Troy Verde/Total Blue Sports

Dayan Ghanwoloku and Fred Warner talk about changes in their lives and the focus that they are taking into the 2017 season

BYU sophomore defensive back Dayan Lake has changed his last name in order to honor the passing of his uncle. He talked about his new last name (Ghanwoloku) which will be a permanent fixture on the back of his jersey. Also, senior linebacker Fred Warner talks about a change in focus in his personal game in order to be a more well-rounded player.

Dayan Lake originally comes from the country of Liberia in Africa. He has decided to honor his uncle who passed away last year by changing his name from Lake to Ghanwoloku, which was his father’s last name prior to coming to America.

“That was supposed to be my last name but my dad, when we came from Africa, just switched it to Lake, because Lake was in the family too, but he just named that last name,” said Ghanwoloku. “It was just too much money to change it and too much trouble to change it to Ghanwoloku. Half my family on my dad’s side is Ghanwoloku, and so my uncle just barely passed away last year, so I put Ghanwoloku on my jersey to just remember the family.”

During a civil war in Liberia, Dayan Lake’s father brought him and his sister to The United States where they lived in New York with their uncle, who took care of them.

“We came here because of a civil war,” said Ghanwoloku. “My dad put together money to bring me and my sister to the United States. We lived in New York with my uncle before we came to Utah.”

The last name Ghanwoloku will be a permanent fixture on the back of his BYU jersey in order to honor the passing of his beloved uncle.

“Yeah, I’m putting it on my jersey,” he said. “It’s going to be hard for the announcers. They struggle saying my name ‘Lake’ and say it like, ‘Law Kei’ or whatever. Ghanwoloku is going to… that’s one thing I’m worried about is the announcers are going to be saying things like all the Polynesian names so hopefully they figure it out.”

The decision to honor his uncle by changing his name was something his family, and especially his mother, was very accepting of.

“Oh yeah, they loved it because my mom was like, ‘That’s good to remember him,’” said Ghanwoloku. “My mom wanted Ghanwoloku as our last name, but we had Lake instead because, like I said, it was too much trouble to go through [changing our name] so we kept Lake.”

Fred Warner Talks Improvements

Linebacker Fred Warner is ready for his senior year. After a stellar year where Warner was named a preseason All-Independent First Team Linebacker, Warner recorded three interceptions in 2016, giving him six in his career. The 6-4, 230-pound Sam Linebacker is working on the physical side of his game

“As far as myself, I’m just working on everything,” Warner said. “I’m working on being physical in the run. For the secondary we have three starters returning and we still have youth in the corner, so they obviously have a lot of work on with their technique and everything.

“How I progress from this year to next year is I think just being more physical in the run game. Everyone knows that I can cover in open space and downfield if I have to, but I just need to get more physical in the run game. Being more physical in the box is the focus for me now.”

The Cougar secondary should be very good this year with Troy Warner and Dayan Ghanwoloku both returning with a year of experience.

“We’re going to be really good,” Warner said. “You saw Dayan had three picks last season, so we’re working on the little things because we had some blown assignments last season that kind of hurt us. We just need to get into the playbook and learn those assignments, which is what we’re always doing.”

As far as the safety position goes BYU will have a lot of experience with Micah Hannemann returning. The quest now is to find someone to replace Kai Nacua who has graduated.

“We want them to become leaders at their positions and finding out who is going to be our new safety,” Warner said. “Then just bring a competitive atmosphere there and for all positions because it’s not given to you until that first game of the season.”

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