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BYU football: Wrestling champ Zac Dawe commits to play football

Published: Thursday, Feb. 21 2013 10:20 a.m. MST

Wrestling champ Zac Dawe commits to BYU football, but will leave immediately for his planned LDS mission after graduating in 2014.

Dawe family

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PLEASANT GROVE — Pleasant Grove defensive lineman Zac Dawe committed to sign with BYU Tuesday after an unofficial visit to the school. Dawe is a 6-foot-4, 265 prospect who stars for the Vikings on both the gridiron and the wrestling mat, having recently won the 5A state heavyweight championship.

Dawe took a trip down to BYU early in the week along with his brother Parker (6-4, 270 OL), who is joining the football program as a walkon this fall.

“That last trip I took down there convinced me that BYU was the place for me,” Dawe said. “I saw everything up close again, but it was just the feeling I had more than anything. I’ve visited schools like Utah and Utah State, but you just don’t get the same feeling there that you get at BYU — at least for me that was the case.”

Dawe was receiving a lot of attention from both Utah and Utah State, but decided to commit to the Cougars before either school came forth with an offer.

“Both Utah and Utah State are great programs and I could have waited for offers from both of them, but I didn’t feel either school offered me as much as BYU,” he said. “It’s mostly about the spirit I felt every time I’m down there. Other schools just don’t have that same feeling for me.”

Dawe is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has plans to serve a mission right after graduating in 2014.

Before graduating he plans to build upon his wrestling accomplishments and reprise his role as a team captain and standout defensive lineman for the Pleasant Grove football team.

“Zac is a tremendous athlete, but he’s just as tremendous off the field with his work in the classroom and how he lives his life,” said Pleasant Grove coach Les Hamilton. “I’ve never had a junior captain, but Zac was a team captain for us last year just because he’s such a great leader and someone who everyone looks up to.”

Dawe has been attending BYU camps and familiarizing himself with the program intently since before his sophomore year. He’s come to build strong relationships with the coaches and is excited to play defensive line for head coach Bronco Mendenhall.

“The word I’d used to describe coach Mendenhall would be ‘amazing,’” he said. “I love how he talks to you and focuses on the most important things — it’s not just about football and I know he has my best interest in mind in everything on and off the football field.”

When he returns from his mission he aims to make a Bronson Kaufusi-like impact as a freshman.

“It was great watching Bronson play last year and what he was able to do after getting home from his mission,” Dawe said. “He’s an amazing athlete and hopefully I can make that same type of impact or at least contribute when I get back.”

With Dawe's commitment, BYU now has three prospects committed to sign in 2014. Isaiah Nacua (6-2, 255 DE) from Las Vegas and Neil Pau'u (6-3, 190 QB) from Anaheim, Calif., both committed last summer.

Email: bgurney@desnews.com Twitter: @BrandonCGurney

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