Thousand Oaks, Calif. – When BYU Coach Bronco Mendenhall presented Nathan Debeikes with a scholarship offer on Friday evening Debeikes didn’t have to consider it – he immediately accepted the offer without a second thought.
For the 6-foot-1, 200 athlete, BYU was the only place he ever wanted to play with other football programs a collective distant second. Although schools such as Colorado and Utah had shown a lot of recent interest, Debeikes short-circuited the recruiting process.
“BYU has always been my first choice since I can even remember,” said Debeikes. “I didn’t see any reason to wait around because I wasn’t going to receive any offers that I wanted more than an offer from BYU.”
Debeikes comes from what could be well defined as a BYU family. With family members having attended the school with more family living in and around the Provo area, his ties to the program are well-established.
BYU coaches first contacted Debeikes during his sophomore season and have remained in contact since. Outside linebacker coach Kelly Poppinga has been his main recruiter and someone he’s developed a good relationship with.
“He’s just a really cool guy and someone I like talking to,” said Debeikes about Poppinga. “He’s a very understanding coach and the type of guy you want to play for in college.”
Indeed Debeikes will be playing for Poppinga at the outside linebacker position.
For Thousand Oaks High School Debeikes plays at both inside linebacker and at running back. He rushed for 1313 yards last season and 11 touchdowns while being named an All-CIF first-team performer.
BYU is a program Debeikes has been able to see first-hand on many occasions. While he was given to have the school as his favored destination due to his family ties – seeing the football program and the school up close sealed the deal.
“BYU is a great place to get an education and I’m LDS, so I love the environment too,” said Debeikes. “It’s also a great football program – a program that wins a lot and has great coaches. I love all the coaches I’ve met with at BYU.”
Debeikes has plans to serve an LDS mission straight out of High School – not joining the program until 2015 season.
“I couldn’t be more excited right now about having the chance to play for the school I’ve always dreamed of playing,” said Debeikes. “It’s a great honor to be offered a scholarship by BYU.”
BYU football: BYU lands California commit
Debeikes' defensive highlights from last season.