BYU gets its running back

Coach Anae received some good news on Saturday. He received a commitment from Hebron High School running back Cedric Dale, who had been in Provo almost all this week. The 5-foot-9-inch, 175-pound Texan fell in love with the environment, people, coaches, players in BYU's program.

Texas running back Cedric Dale and his father Cedric Sr. flew out to Utah for an unofficial visit to BYU. BYU had been in the market for a topnotch running back for sometime now, and Dale was squarely in their sites. He was offered on Saturday, and after being in town and touring the campus, Dale gave his word that he was committing to become a BYU running back.

"We actually got here earlier and yesterday Coach Martzen gave us a tour of the facilities," said Dale. "They let me sit in on the running backs meetings. Later we went back home after that and then this morning we came and took another tour of the facilities and got to know the coaching staff a little better. We watched them scrimmage later that day.

"After that, me and my dad went and got something to eat and came back to campus around 1:00. I had a meeting with Coach Anae and Coach Mendenhall. Coach Mendenhall just basically told me what BYU had to offer and why BYU is such a unique university. He was explaining to me what they look for and how they hold their players in high standard. It was a university that I already wanted to commit to."

"It's like family out here," said Cedric Sr. "I think the one thing we fell in love with out here is everyone's personality. People out here are genuine and not false. It's a small-town atmosphere and it's clean. Everyone here goes along with their faith in Jesus Christ and that's what we believe also. Those are some of the things that sold it for us. He had a long talk with the coach and we talked it over with my wife and he came to a good decision I believe."

When Dale received his BYU offer, he was sitting in the office of Coach Mendenhall.

"Coach Mendenhall had me read a piece of paper. After I read it he told me that I had a full-ride scholarship. He then told me not to commit but to take my time and think about it.

"So, I took Coach Mendenhall's advice and thought about it. I thought about it and called my mom back home in Texas and then said a little prayer. We came back around about an hour later before I went to Coach Mendenhall's office. I called up Coach Martzen and he put me on speaker and let them know that I was committing. The whole staff was pretty excited about it."

As a father, Cedric Sr. couldn't be more pleased with his son's decision to commit to BYU.

"I think as a father, more than football, Cedric's decision to commit to BYU was a life decision," he said. "It's what BYU has to offer outside of football for four or five years. That's what got us. Academically, BYU is topnotch and then football is secondary, even though they play on national television. It's more about what's going to prepare him in life and BYU is all about that."

Under the shadows of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains, the two Dale men stood along the sidelines at LaVell Edward Stadium as BYU ran through a full-padded practice.

"I loved it and the atmosphere is great and amazing!" said Dale. "The players were all coming up to me and talking to me like I had already been playing there the whole year. They made me feel like I had been practicing with them all year. I liked that a lot. I also like the fact that Coach Mendenhall not only offered a football scholarship, but a scholarship on life. Football will only last so long and at BYU they actually focus on bettering you off the field. It's just been a great day for me."

Dale liked what he saw from BYU's offense.

"What impressed me was their fast-paced, high-octane offense because that's what we run at my high school," said Dale. "It's an offense that I will fit right in, so coming to BYU I would be ahead of a lot of recruits who don't play in that system now. Also what else impressed me was the overall demeanor of the coaches and they were very genuine with their words they said. I can tell they meant every word they told me and I respect that tremendously."

Looking for a college that fits his standards, Dale had been to various universities for unofficial visits.

"I had offers from Nevada, Colorado State, Texas Tech and North Texas," said Dale. "You know, a lot of colleges don't hold their student athletes to a higher standard at all. That was something that I was looking for at a lot of universities that I've visited. A lot of coaches don't worry about mentoring you off the field, but BYU is all about focusing on the individual off the field. This is what the whole team is all about, and because of that I'm going to more than love to play at BYU."

For his junior year of prep ball, Dale only played in six games. In that span he ran the ball 81 times for 771 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also received a little bit of time at the quarterback position and was also given punting duties.

"I passed the ball three times for three completions for 101 yards and averaged 41 yards a punt," Dale said.

Possessing quick feet and fast legs, Dale will be a welcomed addition to BYU's offense. Coach Anae has found himself a talented Texas running back that is very excited about becoming a Cougar at BYU.

"I'm just so excited about my decision, I can't talk without stuttering right now," said Dale with a laugh. "I just have to be grateful for everything God has given me to be a part of a great university like BYU. I'm just really happy."

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