Was Lloyd Tunstill’s TCU commitment a case of pulling the trigger too soon, or just the luck of the draw? Either way, the College of the Canyons offensive lineman feels the Cougars got themselves a great coach in Garrett Tujague.
“Man, it was crazy because I didn’t know what was happening and I talk to him the day before,” said Tunstill. “Then I spoke to him the day of his departure. I’m so happy for him. I think BYU got themselves a steal for their team. They got themselves a great coach and a better person. He was a real father figure for me while I was up at COC and he really made me open my eyes as to what BYU might have to offer.”
Tunstill’s cornerback teammate Sam Lee is a BYU commit. Meanwhile, Tunstill committed to TCU prior to knowing that his head coach would be taking a job at BYU, a school that also offered him.
“I’m still committed to TCU currently, but just talking to [Tujague], man, we’ll see how things go,” said an excited Tunstill. “We’re just talking right now. We’re talking. He was the guy that I really went to throughout my whole recruiting process. He was always unbiased, fair and gave the pros and cons of each school. He even game me some pros and cons of BYU. I’m just grateful for everything he’s done for me.”
So what kind of a coach and person is BYU adding to its offensive staff?
“They are getting a guy that, really, is a great coach,” Tunstill said. “He came and filled in because we lost our offensive line coach. He came in and filled in and made me a better player. He really knows how to develop players and knows how to develop tackles. He played tackle and he played guard and knows how to score points. I know he’s going to work well with Coach Anae.
“I think that offense is going to be very explosive and powerful and something to stop. He’s the type of person where he’ll bring his hat to work every single day. He knows how to inspire his players. He knows how to get his players to believe in a cause. We started off this past season 0-3, but we felt like we were 3-0. So, then through the season we carried on and went 6-5 and went to a bowl game. He inspires daily and he inspires by his actions. Like I said, BYU is getting such a steal. He is such a coach.”
Tunstill said Tujague is very competitive on top of being a stickler for technique.
“He is such a competitor as a coach, and you love to see that in a coach,” Tunstill said. “Some coaches are just okay with things, but not him because he is so competitive. We went from being okay to taking on his disposition and being competitive like him. That means he inspired us to want to be better in order to be more competitive as players. Our offensive line graded out pretty good as a line, in one-on-ones and in drills, but he would get in there and really show us how to do things.
“For example, I had a problem with hand placement. And so, I would work with him on hand placement and where to put my hands, when to extend and punch with one hand instead of two. It really got onto me around week four when I implemented it and I really took off as a player in games and in practice. He made me a better player by helping me to develop the habits and skills by perfecting the little things that make you more competitive.”
Tunstill can’t say enough about his former head coach.
“His character is flawless,” Tunstill said. “He invited me to church with him, to his house for Thanksgiving. I mean, all those players that needed a place to go for Thanksgiving, he invited them over to his house if they had nowhere to go. He’s that type of person and someone who just really believes. When he was leaving to go to BYU, he still loves the kids that he’s leaving, but if there was one place that he would leave them for it was BYU. It’s the right decision for him simply because BYU is a place where he really wants to be at to make a difference. He wants to make a difference at his alma mater and he told us that.”
BYU hasn’t yet announced what role Tujague will fill on the coaching staff, but according to Tunstill, bringing him on staff would be a great decision even if he didn’t end up being a position coach.
“If he didn’t even coach at BYU but was just a recruiter, then they’re getting their money’s worth because he is the best recruiter I’ve ever seen,” Tunstill said. “If BYU decided to just go a coach short and just brought him on as a recruiter, it would be something special. He knows how to recruit and inspire kids like I’ve never seen in a person. Going into his office as a high school kid, having been through many different college offices on visits, when I walked out of that meeting with Coach Tujague, I knew exactly where I wanted to play college football at. He does that to you in a span of 30 minutes. I saw kids walk into his office wanting to complain about this or that, and then walk out of his office with their arms around their shoulders. He knows how to make a difference in kids’ lives.”
Now Tujague’s first test as a college recruiter at BYU will be to convince Tunstill, who has committed to be a Horned Frog at TCU, to switch from purple to blue.
“Oh no, it is and it’s already started,” Tunstill said with a laugh. “We’re already going through that every day and he’s very good with his words. I played under him for two years now and know how it goes. We’re in the process of talking and we’ll see how things work out.”
Although committed to TCU, is there a chance that Tunstill could take an official visit to BYU now that Coach Tujague is on the staff?
“You know, I’m not sure,” he said. “I know I can’t do it this weekend because I’ve got some school work to take care of. It’s a process that we’re still talking about because we have a mutual affection for each other, because, like I said before, I didn’t really know the staff up there at BYU as much as I know Coach Tujague. I don’t know Coach Howell and Coach Weber – even though he’s not currently there – as well as I know Coach Tujague. With him over at BYU now, hey, we’ll see how things go. He’s at a new job now and so he’s going to try and bring his players with him. We’ll see how it goes.”