Kyle Van Noy, the 6-foot-4, 202-pound four-star linebacker/wide receiver from McQueen High School in Reno, Nev., has narrowed his list down to three schools, with one team to beat.
Van Noy, Scout.com’s No. 9 weakside linebacker, said he still favors BYU big over Arizona State and UCLA. "Right now it's mainly BYU and Arizona State," Van Noy admitted. "But I'd say it's probably about 85 percent to BYU."
He will be visiting the Cougars on Jan. 10 and says he was surprised by their losing effort in the Las Vegas Bowl. "I was really surprised they lost to Arizona," he said. "It seems like (quarterback) Max Hall hasn't been himself since the Utah game. The defense also didn't play very well either.
"But I'm not worried about that," Van Noy said. "I like BYU because I feel like I fit in there the most. I think they are on the verge of being a great team and hopefully I'll be able to help out. I think I'd be a good fit for their team athletically."
Van Noy is LDS, but says he's not likely going to take his mission. "I'm not planning on it," he said. "At least not right away anyway.
So while the Cougars are the team to beat, Van Noy admits his recent visit to Arizona State definitely improved his opinion of the Sun Devils. "They really impressed me," he said. "I really felt like that's a place that I could play."
His player host at Arizona State was redshirt freshman tight end Dan Knapp, who played for Van Noy's rival – Nevada Reno. "We played against each other so I already know him," he said. "I liked getting to hang out with him and getting to know him better. It was a lot of fun."
Van Noy says that Knapp also gave him some good advice. "He told me to take all of my visits," he said. "He says that they are really fun and that I should try and give every school a chance before committing."
Van Noy was also impressed during his visit to Tempe with the facilities and stadium. "The facilities were awesome," he exclaimed. "The stadium was pretty sweet too. It's huge.
"But the facilities were first-class," Van Noy said. "I loved the huge weight room and they've got some pretty cool machines I hadn't seen before. The training room was pretty overwhelming. It was sweet."
Van Noy also likes the Sun Devils upside. "They didn't have a great season so the only place to go is up," he said. "The coaches are real good and they talked about getting back to the top of the Pac-10 again."
Another team that is trying to climb its way back to the top of the Pac-10 and to the top of Van Noy's list is UCLA. He'll be visiting the Bruins on Jan. 17 but as of now they are running a distant third behind the Cougars and Sun Devils.
"I just need to see how I feel when I visit them," he said. "I need to see if I'd be able to live in L.A. and what that would be like."
Van Noy hosted a couple Bruin coaches (linebacker coach Chuck Bullough and secondary coach Tim Hauck) at his home about two weeks ago.
"They talked about their new facilities which are supposed to be pretty nice," he said. "And how they are an up-and-coming team that is serious about building. They said they weren't going to make any promises and that it's a competitive program and if you want to play you have to earn it.
"They also really stressed education and UCLA is known for being a good academic and athletic school," he said.
Van Noy also took an official visit to Colorado on Oct. 4 and was also considering Boise State before narrowing it down to his final three. "These three are the closest to my family," he said. "They aren't too far away and I'd like my family to see me play.
"Plus they all told me that I could play whichever position I wanted," he said. "They are going to give me a chance at offense and defense, so I'm checking out their depth charts and seeing what makes the most sense. I'll play any position they need me to as long as I can get on the field.'
Van Noy played linebacker and receiver during his senior season, helping lead his team to a perfect 14-0 record and the 4A state championship. He had 35 receptions for 731 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also finished with 79 total tackles (55 solos) and 14 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, six fumbles caused, four fumbles recovered and one interception for a score. He even rushed the ball 10 times for another 121 yards.
He reports a 3.5 core GPA and a 1200 SAT.