Gannon Conway, DE, Arizona State. ... ASU media guide just simply says, "He
learned Spanish while living in the Dominican Republic for two years."
Dektol:"to date there has never been a returned mormon
missionary who has won an NCAA Championship."BYU has won 10
national championships. You're right. There is no way that a returned missionary
was on any of those teams.
@TizTheSeason | 9:55 a.m. Nov. 16, 2011 Lehi, Utah It would be fun
to see the RM's that made it in the NFL. Fahu Tahi is a RM that made
it in the NFL.
To Clarify from someone's earlier post:1) Kevin Prince (UCLA) is Mormon
but did not go on a mission2) Steven Finau (Cal) is probably still on one.
I doubt he's backOthers currently on missions (all Utah County
guys):1) Xavier Suafilo (UCLA)2) Dallas Lloyd (Stanford)3) Chris Badger (Notre Dame)
@FansI don't think the article was written to name all the RM's that
are playing football. The article picked one kid that happens to play at Utah.
There was a good effort made in writting this article. The DN is the only paper
in this country that would have an article like this and we should feel
fortunate to here more about these kids. I never did go on a mission because I
played 4 years of baseball in college and I sometimes wonder how much I missed
out on prepairing myself for the future. With that said I really don't thing
that the research for this article was incomplete.
What classifies someone as an RM? Some of these young men only spent a few days
at the MTC and never even went to the mission they were called to.
Missions are the hardest, toughest, intense experience... and the best. Mine was
forever ago (1968-70) but it is still highly influential in every aspect of my
life, and for the positive. Everyone has a choice, but, I always
hope a young man or young woman will give the matter deep consideration and
great spiritual exploration. It is such a powerful influence I hate to see them
miss it. And, more importantly, a mission is not about us, you or me. It is
about "them." And decades later I can still see the positive influence
I had on "them." People who were headed for disaster, families
breaking up, souls in turmoil, pain and grief all turned around. Full families
united. Of course some chose other paths, but those who stayed true to the
commitments mostly found great joy.I'm thankful I got to be a part
of someone else's life for the good.
Not sure how you conducted your search, but you missed quite a few playing at
out-of-state schools. A couple were mentioned earlier. Another plays BYU this
Saturday -- NMSU's OL Maveu Heimuli (nephew of Lakei and Hema) served a mission
in Brazil. Although your research was incomplete and understandably slanted
toward Utah, props for making a good effort.
threedegreecougar:I don't think it's as rare as you or the author
think it is. I've seen the same thing (leaving a bit prior to turning 19)
happen for non-athletic reasons (that were not terribly remarkable). You also
see more flexibility in the timing of releasing missionaries to catch the
beginning of a semester.
@ Dektol I am sure these young men choose to serve missions because they love
their God and Savior more than they love football. It is called sacrifice and if
a lot more people would be willing to sacrifice their time the way these
missionaries do, then the world would be a much less selfish place to be. This
life is about more than just football for these young men.
The only remarkable thing about this story is that it contains the regrettable
fact that the LDS church gives preferential treatment to college athletes needs
and schedules (the rare privilege of leaving early). Why an athlete is afforded
such a privilege when hundreds of others routinely have to postpone entering
school because they return during the middle of a semester is baffling.
Maybe BYU should recruit outside their county.....
@Ted H.That's a great point. The conference affiliation makes Utah
a more attractive target for every good player regardless of religion. But I
suspect a greater percentage of LDS kids will end up at Utah because it's still
in the state of Utah, near the headquarters of the church, and being LDS at the
U is not uncommon. A non-LDS kid choosing between Utah, UCLA, Washington, etc.
has nothing special drawing him to Utah. But an LDS kid choosing between Utah,
UCLA, Washington, etc. might be drawn a little more to Utah.
I agree with many others on this post, I served a mission after my freshman year
and t took me three years after returning to reach the same athletic levels I
did before I left. BUt there is no way I would ever trade that time. Do I
wonder if I would have been a better athelte sure, but after two years of
service atheletics were much less important to me. They were fun, important but
I just did not have the same competitive drive as I did before, I become more
focused on life long goals and helping others. I am now working as an ER doc
and serving in multiple countries over the world. I never even dreamed I would
be doing that before I served a mission. My hats off to all of your RM's as
well as to all of the other athletes that work so hard.
@t702 "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."Could you please
explain how protesting against institutions, whose greed and corruption alone is
responsible for the current economic downturn, is labeled as "me
bgl, I'm a little confused over your remarks.First of all you read the DN
while sitting in Santa Monica CA.....Second you read an article that
raises a topic that you clearly dislike...Then you take time to express
your personal beliefs, in a very public way.....And criticize anyone who
would do the same.But you seem to look down your nose at young men who
actually have morals and character and tell them to keep their mouths shut. Even when someone asks questions about their religion.Freedom of speech
pops into my mind, then hiding your light under a bushel follows that.And
I don't mean to bash you, I'm just amazed that someone would presume to tell a
bunch of good kids to keep their mouths shut unless it's something like telling
a dirty joke or making rude,crude,lude remarks typical of a locker room
atmosphere...that to you is not a problem.Sorry buddy, you share your
personal beliefs and we'll share ours. Sound fair?
@Dektol - your right. it is prime physical development. I walked away from
college track and never returned to competitive running (unless you consider
local 5ks as competitive). However the benifits of the mission far outweigh
anything track would have given me. Sure maybe I could have gotten some
financial assistance during school but without sports I had more time for my
studies. THis landed me a great job out of school which has eventually led me to
a another great job. I was blessed for going and wouldnt trade the physical
benifits I gave up for serving my mission.I look a Jake Heaps. With
him deciding not to go and now being benched, imagine if he had gone.
I was struck by the fact that RM's now at BYU are nearly double what they were
during the Crowton era. According to comments made by Coach Wittingham in 2006,
Utah's 2004 Fiesta Bowl team had more RM's on their roster than BYU did that
year. So, I'm now curious to know what the number of football RM's
currently listed at each school are scholarship athletes.
@Brave Sir Robin,Although I completely agree with your points - I
also think the number of non-LDS kids attracted to the U will increase because
of the Pac 12. So if you only have X number of spots/scholarships on the
football team, unless the increase in Mormons kids outweighs the increase in
non-Mormon kids I'd expect the number to stay the same. Agree/Disagree?I sometimes just like to hear people's logic that's all.
It's good to finally see ute fans talking religion and football in the same
sentence without saying something negative. This article is a great
reminder to utah fans that when you bash on the lds church you're bashing on
your own team.
bgl: thanks for all the guidelines, that nobody cares about. For someone
teaching tolerance you show little if any.
What an amazing sacrifice for Dallin Rogers and all Athletes that choose a
mission over athletics. I respect the guys that can do this.Hopefully rehab goes well and he'll be back on the field next year ready to
go. The kid has great hands.GO UTES!
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).
@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.
These kids are great examples to us all by putting something more long lasting
ahead of football.
@ 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.
@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?
@dektolI 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.
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
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.
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'sWhat 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.
@Dektol,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.
@Dektol,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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
@bglRespectable 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!
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?
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.
Missed Kevin Prince at UCLA and Steven Fanua at Cal.