Pennsylvania Athlete Drawing BYU Interest

There is an LDS running back prospect from the state of Pennsylvania with tremendous athleticism that BYU is currently showing interest in. Not only is he an incredible running back, but he is also a very good basketball player who wants to play both sports at the next level.

Darius Wise (Beaver HS) is a two-sport athlete that BYU fans will surely hear more about in the near future as Coach Mendenhall and his staff begin looking to the future at the running back position.

“I’m 5-11 or 6-0 and weigh around 160-pounds,” said Wise. “I play running back, quarterback, and cornerback. At the quarterback position I throw the ball, and at the running back position I just run it. I also play good defense as a cornerback as well, so I kind of do a lot of things.”

Doing a lot of things seems to come natural for Darius Wise. In fact, during this young sophomore can also dunk a basketball, which he has been able to do since the sixth grade.

“I started dunking a basketball when I was in the sixth grade,” Wise said. “I started getting looked at by Lincoln Park (Performing Art High School). All the time all of my cousins were going to a different school, and I was going to go to Lincoln Park. We were warming up for a summer league game and they were like, ‘Dunk it for [them], Darius, dunk it for [them],’ so I did. Everyone on my team was really tall and everything. I dunked it and everyone was going crazy.”

Being a two-sport athlete at Beaver High School (Beaver, PA), Wise has a desire to play both football and basketball at the collegiate level. He’s currently receiving interest by some outstanding college programs.

“The schools that are looking at me right now BYU, Ohio State, Pitt, Penn State, Temple, and schools that,” said Wise. “I’m just looking into them to see if I can play both football and basketball. I play [for an AAU traveling squad], going around the world trying to get better. I just keep getting better every year and seeing what can happen for me.”

BYU has Wise squarely on their radar and he’s likely to see more interest recruiting-wise as more programs become aware of what he can do both on the gridiron and the hardwoods

“Yeah, I’m excited about BYU,” Wise said. “I know it’s a place that would be a good fit for me. They’re actually looking at me for both sports. I’m just going to keep working hard and see what I can get, but BYU is looking at me for both sports. I want to play both basketball and football, and BYU is always going to be up there for me because they’re one of the best in both sports.”

The reason is Wise holds high interest in BYU is simple. Wise is a newly converted member to the LDS faith. He attends church every Sunday.

“Yeah, I go to church on Sunday,” Wise said. “I’m a member of the LDS faith and was baptized into the church because of my guardian family.”

Currently living with the Neeley family, Darius joined the LDS faith under their stewardship after taking him in as one of their own. Now Darius wise belongs to a large family that consists of 12 children.

“I live with a guardian family that’s like my own,” said Wise. “When I came here I wasn’t a member of the LDS faith. I was thinking of going to East High School [but] I eventually chose Beaver so I came here. I then started going to church on Sundays with the family. I eventually joined the church and got baptized.”

The young prodigy not only hears about the unique environment of BYU from his guardian family, but he’s also heard about BYU from those around him who also share his LDS faith.

“I’ve talked to people out here about BYU and think it is good and I like it,” said Wise. “It just seems like a wonderful place and everyone talks to me about it. People that don’t get to go there talk about bad they want to go out there. They talk about how nice it is out there, and how great the football stadium and how nice the basketball arena is. Hopefully one of these days I’ll get a chance to go out there and visit.”

Wise isn’t sure about serving a mission at this point in time though. However, when it comes to basketball he’s taken a look at BYU’s basketball roster for the future and realized that he could possibly be playing on the team with high level athletes like Erik Mika, Nick Emery, and T.J. Haws.

“I looked up on ESPN top 100 all-time for basketball, and one time I looked up for my class, the 2016 class, and looked down the list and saw this dude committed to BYU for basketball from Lone Peak,” said Wise. “BYU gets great players on their basketball team like Tyler Haws and his younger brother (T.J.) that will go there. I know Haws is on a mission right now, so if I go to BYU for basketball I could be there when he’s back from his mission.”

Because of his newfound faith, Wise and the Neeley family are hoping that the coaches of BYU begin showing more interest in Darius as time wears on.

“Yeah, I’m interested in BYU and hope they recruit me,” said Wise. “I’m hoping they take a look at me because, like I said, I think it would be a good fit for me. My dad [Steven Neeley] is excited for me. Well, he gets excited for everything. Obviously, he wants me to go to BYU, but he thinks any college that’s best for me is good for me. There is a little favor towards BYU though because he’s a strong member of the church.” will continue to monitor how Darius Wise plays as he competes on both the football field and basketball court for Beaver High School. Stay tuned.

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