Handley hoping to continue tradition

He was selected by BYU coaches as one of the top tight ends at BYU's summer camp. Alta High School wide receiver Harrison Handley still has two years left to play prep football and is hoping that over that time BYU will pull the trigger and make an offer, allowing him to follow in the footsteps of his father.

Utah football powerhouse Alta High School already has a couple of prospects heading out to BYU, and wide receiver Harrison Handley is another potential future Cougar.

"I'm 6'5" and almost 6'6", and right now I'm around 196 pounds," said Handley. "At Alta High School, I play X and Z receiver. I also play a little bit of Y also, which is the tight end position."

At BYU's summer camp, he was tested out and put through tight end drills by tight end coach Lance Reynolds.

"The summer camp went really good," Handley said. "I got a chance to go out there with all the guys and put the pads on and run around. I was talking to the coaches a lot and talking with Coach Reynolds and learned some things from him. It was a fun camp and it taught me a lot of skills for the tight end position."

It was the first time Handley played at the tight end position, but Coach Reynolds gave Handley some compliments and encouraged him to continue working on improving his game.

"Coach Reynolds said that I have good size and good speed," said Handley. "He said I need to get a little bit faster and a little bit stronger. He also said that I had good skills and he was teaching me how to better use that skill at the tight end position."

Following the camp, Handley met with some Cougar coaches.

"I got called into Coach Doman's office after the camp and spoke with Coach Reynolds and Coach Doman," Handley said. "They brought me in to talk about some of the things I need to keep working on. They said that I need to keep improving on getting faster and stronger, and if I do that, they'll keep looking at me throughout the year."

Speaking with Coach Doman and Coach Reynolds was one of the highlights of Handley's BYU experience. He's been a BYU fan for a long time, and his father Darren Handley played tight end at BYU in the 1980s.

"I've had BYU season tickets since I was a little kid," he said. "I've been going to their games every Saturday as much as I could for a long time. I've always loved BYU and my dad has taken me to alumni day, and I've been able to meet the coaches and have dinner. It's always been my dream to play there and I've never really wanted to play anywhere else. BYU is like home to me and I love that place because I've always been around it."

Handley's father was once coached by Coach Reynolds and was compared to BYU tight end great Gordon Hudson by legendary coach LaVell Edwards. Not many kids can say they were coached by the same man that coached their father at the college level.

"The tradition of BYU in my family goes back to when my father played there and was coached by Coach Reynolds," Handley said. "He worked with Coach Reynolds a lot, and so they had a really good relationship and my dad really loves Coach Reynolds.

"It's kind of crazy to think how my dad was at one time coached by Coach Reynolds, and now he coached me at BYU's summer camp. He's pretty much coached every position, and to think that he at one time coached my dad – and he said he loved Coach Reynolds – and now he's coaching me and that's a pretty cool thing."

So, Handley has set his sites on BYU and wants to continue that family tradition.

"My goal right now is to get an offer from BYU," said Handley. "That's my goal. I need to work harder in every aspect. I need to run hard every play on every down. I'm going to use the techniques that I learned at BYU and put them to use over the next season. I want to follow in my dad's footsteps and continue that tradition."

BYU has already offered one tight end scholarship for the 2013 class to Siale Fakailoatonga of Cottonwood High School. However, Handley is being looked as a tight end prospect by the Cougar staff and is well on his way to reaching his goals.

"I got selected as the top tight end of the camp," Handley said. "I wasn't really expecting that because I had some trouble blocking because I never played tight end before. I got it down by the end of the camp and I was blocking well and catching the ball well and running pretty good routes. My dad was pretty excited when I got that."

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