Asper Goes from Anonymity to High Visibility

The young man from Idaho Falls packed his bags, loaded up his car and drove to Provo alone this past summer to participate in BYU's one-week summer camp – hoping that Cougar coaches would notice him and offer a football scholarship.

His wish was granted and the Cougars were the first to offer Mark Asper, a 6-7, 270-pound offensive line prospect, the scholarship he coveted.

However, other colleges like Oregon, Utah, Boise State and Utah State have now offered scholarships to this previously little-known recruit.

"Yeah, BYU, University of Utah, Oregon, Utah State and Boise State have all offered me now," said a happy but humble Asper. Utah just threw their hat in the ring and started calling last week. They told my coach they want to get me down there and want me to commit with them immediately and stuff."

Asper runs a 5.0 40, benches 280, squats 400 and power cleans 250 pounds. He also has a 24-inch vertical leap.

With his prep career over at Bonneville High School, Asper is fully immersed in the recruiting process. In fact, he recently returned from an official visit to the University of Oregon and was hosted by former BYU recruit Haloti Ngata. He talked about the experience.

"My trip to Oregon was awesome," said Asper. "I flew out of Idaho Airport on their private jet. I saw their campus, new locker rooms and met all their players. I saw what they do on game day. I went to their game against California and it was awesome; they won."

He noted one interesting experience during the Oregon game against Pac-10 foe California. "The lights went out at the beginning of the fourth quarter. They stopped play and it was about 15 minutes before the lights began to warm back up. Someone must have bumped the switch or something."

Unlike other prospects on Oregon recruiting visits, Asper did not take any of the new free Nike products (major Oregon booster) other recruits did.

His next scheduled visit so far is to BYU in mid-January. "BYU wanted me down on Dec. 12, but I'm taking the ACT that weekend. I'll come down the second week of January," he confirmed.

Asper indicated he has tentatively narrowed his final choices to two schools. "Oregon and BYU are kind of up there. They are the ones who were the first to notice me."

He unexplained recruiting rationale and reasons of hometown favorite, Boise State, may have cost them.

"At the beginning of spring last year, they showed a lot of interest and they were calling my high school like the other teams were. Then I didn't hear from them again. Then, about a month ago, Boise State started showing interest again saying, ‘Hey, what's going on? Come down to one of our games' and all that stuff. Then they stopped calling again. They keep doing this, so I'm finished with them."

Asper said he will likely make his final decision after his BYU recruiting visit, one of the two main recruiting weekends BYU coaches have scheduled.

"Well, it's hard to say where I'm leaning. BYU is nice and close and my parents can come down to a game or two. It's strong with my (LDS) religion and I can have a lot of (LDS) people around me.

"At Oregon, there are some (LDS) players on the team who said they didn't have any problems with the other guys who weren't LDS. They said they didn't give them guff about it. They know they're LDS and don't pressure them to drink. They just know to let it be," said Asper.

Asper said he plans to serve an LDS Mission.

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