Both are former walkons. He's now anointed both leaders and spokespersons for the team here in Las Vegas during MWC's media days.
Pitta is now an All-American and Rich, Mendenhall believes, is due for a big role in BYU's 2009 defense. If Rich can succeed like Pitta, Mendenhall's gamble may have paid off.
The thing about recruiting these days, said Mendenhall, is there is a sense of entitlement from those who receive scholarships.
"I like walkons, having been one of them myself," he added. "I like their work ethic and desire to play the game. We have 24 walkons who have earned scholarships.