebel said. “The recruiting process was fun, but I’m grateful it’s over.”
The coach’s son is following in his dad’s footsteps and headed to school at SUU. That’s after his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of course.
“Raymond and I went up there for our official visit, and the coaches treated us awesome,” Bladen Hosner said. “They also introduced me to the medical school, which is what I want to do.”
Hosner was on the receiving end of a few Wilstead touchdown passes in 2014 — eight of them to be exact, tying him for second on the team with Ence.
Follow Richard Briggs on Twitter, @BriggsRich.