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BYU football: Corby Eason's LDS conversion at BYU

By Talo Steves, Jedd Parkinson and Matt Hodge

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, June 6 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

"Ever since I've been here, I've been talking to (Bradley) about the experience he went through with his family and the church,” said Eason. “I love it and really understood more about it. Like, he would answer my questions and was always there for me. He was really a big help to me in learning and understanding."

"I'm excited too!" said Bradley a few days before the baptism. "It's been a long road for Corby and I've been able to sit in on some of the discussions, and it's been good just learning and understanding and living by how he's been taught. I'm excited for him and he's really excited about it and looking forward to it. I'll be there to support him every step of the way."

Without reviewing any film, Coach Mendenhall offered Bradley a scholarship while he was still serving a mission in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Bradley had committed to Louisville out of high school and wasn’t sure that BYU was the right place for him, but the decision to attend BYU after his mission came by way of an answered prayer.

While at BYU, Bradley still had one more missionary task to fulfill even though he no longer wore a missionary nametag. "I've tried to do whatever I could to help (Eason) understand the questions he may have," a humble Bradley said with a laugh. "I let him know it's going to be a tough decision, but it's the right decision. I was basically just being me and doing whatever I can and supported him in every step of the way, so I can't take too much credit for it. I think Heavenly Father deserves most of the credit."

Meanwhile, Eason was confirmed by E.J. Caffaro, director of the Student Athlete Academic Center at BYU. "He's been a great help to me, and so I asked him if he would do it," said Eason. Those in attendance at the baptismal service described Eason as happy, humble and sincere. Three of Corby’s teammates sang a song and Mendenhall gave a short talk. ...

As Eason completed his junior season, he had more exciting experiences ahead of him. In January of 2011, he married his sweetheart Rebecca. When spring practice began a couple months later, Eason was slotted as the starter at field corner and found himself one of the leaders on the Cougar defense.

After a rough start with some disappointing losses, the Cougars finished the 2011 season 10-3, capped off by a win over Tulsa in the Armed Forces Bowl. Eason finished the year with 46 tackles, seventh-best on the team and tops among the cornerbacks. He also finished the year with 14 pass breakups, which tied with teammate Preston Hadley for ninth best in the nation. Eason’s accomplishments on the field were recognized by the national media, as he was named to both the Phil Steele All-Independent First Team and the FBS All-Independent Team.

In January 2012, just one month after his final game in a Cougar uniform, Eason was sealed to his wife Rebecca in the Las Vegas LDS temple. Three months later, he earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology, receiving academic honors from the NCAA with a 3.4 grade point average.

Eason discussed his time at BYU with Dick Harmon of the Deseret News in July of 2012. "I remember when I first came to college, we were playing San Diego State and the team drove by the San Diego Temple. I said to myself one day I wanted to go inside that building. This past year, on our honeymoon, Rebecca and I did go in that temple. It was wonderful and I feel so blessed. My relatives back home, the younger kids look up to me for going to college and trying to make something out of myself.

"I feel fortunate that I got go to play major college football, get an education, meet my wife and have the life I do. I'm a lucky man and coming to Provo changed my life. Many of my friends I grew up with that I talk to — they are happy for me and what is happening."

Eason’s accomplishments both on the field and off have not gone unnoticed by his family, friends, coaches and teammates. Carver High School coach Wallace Davis said, “That is the greatest feeling to know that a young man who almost had his hands tied from the start overcame some hurdles that the average person couldn’t overcome. And to get where he is at this point is very, very extraordinary.”

Email: ttoone@desnews.com Twitter: tbtoone

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