"As soon as I heard coach Tidwell's voice, I knew it was over. Coach Crowton would have called if it was good news."
The bad news for the McQueen High School standout was Crowton's review of his tapes tabbed him as a better offensive WR prospect and they could only offer him "preferred walk on" status.
"Coach Tidwell was great. It was a short conversation. I didn't have too much to say. He said 'we'd still love for you to come here (BYU).' I know he went to bat for me. I love the coaching staff at BYU."
Home alone, dejected and feeling rejected, Warner said "I got up and went for a long, long walk. I kept walking and I kept thinking.
"I was pretty sad, but I never doubted myself. It's been so hard to get your hopes up only to have them shut down all over again."
Warner said minutes after he returned from his walk, the phone rang again. It was his eldest brother Jared, a senior at BYU and a former Cougar football scholarship player whose playing days ended because of injury.
"I told him everything and how I was feeling. He said 'Chris, I want you to read Section 9 of the Doctrine & Covenants now and remember the impressions you had while reading it. Then I want you to pray about it. When I call you the next time, tell me what you think.'
"Jared's a spiritual giant to me. I mean, he was an AP (Assistant to Mission President) four months into his mission to Japan. He's always been there for me."
He reminded me of Oliver Cowdrey's words: "It's just not my time."
Warner immediately read and silently pondered the scripture reference his brother gave him.
The character, soul and essence of the man Chris Warner has become was immediately revealed.
"My whole attitude about everything changed. Being a member really helps you out in situations like this. You can't go wrong if you put Heavenly Father first. I know the (LDS) Church is the most important thing in my life. Football is going to end.
"I know I have to look at the whole plan Heavenly Father has in store for me. I'll be praying about it. I know I just have to have a little faith. Things will work out in the long run. Reading D&C 9 really helped a lot."
Asked what his "impressions" were as he read the directed scriptural reference? "The strongest impression was to be patient. Heavenly Father has a plan for me and it may not be what I want, but there's a reason for it."
The more the recruited McQueen High School three-sport, All Region and All-Conference standout spoke, the more he recognized his final decision had little to do with football.
"I know my decision has to be based on what's best for my life down the road. It's not just football."
Reviewing his options, Warner said "I have to do some soul searching and I don't want to take advantage of a scholarship at UNR and go somewhere where my heart is not at. They (UNR coaches) have been so good and patient with me. I need to talk to them.
Warner asked and answered the most important question.
"Do I want to still go to BYU and prove to the coaches I'm worthy of a scholarship? I think so, but I have to talk to my parents first - so I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do."
He noted also that "I probably don't qualify for BYU multi-cultural financial aid because of what my Dad makes as a federal agent and my Mom as a registered nurse. But they are supporting my two brothers at BYU, building a house in Utah and are planning to move back to Japan to take care of my 92-year-old grandmother.
"My Dad will probably call the BYU coaches and see what their plans would be for me if there's no scholarship. They are disappointed too, but they are great parents."
Warner said his priorities were to prepare to serve a great mission and felt there was no better environment and place to do so than BYU.
"Things are going to work out down the road. I believe that totally with my whole heart."
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