Comments about ‘Dallin Rogers and returned Mormon missionaries in college football’

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Published: Wednesday, Nov. 16 2011 5:00 a.m. MST

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Pleasant Grove, UT

Missed Kevin Prince at UCLA and Steven Fanua at Cal.

Santa Monica, CA

As long as they leave their missionary work outside the locker room door and get their heads wrapped around sending a different kind of message to the other team once they step inside the locker room, I have no problem with having rm's on the team. In fact, I welcome them. But keep your religion to yourself and concentrate on the task at hand and we'll all be fine. Be aware that there are many religions and beliefs and cultures represented by your team and they will respect you. If a player approaches you and asks you about your religion, make an appointment to meet---outside of the bounds of practice, and answer their questions, but do not use the locker room for making converts. Show respect. It might sound like I'm being a little condescending and paternalistic here, but I've seen over zealous missionaries in the workplace and it ain't pretty.

Iowa City, IA

That was a weird article. It was titled Returned Mormon missionaries in college, but 95% of the article was on Rogers. Why not just say the article is about him?

Ute's R Gr8
Sandy, Utah

Respectable opinion, good advice. I assume your thoughts are formed from a non member, I hope you have never been offened. I believe and hope respect towards others is always considered.

Very nice article, well written. I think Coach Whit is stealing the thunder from down south!

Utah by 44!

Las Vegas, NV

In this day and age with the growing number of "me first" generation i.e. Wall Street demonstrators, it's remarkable to see young men choose to serve the Lord first. Expecting no monetary reward in return, instead pay your own way and challenge yourself while serving others. Well done boys! Well done!

Ted H.
Midvale, UT

If a player approaches you and akss questions while in the locker room - no need to go somewhere else. He was fine asking in the locker room - answer him in the locker room. So long as the other person wants to hear it, let him hear it. No need to go anywhere else for fear of offending those who look for opportunities to be offended.

Logan, UT

I like the article. It is nice to see. Maybe a hair more research could be done though. Thompson at USU went to the MTC for about 10 days. I served a mission for 2 years. I don't think they are the same.

Powell, OH

Two years off during prime development years is such a waste of talent. The few that come back and do well are the unusual ones. Much better to dedicate yourself to the sport you choose. Cael Sanderson would never have been 159-0 with 4 NCAA Titles and Olympic Gold if he had gone on a mormon mission. To date there has never been a returned mormon missionary who has won an NCAA Championship. No less and LDS Football player than Merlin Olson was firmly convinced missions hurt athletics much more than helping them. Results I see tell me he was right.

Floyd Johnson
Broken Arrow, OK

I was surprised by the number of returned missionaries from differnt schools. I had expected BYU to have closer to 50 (77 really?), and I had expected Utah State to have more returned missionaries than University of Utah with both in the 20-25 range.

I am with t702. Always good to see individuals participate in selfless activities, whatever they are.

Ted H.
Midvale, UT


I'm glad all things LDS bother you. I love it! Thanks! And because I know you'll love this one - I'll pray for you!

Kosta Fesenko
Chicken McNuggetville, UT


I don't think you are breaking any new ground with that, yeah, going on a mission can hurt your ability to play sports. Still, I have more respect for those who go anyway, even though they have a chance to go pro. Examples include: britton johnsen, troy hinds, tyler hawes, and travis hansen among many others.

Rocket Science
Brigham City, UT

Dektol - Merlin Olson was right, it is a sacrifice as an athlete who serves a mission takes two years off from further developing his abilities and strength. It takes great effort to get back to where one was physically before his mission. It is interesting how some come back and never make it to the expectations they once had. Others come back and are All American do very well but don't have the desire to go on to play pro ball, while others do go on to the pro's

What is really interesting is how some coaches around the country complain that BYU has an advantage because they have older athletes. Yet if it was an advantage why did Pete Carol recruit LDS kids, tell them they could serve missions, and they try to talk them out of it.

Go Utes
Salt Lake City, UT

Thank you, DN, for putting a Ute RM in the spot light, when it would have been so easy and predictable to focus on one of the RMs at the Y. I expect the number of RMs at the U to grow as time goes on.

Glad to see athletes serve missions, whatever school they are at. Choosing God over mammon is never easy, but always worth it.

Lehi, Utah

Yup, a little more research on the aggies would be good. You left off the other "notso whimpey" Whimpey twin, Jefferson Court, Stetson Tenney and possibly others. I know it's not the U or the y but do a little research to do the article justice Mr. Toone

Lehi, Utah

I would take an RM any day over all things involved with NCAA Championship teams. I think that the RM athletes are just fine without all of that. A lot more to life.

It would be fun to see the RM's that made it in the NFL.

Ted H.
Midvale, UT

@Go Utes,

Just an honest curious question here: Why do you expect the number of RM's at the U to grow as time goes on? Again - no need to get defensive. I'm sincerly curious what changes you foresee at the U that will increase the number of RM's? There have always been many LDS kids attending the U so I'm curious what changes you see?

Go Utes
Salt Lake City, UT

@ Ted H.

Thanks for the question Ted. I am no recruiting expert, but here are a few reasons as to why I think that the U will recruit more RMs in the future. The two main reasons are (1) U of U football is on the rise and (2) the program has never had more LDS influence among the coaching staff. Until recently, BYU had the best football program in the state. That, together with a perception (especially for out-of-state Mormons) that there is some sort of duty to attend that school or that only at that school can one have a good LDS experience, has driven most LDS kids to choose the play at the Y. I think there has been a shift recently, however, as to the best program in the state. Once the secret gets out that the U has a ton of LDS kids and can provide a great atmosphere for spiritual growth (i.e., you can still be a good Mormon, get married in the temple, etc., while attending the U), together with the LDS influence on the team and the great program going forward, and many otherwise Y recruits will head north.

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT

These kids are great examples to us all by putting something more long lasting ahead of football.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

@Ted H.

I'll tell you why: Because historically, there was never a good reason for an LDS football player to choose Utah over BYU. Both schools were on a similar level academically, similar in terms of the quality of the football program, and similar in almost every other respect. So why would any good LDS player choose Utah over the church's school?

But what we're seeing now is a separation between Utah and BYU. Both are still similar academically, but Utah has taken a giant step ahead when it comes to football. The PAC-12 affiliation has caused a lot of guys who were previous locks to BYU to commit to Utah - Utah even got more Timpview kids in last year's class than BYU. Timpview kids were locks to BYU just a couple years ago, but all that has changed.

More and more good LDS players will be choosing Utah in the future because of their recent success and their conference affiliation, and many of these kids will be going on missions. So that is why you will see an increasing number of RM's on Utah's team.

Pleasant Grove, UT

Rogers is a great kid and an excellent TE. Thanks for the article. I agree with @Go Utes and others that in the past 40 years the Utes have never enjoyed so much support from the LDS community. The number of great LDS players can, should, and will grow. I wish some of the more prominent players would choose to go as well. (JH and JF in mind here).

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