Growing up in my house was quite the experience. I was the youngest of four boys. I wasn't as fast, and I certainly wasn't as competitive as my brothers. I just wasn't as intense. I don't know if I had the same drive as they did. I think they were hoping that I would find a piano, a dance class or something that would work for me.
We were raised to believe that if your mind could conceive it, and your heart could believe, then you could achieve it.
Something pretty critical happened at that point in the competition between me and my brothers — they stopped growing and I kept growing. I grew to be 6-foot-2, far better looking and far more athletic. Everything started working out in my favor.
As my success started ramping up, including some Heisman talk and being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, there was never one moment of jealousy. Never one moment of criticism. They were by far my biggest fans. I look back at that now, and I think these three knuckleheads didn't think that I was going to amount to anything, and it was fun to see the opportunities come and for my brothers to enjoy that moment with me. It was quite an experience. Quite a time.
From 1998-2013, at some level I was involved with BYU football — either as a player, coming back from the NFL, or the following eight years as a coach there.
Earlier this year I was not retained as a coach. When I was packing all my stuff up and preparing to walk out of that building — here I was now a father and husband with five kids — I knew that there were some critical decisions to be made.
I came home one day and my little boy Jace, a little blond-haired 8-year-old, was standing there with a mitt, a ball, and a bat. He asked if I would go outside and play catch with him. I realized that this was a time and chance, with my kids at impressionable ages, to focus on them.
I don't know if I'll ever coach again, and I don't know that that's real important today. What's important to me is this opportunity I have to spend time with my wife and kids and be home.
If there was one principle that I want to teach my kids — it's that you try as hard as you can, and always believe.
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