Cabrillo offensive lineman visiting BYU

While two weekends ago might have been the big recruiting weekend for BYU – with about 20 or so recruits taking their official visits – BYU will host a smaller crowd of recruits this weekend. One is a versatile junior college offensive lineman in California who is excited to step foot on campus.

So how did BYU find out about 6-foot-4-inch, 290-pound Cabrillo College offensive lineman Tim Duran?

"They came in pretty late and I sent them my film a while ago," Duran said. "When they saw it they called me back and gave me the opportunity to fly out there. After our last game I sent out my highlight film to as many college coaches that I could."

One aspect of Duran's game that caught the attention of BYU's coaching staff was his versatility on the offensive line.

"My o-line coach, ever since I came down and started playing football, was really big on technique and he wanted me to learn a bunch of different positions on the o-line," Duran said. I don't just do one thing really well, but can do a lot of little things really well."

As Duran heads up to Provo, Utah, he'll be looking for a few things in and around campus.

"I'm expecting BYU to be a tight-knit community when I get up there. I know it's a college that's owned by the LDS Church," Duran said. "I've looked up some stuff on BYU and on the honor code and all that, so I know a little about BYU and I'm excited to get up there and check it out."

In order to play football at BYU, an athlete has to not only be an outstanding football player, but he a good student as well.

"When it came to academics and stuff like that out of high school, it definitely wasn't one of my strong suits," Duran said. "I've got kind of a different story than most kids out of high school. I ended up leaving high school my senior year, so I ended up getting my GED and going to a junior college and really battled my way to now getting good grades. My coach told me that was the only way to really get recruited was to get good grades."

With a new focus in life, Duran turned his classroom habits around. Now the versatile sophomore offensive lineman is on track to graduate with a good GPA.

"I had a pretty high GPA and was at a 3.7," Duran said. "Unfortunately, I slipped a little in my math grade so I'm at a 3.2 right now."

In addition to looking at how a recruit does on the field and in the classroom, BYU also looks at their character.

"I feel like I'm a pretty good kid and do a lot of community service-type projects," Duran said. "Now that I'm playing sports, and having been successful at it, I feel that I've been given much. I feel like now whenever there is a chance to do things for others, I'll do it. I want to show that I'm grateful for everything that I've been given and will jump at the opportunity to give it back. I think the coaches at BYU have seen how I've battled back to be where I am now, and also see that I'm a good person inside on top of it all."

What are the possibilities that Duran could receive a BYU offer? It's a topic that he's discussed with members of BYU's coaching staff.

"We've talked about being offered and stuff like that, and they told me that they're looking for some physical linemen to come in and help," Duran said. "They said they like the way I move around and that was a big thing when they came down to see me. I guess they're pretty excited about that. I guess we'll see how things go when I get up there."

New BYU assistant coach Garret Tujague is the one recruiting the Southern California junior college prospect.

"I know when he played junior college ball he was an All-American and then went to BYU and blocked for a Heisman Trophy winner," said Duran about Tujague. "I know that while he coached at the College of the Canyons he won five bowl games. He's a good guy and I really like him."

Apparently, Tujague is doing a great job despite the fact that BYU has entered the recruiting picture a bit late.

"He's doing a good job of recruiting me," Duran said. "I met him for the first time last Monday, and he laid out everything on the table what was expected and demanded from BYU. I think that's what really attracted me to him was the fact that he was straightforward and honest with me.

"He told me how it was going to be and that the expectation level was higher at BYU than anywhere else. He said if I wasn't up to it to not even bother. I liked the fact that he was honest and upfront with everything. BYU definitely recruits a different breed of athlete."

Duran is looking forward to seeing up close what BYU has to offer.

"I'm excited for the opportunity and BYU is big-time football and as big as it gets," said Duran. "I'm excited on that point. I'm also excited to see the academic side of BYU. I hear that BYU's academics are amazing. If someone is going to give me a scholarship to play football, I might as well get the best education they're willing to give me. I want to make the most out of my scholarship offer and I think BYU covers a lot of different areas."

Although Duran isn't LDS, he views BYU as being more than just football or academics.

"I think the whole package that BYU has to offer stands out. It's an offer that not only covers football but extends outside of football. It's a place that will help and influence me to becoming a good man, a good father and a good husband. I really like that because it's not just about football. Football will only last for so long, but who you become is what you are for the rest of your life. That's what I like about BYU. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to go up there."

The Cabrillo offensive lineman is suspecting that once he gets on BYU's campus, he'll more than likely receive a scholarship offer.

"Oh yeah, I'm pretty confident that this might be the case," Duran said. "Coach Tujague said they're extremely interested in me and that the whole process is going to move extremely fast. When I get up there we're going to talk more about the school and then just go from there."

Duran has made official visits to Southeast Missouri State and Northern Colorado, and an unofficial visit to San Jose State. His visit to BYU will be his last visit. Is there a good chance that BYU is where he'll end up if he receives the offer?

"You know, BYU will be pretty high on my list," he said. "Before next Wednesday, I would sit down with my parents and hash out the pros and cons of each school and then go from there."

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