Mission first, Speredon & Attig still "Omercizing"

<b>Jason Speredon</b> and <b>Aaron Attig</b> leave for LDS missions before they begin their playing careers with the Cougars in two years, but they are not excused from BYU strength coach <b>Jay Omer's</b> strict and challenging pre-mission workout conditioning regime.

A heralded and highly recruited offensive line/defensive line signee, Speredon has seen dramatic improvement following Omer's CD workout schedule. He has gone from 275 to 290 since signing in February.

"I'm following it very closely and it's working out great," Speredon said. "I can feel myself getting stronger every day. It requires me to lift pretty intensely on Monday and Tuesday, alternating each day. One day, I'll concentrate on the upper-body and the next day the lower-body. It isn't as intense for Thursday and Friday."

Speredon plans on joining teammates during the first week of June for voluntary work outs. "I'm excited to get down there and become part of the team. I won't be playing this fall, but I really want to get down there and see what it's like."

He said he will submit his mission papers in August and should be leaving for his LDS mission in December. Although Speredon was signed as an offensive lineman, he said defensive coordinator Bronco Mendenhall really wants him to play defense.

"I'd prefer to play on defense," said Speredon. "I think most linemen would. Coach (Mendenhall) is really pushing for me to play defense and that is where I'll try to earn my spot when I get back from my mission.

TotalBlueSports.com caught up with Attig just before he left to go four-wheeling, one of his favorite activities. "I love it and we live really close to a lot of open fields. It's great to have that much open space to ride so close to home."

Attig is from Moapa Valley, Nevada, which lies about a half an hour north of Las Vegas on I-15. He was recruited as a safety and possibly a linebacker. When he signed he was 6' 4" and 190 pounds. He is now 195 and working out hard in the weight room.

"The coaching staff wants me around 215, so I'm really working hard and following everything that (coach) Omer sent me. It's really working well so far and I've already gained five pounds of muscle."

Omer sent each recruit a very detailed instructional CD after they signed their BYU letters of intent. It includes visual displays on how to lift with very specific instructions.

Attig said the instructional CD "shows me everything I have to do and it's working out great. It even outlines the weight progression schedule I should be on."

Attig has visited the coaching staff in Provo since signing, but didn't get to see the team practice. "I've heard really great things and I just love Bronco (Mendenhall) and his defense. I really wish I could play right away, but serving a mission is more important for me right now."

Attig talked to Cougar coaches in Provo about getting his older brother Michael admitted to BYU so he could walk on following his mission. Michael is current serving in the Monterey (Mexico) mission and will return home in February.

Aaron said his older brother is "every bit as fast as I am, but he has better moves. He's about 6' 1", 180 and will probably play defensive back or wide receiver."

Because Michael didn't receive a lot of attention out of high school and didn't know how to get himself noticed, no scholarships were offered. Aaron said "Michael didn't really know what to do. He just waited for coaches to send him stuff, but nobody ever did. It's hard to get noticed playing where we do in such a rural area. He's really good though and should be able to play."

Attig recently received his mission call to the Madrid (Spain) mission and leaves July 2.

"I'm really excited. I mean, my dreams have always been to serve a mission and play for BYU and I'm going to be able to do both. It's just awesome."

Meanwhile, another BYU signee, Dan Van Sweden, will be joining the Cougars this fall with hopes of playing as a true freshmen.

Van Sweden could also be switching positions. He was recruited as a right end, which remains his first choice, but he is open to a move to linebacker. He said he would rather play tight end, "but if they want me at linebacker and feel I can help the team more there, I'll be willing to switch."

Of the workout CD, Van Sweden said "It's really complicated and sort of hard to figure out. I'm trying to follow it the best I can."

He now weighs 215 and noted the coaches want him to play at 225. "I'm sure I can get up there by the time the season starts. I just need to follow the workout program and I'll be there."

Also, Van Sweden is trying to convince major Northridge High recruits Lynwood Johnson (running back) and Jamar Lee (defensive back) that BYU is the best place for them. "I talk to Lynwood about it all the time. He isn't too high on BYU right now, but I'm working on him."

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