In the midst of BYU's coaching turmoil, USC came on strong in pursuing the talents of four-star Cougar commit Troy Warner. In the end, prayer and new BYU head coach Kalani Sitake was able to convince Warner that BYU was where he needed to be.
“Well, you know, BYU has always been a special place for me, and I couldn’t pass up what they had to offer there,” said Warner. “Being able to play both ways and play with my brother is just a once in a lifetime opportunity. I couldn’t pass it up and had to take it.”
Former BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall extended the option of being able to play both side of the ball to Warner. Along with being able to play with his older brother Fred, Troy saw the opportunity to play both ways as an attractive opportunity. Kalani Sitake reaffirmed to Warner that the promises previously given would be met by the new coaching staff.
“Yeah, he was all for it,” Warner said. “I gave him a call and we talked about it. He said he wants me to play both ways and that I could be like an Eric Weddle in the sense that we both had the ability to play both ways.”
When Sitake was defensive coordinator at Oregon State, he recruited Warner and was the coach that offered him a scholarship to play in Corvallis. He’ll now be playing for that same coach at BYU.
“I’m actually honored to play for Kalani Sitake and he just seems like an awesome coach,” said Warner. “I’m just pumped to play for him. He just seems like the kind of coach you want to play for. He has a great vision for the program and for what he wants to accomplish there. He’s all for his players and the university. I can tell he just wants to be the best that he can be, and that he’ll expect the best out of his players in every way. I really respect him a lot.”
It’s been a long road for Troy Warner. He was at one time committed to Oregon and flirted with the possibility of staying home in Southern California to play for USC. The days of uncertainty are now over for Warner who knows exactly where he wants to be.
“This is a done deal and there is no other place that I want to be other than BYU,” said Warner. “I just feel that by going to BYU instead of these other places will give me the most out of my scholarship. I just feel BYU will give me more out of my scholarship than any other place out there.”
The Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl game will be played on January 3rd, a game in which Troy Warner will be playing in. Following the game, he and his family will hit the road and drive down to Provo, Utah where he’ll enroll and start his BYU journey.
“We’re going to Carson City and that’s where the game will be played,” said Warner. “After the game I’m going to get in the car and drive to Provo to get set up. On January 4th is when I start class. It’s all going to be kind of crazy but I’m excited to get out to BYU and get going.”