After a summer of fight song controversies and waiting for players to get healthy for the upcoming season, a new story came to light Monday. Former four-star Bingham running back, Harvey Langi, who committed to Utah and played his true freshman season in 2011, is rumored to be looking to transfer from Utah to BYU after his mission.
In a write up in the Deseret News, Vai Sikahema, a former BYU Cougar, wrote that he has been in contact with Langi and said that he's looking to transfer once he gets home this week. In the write up Sikahema wrote -
"On Wednesday morning, the former all-american high school player out of Bingham and University of Utah sophomore is expected to visit BYU coaches in Provo to arrange a transfer to the school, where he hopes to suit up for the Cougars this fall. On Thursday, Bronco Mendenhall returns from vacation and is expected to meet with Langi at 10 a.m. in the head coach's office."
Langi, according to the article, says he has changed on his two year Mormon mission, and that he'd like to live a similar lifestyle and BYU offers him that. However, Coach Kyle Whittingham, who is yet to speak to Langi, had a different perspective. Sikahema wrote in his piece -
"Langi's lofty dreams may simply be that, if Utah coach Kyle Whittingham has his way. I spoke to Whittingham on the phone as he vacations in Hawaii with his family. He flatly refuses to release Langi from his scholarship.
"'As far as I'm concerned, he's a Ute," he told me. 'I'm not releasing him.'"
And possibly the most interesting piece of the article, and one that hurts its credibility a little is this -
"BYU will counter that because Langi graduated early from Bingham and enrolled at the U. in January. His Letter of Intent was either never signed or never filed, therefore Langi isn't bound contractually to return to the U. BYU believes such a loophole essentially makes Langi a free agent and fair game."
Unless I'm missing something about this statement, or something else altogether, while Langi did graduate early to come to the U, his letter of intent was filled, because he suited up and played in games in the 2011 season. In fact his stats are: played in 11 games, 13 carries for 70 yards, two receptions for six yards, and was a lettered athlete on the team.
Not to forget, there's the "Riley Nelson Rule" to consider - which strangely enough was created because of a very eerily similar instance where former Logan High QB Riley Nelson went to USU, played his true freshman season, went on his mission immediately after, and transferred to BYU once he returned and could play immediately. The "Riley Nelson Rule" basically states, if a player commits and signs with a school, and actually suits up and plays in games, if that player decides to go on a mission, once he returns if he decides to transfer, he has to follow regular NCAA transfer rules - which means he has to sit out a year. Fortunately for Langi, if he decides to transfer, he has a red shirt year to burn, but he would not be able to play immediately. If Langi would have went on his mission immediately after high school and never played a down, then the situation would be different.
Also, if it's true that Langi is going to speak to BYU's coaching staff before he even speaks to Utah's, you know, the coaching staff that he's actually under scholarship with, then that's a different problem all together.
With all that said, this is WAY to early to jump to any rash conclusions. First things first, he needs to get home, spend some time with his family, then he should talk to Coach Whitt, Kalani Sitake, and any other pertinent members of Utah's coaching staff to see where everyone stands. Then after all of that has happened, and if he wants to transfer, then he should go talk to the coaching staff of the school he would want to transfer to.
Lets all let it play out a little bit more though, shall we? Shoot, the kid has barely taken off the "Elder Langi" name tag.
Here's the complete write up from the Deseret News on Langi.