BYU eyeing Texas running back

When Coach Guy Holliday was mentoring wide receivers at UTEP, he undoubtedly mined the talent-rich fields of the Lone Star State. Now coaching at BYU, he believes there is an abundance of African American athletes who want to be in an environment like BYU. One such prospect is a talented running back from Hebron High School in Lewisville, Texas.

Hebron High School's Cedric Dale is rated among the tops in the country. Last season the 5-foot-9-inch, 184-pound athlete contributed to his team in a number of ways.

"Right now I play cornerback, running back, wide receiver, and even played a little quarterback last season," said Dale. "My speed is probably one of my greatest assets that I have over my opponents. I would say my veteran play and leadership has really helped me a lot when I put in the extra work.

"I had around 800 yards rushing with around 119 attempts. I had broken my arm at the beginning of the season and came back towards the last two games of the season."

Given his injury last season, Dale might be going a bit under the radar. He has offers from Texas Tech, Colorado State and North Texas, but might be getting more soon.

"I think I might get two more offers in two days from Nevada and Utah," Dale said on Wednesday. "I spoke to coaches from both of those schools and they told me that they're both going to be sitting down and watching film with the rest of the coaches. They said they approved but need to get the approval from the rest of the coaches, so I could be getting more offers my way here soon.

"I'm mostly hearing from West Coast schools like BYU, UCLA, Cal, Washington State, and then some other schools like Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. Now that spring is over my recruiting is starting to speed up with coaches taking more trips."

Dale said BYU's coaches like him a lot. Not long ago, he spoke to BYU running back coach Mark Atuaia.

"He spoke to me about the rules and how they handle things out there on campus," said Dale. "I'm 100 percent fine with that and I think those things are important mentally. Those things are most important and I know college isn't going to last forever, so by them having those rules and showing how much you can grow mentally and become more mature is unique. I like that a lot. They want me to come up on campus and check things out. I'm hoping I can make it up there over the summer because I want to make my decision on June 21st, which is my birthday."

BYU's atmosphere is something that Dale finds appealing.

"I find that BYU – and not to put me on a pedestal or to put anyone else on a pedestal – fits more with my personality more so than the rest," Dale said.

In fact, he said he likes how different BYU is from other campuses, "just like the rule where there's no premarital sex, no drugs or drinking – for a campus to have that standard, I found it to be really interesting. I see myself in ways that are more mature. By BYU having those rules shows me that they are a more mature campus and about getting down to business. They're more focused on really about educating you and I really like that a lot."

Dale is also in good shape academically.

"I'm doing really well in the classroom. I know this year is only my junior year. I'm taking it serious and not getting lazy towards the end of the year," said Dale. "I take the classroom really serious and currently have a 3.7 GPA. I've been working really hard in the classroom."

Dale has been comparing what different schools have to offer.

"I was doing some research on some schools that were showing interest in me, and who has a better chance of me seeing the field," said Dale. "After looking at a lot of colleges, a lot of these college football programs are pretty much the same at the end of the day. Some might do some things different, but at the end of the day it's all the same thing. I was just curious and looking at what schools separate themselves off the field. Texas A&M stood out to me. I like Texas Tech a lot. With BYU now coming in with interest, that really threw me off a lot with them being such a good match for me. It kind of threw a curveball at me with this whole decision-making process."

Dale likes what Texas A&M and Texas Tech have to offer when it comes to their football programs.

"Well Texas Tech has their up-tempo offense and that modern swagger. I like that a lot," said Dale. "They have a good coaching staff and a majority of the coaching staff is alumni. Their whole tradition that they're bringing to Texas Tech, I like that a lot. Then they were my first offer when I was only a sophomore. They had seen my talent when I was young and kept pressing on and on with me and I respect that a lot.

"With A&M and Johnny Manziel and the whole system they run, I like that system and hurry-up offense that they run. I think it fits my style a lot and I feel I'm that type of player. They also have so much tradition, and only being four hours away, I like that a lot as well."

Dale has yet to see what lies in store at BYU with the up-tempo offense that's currently being installed by Coach Anae. An added understanding of the Cougar offense and how he would fit within it might make BYU even more attractive to him.

"I want to get play as early playing time, and I want to step onto the playing field as early as possible," said Dale. "I don't doubt my ability as a player, so I know I'll eventually get playing time, but I'm mostly looking for a program that's going to push me as a player on and off the field. I want a program that's going to push me to be a better person in general and I'm really looking for that family bond where I can trust my teammates no matter what. I want to go to a place where I can wake up every morning and be glad that I'm at that university."

In the meantime, Dale is going to try and make it up to Colorado State and BYU this summer.

"I'm going to talk to the [BYU] coaches more about that and I told them that I'm very interested," said Dale. "I've been definitely thinking about making my way up there. I have to talk to them again and go into more detail about that. They told me they mostly offer kids that make it up there, but with that whole situation, it's mostly up to my parents. Hopefully I can make it."

Total Blue Sports Top Stories