When coach (Bronco) Mendenhall told me I gave him a big hug and I can't really express all the emotions that were going through my head at that time, but it was a great feeling. Now it's even more incentive for me to go out, play hard and help our team win. —David Foote
PROVO — There may be no player on BYU's football roster who has seen more carries than David Foote over the past three seasons. Not in games, mind you, those carries have gone to more-heralded players such as Harvey Unga and JJ Di Luigi, among others.
For the past three seasons, Foote has done the dirty work behind the scenes — and a lot of it. Whether on scout team or with the second, third and sometimes fourth offensive units, he's been banged-up and bruised as much as any player on the team.
Sure he's seen some carries during game situations — 21 to be exact — over three seasons, and has done quite well with his limited opportunities. He's averaged 9.5 yards per carry and scored a touchdown while playing a lot on kick coverage, forcing a fumble that set up a touchdown in the Armed Forces Bowl last season.
Regardless of the situation, Foote always seems to bring his best effort and was recently rewarded a full scholarship for it.
"It was awesome," said Foote about receiving his scholarship. "When coach (Bronco) Mendenhall told me I gave him a big hug and I can't really express all the emotions that were going through my head at that time, but it was a great feeling. Now it's even more incentive for me to go out, play hard and help our team win."
Foote enrolled at BYU in 2006 after starring for Pine View High School in southern Utah. He tried out for the team that year and was summarily cut, but decided to try-out the following spring — making the roster before leaving for an LDS mission to Bogota, Columbia.
He left for his mission without a guarantee that he'd play football again, but was guaranteed a spot on the team by Mendenhall upon his return.
Since that time, he's been on the cusp of regular role within the offense only to wind up taking the bench in favor of others. Rather than quit he's kept his nose to the grindstone and looks to be rewarded in more ways than just receiving a scholarship.
"You're going to see David Foote on the field this year," said running backs coach Joe DuPaix. "It pays off to work for something ,and David has worked as hard as any player I've been around. Every day he brings in his lunch pail and just goes to work. If you're going to get anything in life, you have to work for it, and some guys get rewarded sooner than others, but David has been persistent and I'm excited for him."
Foote has yet to solidify a certain role in the Cougar backfield for the coming season, and it won't be easy to do so. While most everyone he's played behind through three years are now gone, up-and-comers such as true freshman Jamaal Williams and redshirt freshman Adam Hine will be tough to beat out.
"It's a great thing for the program that talented guys like Jamaal (Williams) and Adam (Hine) keep coming in and push us to be that much better," said Foote. "More than anything I want what is best for the team and that's the attitude I've always had and it's what keeps me going. Sure you want to play, but you want the best for the program. That's what being a player here is all about, and everyone at our position has that same attitude."
DuPaix has noted Foote's team-first attitude and is grateful for it.
"It's frustrating for a player to work as hard as he has and not be rewarded with a bunch of game time, and he's expressed some frustration, but that hasn't effected at all with how he works and how he always puts the team first," said DuPaix. "David Foote is a football coach's dream with how he simply loves the game of football. It's that love that brings him back and keeps him working and he's going to get rewarded for it."