All-state running back to decide soon

Alta High School running back Bryan Engstrom was selected by Utah media as a 5A first-team all-state performer. By this weekend, fans will know whether he will be playing college football at BYU or SUU.

At 5 feet 8 inches and 175 pounds, Bryan Engstrom's size has been a topic of discussion. Some have wondered whether his size will affect his ability to play at the next level. Having already achieved the highest honors in the state of Utah, Engstrom wants to prove he can run at the college level.

"I really feel like I have more than enough ability to play," said the running back. "I wish I could have been offered by other schools and have had options. I'm confident in my ability and not afraid of being able to earn a scholarship. I think I can.

"A lot of coaches have talked about my size, and I think my size is the reason why I haven't been offered by some of these schools. BYU and SUU are the only ones that haven't talked about my size but believe I can play. I believe I can play, but it's nice to have someone else feel that way about you as well. It makes the uphill battle a little easier."

Engstrom's accomplishments back that up.

"I had around 1,500 yards from scrimmage last season," Engstrom said. "I don't know how many kick return yards I had, so I don't know how many all-purpose yards I had. I had 22 touchdowns. I was named a first-team all-state, region-three MVP and was fortunate enough to be our team MVP."

As they say, dynamite comes in small packages, and while Engstrom might not be the tallest prospect on the field, he's one of the strongest.

"One of the things I'm proud of is I have the state squat record," he said. "I squatted 535 pounds which was the most in the state. You know, you can let your height define you, but you don't always get 6'7" guys that can squat 535 pounds."

The BYU coaching staff believes that Engstrom has the potential to try and earn a scholarship at the next level.

"From BYU it's still the same and they've offered me as a preferred walk-on," Engstrom said. "I've talked with Coach Doman and met with him about three or four times and talked to him on the phone. I've emailed him and have probably had as much contact with him as anybody, but it's always been about being a walk-on and about what I need to do to get into school if that's what I wanted to do.

"BYU has made me feel like they sincerely wanted me. Even as a walk-on prospect, I really appreciated Coach Doman [and] all the letters he's written me. They recruited me than anyone up to this point other than SUU."

The most recent walk-on to earn a Cougar scholarship is h-receiver J.D. Falslev, who passed up a scholarship offer from Utah State to walk-on at BYU. Engstrom's size is similar to that of Falslev, who has had a lot of success as a receiver and punt returner.

"Yeah, J.D. Falslev walked on and earned a scholarship and I see myself in a similar role if I'm not offered by SUU," said Engstrom. "BYU is sort of the walk-on capital where players go and find success. We'll just have to wait and see."

Engstrom, meanwhile, is waiting to see where he stands with SUU.

"The only other interest that I've received is Southern Utah University," Engstrom said. "I'm going to find out exactly what they want from me this weekend. I'm going to head down there for an official visit. They talked about giving me something though. I don't want to speak on their behalf, but I'm just waiting to see what's going on there.

"If I don't get an offer from SUU, BYU is where I'm going to go. If I do get an offer, then I'm going to consider my options and don't mind going to a smaller school to play. I like SUU, and in talking to the coaches I'm excited about the opportunities I might have to go down there."

Engstrom said he has also considered what he would do if SUU offered him a partial scholarship.

"It would probably make things more gry for me to decide. I really feel like I can play and that I can earn a scholarship. I almost feel like if I wasn't offered a full scholarship that I might come out further ahead to work my way through at BYU. It would definitely make things more difficult and not so black and white.

"Whenever anyone asks me where I'm going, I pretty much just say that I'm either going to BYU or SUU. They are the two schools that have shown the most interest in me and are the two schools that I feel the most comfortable at."


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