Southwick admitted that BYU head coach Gary Crowton's treatment of his quarterback uncle, Brett Engemann, soured him on BYU and was the primary reason why he signed with Oregon State after his mission. Even now, his family hasn't warmed toward Crowton, but Southwick knows the decision is his own and his family will support him either way.
"When I got back from my mission, BYU had a scholarship for me, but my family and close friends were all saying Crowton and his staff are the devil for how they treated Brett. That was mainly why I signed with Oregon State."
BYU is back in Southwick's recruiting picture after he transferred to Dixie State College before he even played a single down at Oregon State to gain more playing experience. He has scheduled an official visit Dec. 12 to Provo along with other major recruits.
"I won't walk-on to BYU and they (coaches) understand that. They haven't offered me a scholarship yet, but they tell me they'll know if they'll have one in a couple of weeks. I'll probably know after my visit."
In the meantime, BYU coaches are contacting Southwick on a weekly basis telling him they're interested and that something might break with a scholarship possibly becoming available.
Would Southwick opt to sign with BYU, if offered? "I'm not sure, right now. Penn State has a scholarship for me and they're recruiting me hard. I may opt to stay another year at Dixie, sign with BYU, Penn State or even possibly head back to Oregon State. Their coaches have indicated they want me back," Southwick said.
Southwick left for Oregon State with the promise from then-coach Dennis Erickson he would have a chance to compete for the starting spot. However, when Erickson left Oregon State to coach the San Francisco 49ers, everything was up the air.
"That was tough," Southwick recalled about Erickson's departure. "I felt like he wanted to condition me to be the starter, but the new coaches had different plans, I guess. I didn't feel comfortable there and I left for Dixie where I've been able to play and prove my worth again."
Meanwhile, Penn State remains a strong option. "I have a very good relationship with Joe Paterno. He's been recruiting me for a long time and I've appreciated that. They're definitely in the picture. They have a scholarship for me already and I like that."
With Paterno's advancing age (75) and uncertain future at Penn State, Southwick noted, "I know he may be gone as early as next year or soon thereafter, so that will play a factor in my decision for sure."
Southwick added it's hard to make a final decision until all his options are crystal clear. "I'll know better in about two weeks where I'll end up. I'm going to sit down with Coach Crowton and I'll take a lot from that, I'm sure."
"There still is a sour taste in my mouth after what Brett (Engemann) went through and how he's handled his quarterbacks over the past two seasons, but I hope I can feel comfortable with him and his program since I love Provo and love being close to home."
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