PROVO — Former BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy is on the verge of realizing a childhood dream.
Van Noy is expected to be picked in the early rounds of the National Football League draft, which begins Thursday (6 p.m. MDT, ESPN/NFL Network).
But that’s not the only big event in his life that's rapidly approaching.
And he’s glad to know that he won’t be embarking on this next adventure alone.
Van Noy and Marissa Powell, the 2013 Miss Utah USA, are planning to get married in June.
“I’m looking forward to that,” Van Noy said this week. “Marrying my best friend is going to be a good experience. I’m happy that she said yes. She still loves me, so we’re doing good.”
Van Noy met Powell 3 1/2 years ago through mutual friends at a little party that Van Noy helped host.
“Nothing too crazy,” she remembered.
At the time, they were young college students.
“It’s kind of cool because I met Kyle before all the crazy stardom with his football stuff and we met before all the pageant stuff was going on,” Powell said. “We’ve been able to grow with each other and we’ve known each other for so long that it’s nice to have someone to have your back and has known you all along that can speak up for you and remember who you are. It’s definitely been a learning process for us, learning about each other and learning about ourselves and what we want.”
Fittingly, Van Noy and Powell got engaged in late November after the Cougars’ regular-season finale in Van Noy’s hometown of Reno, Nevada.
Since completing his Cougar career last December in the Fight Hunger Bowl, Van Noy has been busy preparing for the draft — working out, participating in the NFL combine, and visiting teams for pre-draft interviews.
Oh, and planning a wedding.
“It’s been a roller coaster. I’ve been everywhere. I’ve been a freak traveler. I’m in airports all of the time, traveling,” Van Noy said. “I’m trying to stay caught up with working out and doing a lot of media stuff. I’ve tried to balance everything and been busy. But it’s been really good, though. It’s been fun and it’s been new and exciting. Being back on the field and in a team setting is going to be nice.”
Van Noy has loved having his fiancee as a support system, and that will be even more important as he tries to maintain balance in his life as a professional athlete.
Powell is looking forward to supporting her husband-to-be.
“I’m actually really excited for him. I am glad that I’ve been around him through college and I know the time and effort he put into it,” she said. “I know that’s going to be magnified on the next level. I kind of know a little about what it takes. As a teammate, he brings his teammates up. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more once we get to the next level. I’m super proud of him and excited to support him through it.
“I’m excited to be there with him, going through everything together,” she continued. “The first part will be supporting him, listening to him, and knowing what I can do to help him at home with preparing meals for him, making sure he’s going to bed on time, and drinking a lot of water and keeping him healthy. Those are the little things I can take part in. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more.”
During her reign as Miss Utah USA, Powell has been involved with several charitable organizations and causes, including Primary Children's Hospital, and she’s looking forward to continuing to give back in her role as the wife of a professional athlete.
“I’m excited to get involved with the community wherever we go, and also with the (LDS) Church,” she said. “I have been really lucky to be involved in the community in Salt Lake and I love working at children’s hospitals. I’m excited that Kyle has a lot of the same interests as I do with different organizations we can work with in community service. I plan on staying involved that way, which will keep me busy. I’m excited to get to know the other players’ families and wives and connect on that level first, then reach out to the community.”
Powell said Van Noy, who graduated from BYU in December, is adept at keeping things in perspective during hectic times.
“He’s really great at it. He just takes it day by day. Instead of getting stressed out about the future, he kind of takes his daily duties and gets it done instead of stressing out about what’s going to happen tomorrow or the day after. That’s been really big help for him. He works out at a certain time every day and he does it all according to his schedule. He is really good about taking care of business.”
As the start of his NFL career draws near, there are a few lessons Van Noy learned at BYU that he’ll carry with him.
“First would be hard work," he said. "Second would be being coachable. Third is playing physical.”
And what does Van Noy hope to accomplish in the NFL?
“Right now, my goal is just to make a team and make plays. That’s all I can do right now,” he said. “After that, I’ll be able to switch it over to more defined goals. I’m not saying I want to play until my body collapses, because I want to be able to play with my kids. But just playing a long time and being a pro on the field and off the field — that's what I hope to accomplish.”
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company