BYU football: Cougs have many players with family ties to BYU
Reynolds siblings are like many who have family ties to BYU
Cougar players say they like talking about their football ancestry with their teammates.
"We definitely recognize that and so do our parents," Denney said. "My dad will say, 'I used to play with him, that's his boy.' "
Tight end Andrew George's father was a track athlete at BYU.
"It was a program that I always followed. I think it's similar for other guys as well," George said. "There's such strong ties to BYU, alma mater ties. I don't know that parents are forcing their kids to go to BYU or anything, but I think it's just kind of ingrained in us early that BYU is a great place and it's where we want to be."
Linebacker Jordan Pendleton, whose father, Kirk, was a wide receiver for the Cougars in the 1980s, had a different recruiting experience. Surprisingly, Pendleton didn't grow up as a BYU fan. He loved Michigan instead.
"Once I committed here," he said, "it was kind of weird because I never pictured myself playing down here."
While he feels like he is holding the family torch at BYU, he added, "I feel like I'm just being myself. It's good to follow in my dad's footsteps, but at the same time, I'm being my own person. That my dad played here was never a thing that got me to come here. It was my choice. It didn't influence me at all. Obviously, my parents are happy that I'm 30 minutes away from them, so they can come watch me play."
Still, Pendleton recognizes that part of BYU's program is all in the family. ... "There's a lot of guys with dads who played here," he said. "It's funny coming here and meeting people that their dad played with my dad. It's pretty unique and cool."
Last season, those connections became even more interwoven for Pendleton when his sister, Brooke, married former BYU star wide receiver Austin Collie. Collie's dad, Scott, and Kirk Pendleton played together, and were roommates, in the 1980s. On Jordan Pendleton's first day of fall camp a couple of years ago, his mom and sister were on campus watching, as was Scott Collie. After practice, Austin and Brooke met.
"Later, Scott texted my mom and said, 'My son wants your daughter's number so he can take her out,' " Jordan said. "They went out one time and they hit it right off."
Not long after that, Pendleton and Collie became brothers-in-law. Of course, it's well-publicized that BYU quarterback Max Hall and tight end Dennis Pitta are also brothers-in-law.
"It's a funny place," Brett Denney said. "A couple of years back, (linebacker) Markell Staffieri married (quarterback) John Beck's little sister. We used to joke around about how it really is a 'Band of Brothers' (a motto the program has used for several years). We kind of marry into that."
The family pipeline is certain to continue in the future. For instance, offensive coordinator Robert Anae's son, Famika, will join the program after he finishes his mission. Defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi's son, Bronson, has verbally committed to the Cougars and is expected sign with BYU in February.
"My brothers both have little boys. What if they come to play here?" Brett Denney said. "I can see that happening. I think about who else has boys and how they can be playing together, to keep that whole connection going."
Cougars/Aggies on the air
Utah State (1-2) at BYU (3-1, 1-0 MWC)
Friday, 7 p.m.
LaVell Edwards Stadium
TV: The mtn. Radio: 1160 AM, 102.7 FM; 610 AM, 1230 AM, 95.9 FM
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