PROVO — Harris LaChance is grateful, excited and eager for a chance.
A week after two Herriman High recruits decommitted from BYU and posted on social media they would sign with the University of Utah, LaChance reaffirmed his desire to play for Kalani Sitake and wear BYU colors. LaChance helps coach the two players who decommitted, Jaren Kump and Tevita Fotu, at Herriman and said the opportunity to play for BYU is his dream of a lifetime.
“I can’t wait to enroll in January and be part of the football program,” said LaChance, a defensive and offensive lineman who signed with Utah State before serving an LDS Church mission in Nashville, Tennessee.
He returned from church service June 7. When USU didn’t have a scholarship available for fall — but would in January — he opened up his recruiting, looking into Utah and BYU before accepting a scholarship from Sitake to enroll in January.
LaChance is 6-foot-8 and a former defensive end who is targeted to play offensive tackle in college. A former all-state player at Herriman who also played basketball and rugby, LaChance came home last summer at 222 pounds. After four months working out with a private trainer at The Art of Training, he now weighs 260 and hopes to weigh 275 by the time he puts on pads.
“I think I can play at 280,” he said.
I interviewed him in the Orem living room of his grandfather, Hugh Gregson, former president of the Provo LDS mission. LaChance towers above the man who stepped in and helped support him when his mother was raising kids as a single mother. Gregson is 6-foot-6.
LaChance explained that in high school he was offered scholarships to Utah State, Weber State, Southern Utah, Nevada, Hawaii, Idaho and UNLV when he was at Herriman and received recruiting attention from Pac-12 schools and Wisconsin before signing with the Aggies in February 2015.
“I expected to come home and enroll at Utah State on scholarship this fall, but I was notified they had a scholarship crunch and one would not be available for fall. After talking with coach Matt Wells, we agreed I could make some phone calls and see what other schools might be interested. My letter of intent with USU had expired, so I was free to do that on my own.”
He obtained contact information for BYU assistant head coach Ed Lamb and Utah coach Justin Ena. Thing is, he got them mixed up. During the process of finding out who was interested, he made a decision to go to BYU. He called who he thought was Lamb but was Ena and announced his decision to go to BYU. “Well, you’d better call BYU,” said Ena, a former Cougar linebacker.
Meanwhile, in conversations with Wells about his decision, Wells wasn’t exactly pleased with the move and asked LaChance to reconsider and enroll in January in Logan. “I’d made up my mind,” said LaChance.
Herriman’s Jaren Kump, who committed to BYU more than a year ago, announced last week he would take his lineman skills to Utah. “I know Jaren very well,” said LaChance. “He’s a great guy. I was a senior when he was a sophomore and I see him every day. I haven’t discussed with him what went into his change of mind, but I am very comfortable with my decision. Things change when you are away on a mission. You mature and see things differently and I felt BYU was the best place for me.”
Those familiar with LaChance’s game say he has an impressive motor and is very active and self-driven. He doesn’t back down from physical play but welcomes the fight. He can do the NFL combine 225-pound bench lift 21 times and his height and athleticism give him skills to play tackle and be effective.
“I text Mike Empey (BYU offensive line coach) every day,” said LaChance. “He’s always encouraging me and telling me how excited he is that I’m coming. I hope I can contribute right away and I can’t wait to be on that team.”
As Herriman High takes, it also gives.