BYU sets sights on 2013 Utah running back

Cougar coaches are hot on the trail of a quick running back that, apparently, both Coach Mendenhall and Coach DuPaix are impressed with. He also runs track and plays wing for the USA Under 16 National rugby team, and holds BYU as his top college of choice.

For a running back, he's tall with good size. His name is Stratton Brown and he plays for Riverton High School in Utah.

"I'm about 6'2" and almost 180 pounds and I'm pretty fast," said Brown. "I was clocked a 4.4 at school and consider myself a scat back type running back. I'm really elusive and I've always just been faster than everybody else. I can squat around 330 pounds and bench 225."

Brown attended BYU's summer camp, but no reports of his speed or quickness ever made it out of the camp. On the first day, Brown suffered a minor injury that kept him from putting his speed on display for BYU coaches.

"I did pretty good but I hurt myself on the first day though," said Brown. "I hurt my MCL and had a high ankle sprain, so I didn't get a chance to do anything the whole week after that. I got high-low tackled on my right knee. I'm alright though. I'm still rehabbing it and will be ready for football season."

However, what little the coaches did see at that first part of that first day was enough. Brown later met with Coach Mendenhall for a one-on-one meeting in his office, where he was given some surprising news.

"Coach Mendenhall said I'm high on their recruiting list and he likes what I can do. He just said I need to play more. Coach Mendenhall told me that I was at the top of their recruiting list. They have this recruiting board with all these recruits and their pictures and stuff. He said, 'We have one of those for you too.' It made me feel really good actually.

"I also talk to Coach DuPaix a lot also and he really likes what I can do. I talked to him throughout the entire camp since I was hurt. He told me that he wants to see me play at BYU, but I have to prove it first."

Coach Mendenhall and Coach DuPaix both inquired about how blue Brown's heart truly is, asking if he was a BYU fan.

"Basically the thing they stressed is if you want to come, would you choose anything over them," said Brown.

Brown let the coaches know exactly how deep the color of blue his heart is.

"I told them, 'I love BYU!' I told them yes. I told them that BYU is my top school. I love it. The campus is nice and clean and the people are really nice and there's just a good vibe there. I love it over there. They smiled when I told them that."

The visit with Coach Mendenhall made a very good impression on the Riverton running back.

"I loved meeting with Coach Mendehall and think he's just a great guy," Brown said. "He's a really nice guy and very down to earth. It was just great being able to talk with him. He talked to me a lot about what it takes to be at BYU. He talked to me about grades, eligibility and always being better in every way. He talked to me about how high up BYU is and how good of a university BYU is."

In Riverton's wing-t offense, Brown carried the ball 26 times for 369 yards as a sophomore last year.

"I did really good last year, but we run the wing-t offense, so I split time with two other running backs," said Brown. "I started though as a sophomore. During the Kearns game, I went four-for-four. I had four carries for four touchdowns and 163 yards. My longest run was around 52 yards that game."

At 6 feet 2 inches, Brown is rather tall, and at about 180 pounds, he's also big for having just completed his sophomore year, a year in which he averaged an amazing 14.19 yards per carry. But Brown doesn't consider himself just a normal speedy north-and-south runner.

"I'm more of a fast, scatback type running back more than anything," he said. "I'm explosive and quick. I'm trying to put more weight on, but, yeah, I'm more of a quicker type running back because I've always just been quicker than everyone that I don't have to really do anything else."

Not only does Brown play running back for the Riverton Silverwolves, but he also takes the pads off and runs track and plays wing – a position reserved for the fastest man on the field – for the USA National rugby team.

"I was supposed to be in a rugby tournament right now for the 16 and under team, but I got hurt at the BYU camp, so I couldn't go. I play wing and outside center for the national team."

BYU does have one of the best rugby teams in all of college rugby, but if Brown – who will be a second-year starter this next season – continues to run the way he did last year, he'll be donning pads on the gridiron at the college level. If Coach Mendenhall extends a scholarship offer to Brown, chances are he'll be wearing the blue and white of BYU.

"Yeah, BYU is on the tops of my list," Brown said. "I just love it there. I'm LDS and I want to serve a mission and the vibe there is really good. I'm going to try my hardest to get that BYU scholarship.

"I'm doing good in the classroom and right now I have a 3.1 GPA. I'm going to try and get it up even more because I'm not very satisfied with a 3.1 GPA. I know if I work hard, I'll get that offer."

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