Part 2: The Bockwoldt family saga

Debbie Bockwoldt had some initial misgivings about how her linebacker son Colby would fit in at BYU as a non-Mormon student.

"I asked Coach (Brian) Mitchell how hard it would be for a non-LDS kid to go to BYU and he told me what it was like for him. Colby's never had a problem adjusting to BYU, and as a parent, what better environment could I want him in?"

She added Colby didn't really have to make any changes in the way he lived his life to go to BYU. "Most of Colby's friends were LDS and went on missions, so he is used to being around Mormon kids."

Colby also had family members who are LDS. Debbie's brother Jay Welk, the head basketball coach at Weber High while Rod was coaching football there, is a convert to the LDS Church. Welk is now the head basketball coach at Davis High School in Kaysville, where he coached BYU basketball player Dan Howard. He was recently named the Utah high school basketball coach of the year. Debbie confirmed that Colby's younger sister, Jenny, recently joined the LDS Church.

Asked how Colby likes BYU, his mother said "he loves it."

She noted Colby has made a lot of close friends during his time at BYU. "Colby roomed with Alex Farris and Luke Staley their first couple of years. He also spends a lot of time with John Burbidge, Paul Walkenhorst and Mike Tanner."

Since Colby signed with the Cougars, BYU football has become a big part of family life for his parents and his two siblings.

When Colby married his high school sweetheart Ashley last July, he asked Farris to be his best man. When Staley got married during his last year at BYU, the entire Bockwoldt family was invited to the wedding.

"The guys are all a lot of fun. Luke would always play with Colby's younger brother Tice, and Mike Tanner is also really funny with the kids," Debbie said.

"I told Jake Kuresa's mom it's so fun having him there. Tice goes in the locker room with Colby after games and he knows all of the players. The kids at school ask Tice if they can get his brother's autograph."

Even younger sister Jenny knows some of Colby's friends on the Cougar football team. But Colby is especially protective of her and the other players know it.

One unnamed BYU football player even confided to Colby's mother: "I want to go out with Jenny, but I can't let Colby find out."

She said Jenny recently underwent a series of knee surgeries to repair an old high school cheer leading injury. The surgeon who performed the procedure was none other than Lavell Edwards' son, Dr. John Edwards. Debbie recalled a recent follow-up visit to Dr. Edwards after the surgery:

"When Jenny got home, I asked her how the visit with Johnny went. She said every time she goes in for a visit, all he wants to do is talk football."

"I just took Tice to see our family doctor, who is a 20-year BYU season ticket holder, and all he wanted to talk about was BYU football, too."

Bockwoldt family impressions about BYU football:

"BYU is second to none. The coaches are seasoned, they have great continuity, it's a first-class organization," Colby's father Rod said.

As for Colby's football experience at BYU, he said "it's been wonderful. He's been able to play schools all over the country and he's had some great experiences that he couldn't have had anywhere else."

The senior Bockwoldt said he also loves attending games at Lavell Edwards Stadium. "Every BYU home game has a bowl game atmosphere. Everyone wants to beat BYU. It's like the opposing team's bowl game every week."

Rod said he watched several spring practices this year and was very impressed with Bronco Mendenhall's new defensive philosophy, "up-tempo, high pressure" defense and the level of discipline he saw.

He added the new defensive scheme is a great fit for Colby's talents and specifically his speed. "Colby was clocked at 4.43 last year, so he's still very fast, even though he's gotten bigger. I think the new defense is a godsend for Colby."

Rod noted that "Colby doesn't really like to talk about himself or football" and he has to pry it out of him, but he did say that Colby is definitely looking forward to his senior season this year.

The Northridge High School Pipeline

Debbie Bockwoldt, who runs the attendance office at Northridge High, offered some unique insights into Northridge players Daniel Coats and Dan Van Sweden who signed with BYU each of the last two years.

Daniel and his wife Alicia both worked for Debbie as office aides, so she knows them very well. "When I first talked to Daniel about going to BYU, he said 'No way I'm going to BYU,' but I told him to never say never."

Dan Van Sweden was another of her office aides the last two years. Asked about Van Sweden, Debbie said: "He always wanted to go to BYU, so he was really excited when they offered him. His parents are really excited about him going to BYU."

Fred Fernandes, the head football coach at Northridge, has been instrumental in building a top-notch program at Northridge. He led the Knights to state championships in 2000 and 2001 and the program has produced several outstanding players, including Coats and Van Sweden.

Debbie had nothing but praise to offer when asked about Coach Fernandes.

"The players know exactly what Fred expects. You better be in class; you better have good grades; You better not be in trouble. He has zero tolerance for it. The players respect him and don't mess with him."

Northridge running back Lynwood Johnson had a big junior year and is expected to receive a lot of recruiting attention next season.

"Lynwood is going to be one of my office aides next year. He likes out-of-state schools and is not high on BYU right now, but I told him the same thing that I told Daniel Coats, never say never."

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