For Heisman Trophy Winner Ty Detmer, it probably seemed like Texas A&M all over again as some 200 Granite District high school students swarmed the stage at Cottonwood High School Monday in quest of a coveted autograph.
Detmer was the concluding speaker at the district's third annual self-esteem conference. After making a few brief remarks and answering questions, the casually clad Detmer returned to his seat on the stage and prepared to make a quick exit.Students in the audience had other thoughts. The moderator barely declared the conference at an end when students swarmed onto the stage and surrounded Detmer. Detmer was last seen with his trademark grin signing the various scraps of paper being shoved at him from every direction.
Detmer's message to the 2,000 students gathered at the conference was simple: "When you get the opportunity to do something, take it!"
Detmer told of his own high school days and of friends who had the world in front of them only to throw it away for drinking and drugs.
"I saw drinking and drugs destroy people," Detmer said. "Drugs have never done anything for anyone."
Detmer said he was instantly attracted to Brigham Young University during his own recruiting trip four years ago. "I liked what the school had to offer - it had everything I could have wanted."
The star quarterback and avid hunter said he was especially attracted by BYU's proximity to the outdoors and the "small town" atmosphere. And he liked the kind of athletes he found at BYU.
"We're just a lot of people who enjoy playing football and doing what we should," Detmer said.
In response to questions, Detmer said the early season win over Miami University was probably the most satisfying experience this past year. "They came in here saying a lot of things, that we didn't deserve to be in division one. It was nice to send them home with a good butt-kicking. It felt really good."
And Detmer restated his intent to remain at BYU for the coming year. "I committed for five years when I signed . . ., and I think it is important to keep that commitment."
Detmer said he hopes to get a chance at pro football and that if he could pick a team, he would go with the San Francisco '49ers. But, he said just getting a chance to play is all he hopes for. The Recreation Administration major said he expects to find himself on the sidelines in the future as a coach after his playing days are over.