Eason to join LDS faith

Junior Cougar cornerback Corby Eason's road to BYU has taken many twists and turns. Raised in the Southern Baptist faith down in Columbus, Georgia, Eason came to BYU from Erie Community College. Now the road Eason's traveled will take a wide turn, one that will change his life forever.

Corby Eason was raised in a family of faith. In fact, his mother was a secretary in the Southern Baptist Church and made sure her son was involved with the religion seven days a week. After leaving home to play football for Erie Community College, Eason lost sight of what his mother taught him.

"Before I came out here I kind of got away from God a little bit, but when I came out here I just got closer and closer to my Heavenly Father," Eason said. "Being here has really helped me grow spiritually and get back to what's really important. It really is a wonderful place and I'm just grateful that I had the chance to be here."

Over the last two seasons, Eason had grown to love his experience at BYU. He often speaks of how every morning he would look out his window, see Mount Timpanogos and thank God he was here. After two seasons of being a Cougar, Eason has decided to show his thanks by stepping into the waters of baptism this Thursday.

"I'm really excited," said Eason while grinning ear to ear. "Just being out here and learning more about the Church has made me happy. I believe the Church is true."

Regarding how he came to believe that, Eason said, "I found out the Church was true through prayer. I felt the Spirit and felt the Holy Ghost like I haven't before."

As Eason walks down into the baptismal font this Thursday, he'll see many familiar faces standing quietly in support.

"It will be a sold-out crowd and everyone is coming, so it's really just something that is going to be special to me," he said.

The person that will have the honor of performing Eason's baptism also happens to be the very person he plays behind – Brandon Bradley.

"Ever since I've been here I've been talking to [Bradley] about the experience he went through with his family and the Church," said Eason. "I love it and really understood more about it. Like, he would answer my questions and was always there for me. He was really a big help to me in learning and understanding."

"I'm excited too!" said Bradley. "It's been a long road for Corby and I've been able to sit in on some of the discussions, and it's been good just learning and understanding and live by how he's been taught. I'm excited for him and he's really excited about it and looking forward to it. I'll be there to support him every step of the way."

Without reviewing any film, Coach Mendenhall offered Bradley a scholarship while he was still serving a mission in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Bradley had committed to Louisville out of high school and wasn't sure that BYU was the right place for him, but the decision to attend BYU after his mission came by way of an answered prayer.

While at BYU, Bradley still had one more missionary task to fulfill even though he no long wore a missionary nametag.

"I've tried to do whatever I could to help [Eason] understand the questions he may have," a humble Bradley said with a laugh. "I let him know it's going to be a tough decision, but it's the right decision. I was basically just being me and doing whatever I can and supported him in every step of the way, so I can't take too much credit for it. I think Heavenly Father deserves most of the credit."

Meanwhile, Eason will be confirmed by E.J. Caffaro, Director of the Student Athlete Academic Center.

"He's been a great help to me, and so I asked him if he would do it," said Eason.

Eason's decision to investigate the LDS faith came by way of the example set forth by his teammates. He couldn't help but notice how happy everyone on the team was.

"That really just caught my eye, seeing how everyone was out here all the time," Eason said. "No matter what everyone was going through, everyone was just happy. It was just different and everyone has really strong family values, and that was a great example to me."

Head coach Bronco Mendenhall was at a loss for words on Tuesday when asked about his cornerback's decision to enter the waters of baptism. Fumbling to find the right words, Mendenhall reverently looked down towards the ground and did his best to express his feelings.

"It's just one of the bright spots of my coaching career here," Coach Mendenhall said. "I love Corby and he's just a fantastic kid, and I love him, and just really I'm proud of him for his decision. I don't know what else to say."

This Thursday will mark one of the biggest decisions of Corby Eason's life. Yet while he was pressed for time after Tuesday's practice as he rushed to attend a class, he seemed at peace. The smile he normally wears when walking off the practice field seemed a little wider, his face a little brighter.

"I'm just excited and really happy about my decision," Eason said. "The Church is true."

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