"They offered me about the middle of the summer when I went to their camp," Preator said. "I spent the day down there working out with them and everything. Then Coach Mendenhall called me into his office after we got working out down there and he offered me a scholarship."
The offer by Coach Mendenhall came as a surprise to Preator.
"I didn't know what to say," he said. "I was just overwhelmed and was so excited. There was so many emotions that were going through me. I told him that I would think about it and talk it over with my parents and see if going to BYU was what I wanted to do."
Preator actually grew up a fan of the University of Utah, BYU's instate rival, but became very interested in the Cougar football program.
"I talked about it with my parents, and going to BYU was something that I wanted to do," said Preator. "We definitely grew up Utah fans in our house. We've always loved the Utes and my dad went to school there, so we've always had Utes in our brain."
The day Preator's eye's began to open and his heart began to turn from candy scarlet red to Navy blue was the day he stepped foot on BYU's campus.
"We've always loved the Utes and everything, but when I went down to BYU and saw what BYU was all about, I just loved it down there," Preator said. "I learned firsthand what BYU was all about and loved it. When I was down there it was just a different feeling. It was like a feeling like I was supposed to be there and everybody loves football. The school is amazing and everybody down there is just so caring, welcoming and nice. It's unlike any other place."
So on Monday, Preator pulled the trigger.
"I actually committed last night and I called Coach Howell, who had been recruiting me," Preator said. "My mom came home and said she wanted to talk to me. I was like, ‘Oh okay, am I in trouble or something? I wonder what my mom wants to talk to me about?' We sat down for a little bit and talked about the BYU scholarship and what I wanted to do and what was best for me. I told her, ‘Yeah, I like BYU a lot and like what they're doing.'"
It was after the heart-to-heart talk with his mother that Preator contacted BYU.
"Later that night I just got a strong feeling to call Coach Howell and tell him that I was ready to commit," Preator said. "I called Coach Howell and he told me that he was going to have me call Coach Mendenhall and let him know that I'm ready to commit. So I called Coach Mendenhall and he said, ‘I've been waiting and I'm glad you finally committed. I can't wait for you to come down here and you're going to have a fun time.'"
Now that Preator has committed to BYU, has the family color changed from red to blue, or is it a mix of purple?
"I would say it's blue now," Preator said with a laugh. "They're going to support me in whatever I do. They're just happy for me that I got a scholarship and had the opportunity to play college football. They're just happy for me and will support me no matter what."
Several other schools were looking at Preator.
"The University of Hawaii had offered me," he said. "Other than that, I didn't have any other offers. I had been talking to the University of Utah all summer but they never offered. I had also been talking to Utah State as well and they didn't offer me either. I went to a few of each of their games and talked to Coach Sitake a ton and Coach Scalley a lot, but they never said why they didn't offer."
Preator played a number of positions for Freemont.
"I started playing quarterback in the eighth grade, and so when I got up to Freemont, Coach Bosgieter said he still wanted me to play there," Preator said. "Right before my senior season started this year, I tore my hamstring, so I missed a lot of the season this year. When I did play this year I got to play quarterback because of how much running I could do.
"Last year I played both ways on offense and defense. I was a quarterback, punter, kicker, receiver and safety and pretty much played everywhere. I played pretty much wherever the coaches wanted me to play."
Preator will play on the defensive side of the ball at BYU.
"Coach Howell said free safety, but said we would talk," Preator said. "He said I might be able to play the corner spot and told me that I'm quick enough to play the position, but he told me that they were recruiting me for free safety."
How does he feel about playing free safety?
"I love it and have always liked to play defense," Preator said. "I like hitting people and guarding people and showing athleticism. I'm just excited to be playing."
Preator plans on greyshirting his first year.
"My scholarship actually starts in January and it will be a greyshirt scholarship that first year, so that first semester starting in January will be a greyshirt," said Preator. "I think what I'm planning on doing is going down for that fall semester and just paying for my own school then, so I can work out with the team a little bit and get used to it. That way I can just play four-to-five years straight, depending on if I redshirt or not."
Preator is excited to be a part of BYU's daunting defense in the future.
"I can't wait to get down there," he said. "I do want to say this. I want to tell BYU fans that I'm excited and love the fans. I've been down there for plenty of games and I'm excited and looking forward to being at BYU."