PROVO — Sometimes described as “late bloomer” who didn’t play varsity basketball at his high school until his junior year, Tanner Toolson can now call himself something very different.
A Division I basketball player.
The son of former BYU and Utah Jazz wing Andy Toolson has committed to BYU, announcing his intentions Thursday night on Washington-based Scorebook Live’s Instagram Live feed.
Toolson, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound guard from Vancouver, Washington, chose the Cougars over a final four that included BYU, Utah, Utah State and Boise State. He also had interest from Oregon State, Portland and Utah Valley, among others.
“It was so hard to turn down all of them, but I feel like after all of it I made a good decision," he said. “I’m going to Brigham Young University.”
In BYU, Toolson joins current Cougar signees Dallin Hall of Fremont and Richie Saunders of Wasatch Academy in the Class of 2020. Both Utah players who signed with the Class of 2020 have received a two-year mission call for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Toolson — last year's Mr. Basketball in Washington whose brother, Conner, played for coach Mark Pope at Utah Valley — plans on serving a two-year mission before enrolling in college, as well.
Senior @tannertoolson5 set school records for:— UHS Titan Hoops (@UHS_Hoops) May 8, 2020
✅ Scoring average in a season 23.0 ppg
✅ Total pts in a season 645
✅ Made FGs in a season 216
✅ FTs made in a season 139
✅ Steals in a season 69
✅ Dunks (not a real record but he had a lot) pic.twitter.com/zK7s1ZlKim
Pope and his assistants Chris Burgess and Cody Fueger started recruiting Toolson when the trio was at Utah Valley. The recruitment continued in later years, even as other teams enter the fray.
But on a Thursday night, while vacationing with his family at his older sister's house in Provo, Tanner Toolson formalized the decision.
“I feel like it would be a really hard option to turn down," he said. "I feel like I fit in the system really well, and I feel like I could succeed at BYU, keep growing as a player, and hopefully be the player I feel like I can be.”
Tanner Toolson averaged 23.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game with 69 steals as a senior at Union High School. He earned All-4A Greater St. Helens League first-team honors as a junior, when he lead the Titans to an undefeated record.
Union finished 27-1 during Toolson’s senior year, setting school records for most points, 3-pointers, assists, steals, field goals and wins while also amassing a 26-game winning streak.
The new addition gives Pope three signees who will all return in time to join the Class of 2022. In addition, the Cougars also inked junior college transfers Spencer Johnson from American Fork and Gideon George from Nigeria.
That's in addition to Purdue graduate transfer Matt Haarms, plus at least one more grad transfer that Pope said he hopes to sign before the end of the summer.
"I can’t even tell you how excited I am for the roster right now," Pope said during an Instagram Live video earlier Thursday evening. "But we are talking to some young men who I think could augment it and bring even more spice to the Marriott Center court."