Catching up with RB/WR Chris Warner

<b>Chris Warner</b> was the #1 football recruit, the hometown star and the highest priority for the University of Nevada-Reno to sign this past recruiting season. His parents even packed up and moved two hours from their jobs so he could play for Nevada's top high school football powerhouse and get noticed by college coaches.

The strategy worked, kind of. He was offered three football scholarships and Nevada-Reno was all over him. It was a love-love relationship: They poured on the love and Warner felt the love.

Warner and his family really liked Nevada-Reno and their plans for him, but he found himself in a personal pickle: ALL of his family -- two older brothers and sister currently attend BYU and both his parents attended the Provo campus. While Coach Paul Tidwell was actively recruiting Warner to BYU, he was upfront in saying the Cougars had no scholarships to offer because of their tightest scholarship crunch in years.

His personal and public dilemma became part of TBS' football lore as he struggled and prayed for the right decision. Perhaps more than any other series of stories ever published on TotalBlueSports.com, no other generated more positive feedback than two separate series' covering Warner's personal plight. TBS wrote one series and Chris Warner wrote the other in his own words exclusively for TBS (all linked below).

Warner chose to walk on at BYU. TBS caught up with Chris this week and here is our report.

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Many fans may not know that Warner is an outstanding basketball player. If you have seen TBS' latest football recruit DVD, you know he was a "steal" for BYU's football team. TBS has had an opportunity to watch video footage of Warner on the hardwood and he can flat out play. Unfortunately for him and his McQueen High School team, Warner had to miss his senior season in basketball because of a shoulder injury he suffered last football season.

"I had arthroscopic surgery on my shoulder. They wanted to check it out and make sure there was nothing wrong in there. Everything went well. There's nothing wrong and I'm definitely 100%."

Soon after surgery, Warner began working out in preparation to joining BYU teammates this summer for informal voluntary workouts. Like other 2003 football signees, Chris has had his first introduction to Jay Omer's conditioning program.

"The (BYU) coaches sent me the workout CD," he said. "It's a really good work out, that's for sure. A lot different from high school. In high school, you just do your bench and your squat and basic stuff, but the BYU program is really specific.

"I haven't been able to do all of the lifts because my high school coaches wouldn't let me. They said to do their stuff on the core lifts while I'm here. We do bench, squats and cleans, but I do all of the auxiliary lifts from BYU's program."

The workouts have begun to pay off. Warner is now a very solid 190 pounds.

"I've gained a few pounds and I've gained a lot of strength. I've gained on my max's since I started working out again after the surgery. Not only with the auxiliary lifts from BYU, but with our core lifts program."

Asked when he would be moving to Provo to participate in summer workouts with other Cougar players, Warner could barely contain his excitement.

"I graduate June 6 and I'll be in Provo on June 8. I'm ready to go. I want to play some football. I'm excited.

"I really want to just start playing college football and I'm so excited to be playing at BYU." Warner said he has already made arrangements for his living quarters in the dorms this summer.

He has also remained in contact with the BYU coaching staff since signing day.

"I've stayed in close contact with Coach Tidwell. I went up to Provo this spring. Coach Tidwell was out recruiting, but I talked to Coach Lamb for a while. Coach Tidwell also came back to McQueen this spring, but I just missed him. I really like all of the coaches at BYU. I'm actually going to call Coach Tidwell this week to get some registration stuff taken care of."

Another highlight of his recent Provo visit? "I saw the indoor facility being built while I was up there. That's so cool."

His reaction? "Wow. It's amazing. Those facilities are going to be second to none. I'm not sure when they're supposed to be done, but hopefully we'll get to play in there this fall and will also have our meetings in there."

Warner excelled as a defensive back, running back, wide receiver and kick returner in high school.

Asked what position he expects to play, Warner said, "I'm definitely going to be playing running back. That's really cool because Coach Tidwell recruited me and I'll be playing for him. I love coach Tidwell. He's just a great guy. I'm also excited to be playing for coach Crowton, because even though he's the head coach, he also calls the plays."

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