The Future Wagner

There is no question that BYU's linebacker group is the deepest position on the team. TotalBlueSports.com checked in with BYU's Canadian linebacker Aaron Wagner about his younger brother, who has committed to play for BYU upon completing a full-time mission to Denver, Colo.

Jadon Wagner may be younger than his brother Aaron, the former Washington State Freshman of the Year and current BYU outside linebacker, but he is definitely not smaller or any less athletic. According to Aaron, his brother has gotten quite a bit bigger than when he played semi-pro ball in Canada where he was named the Rookie of the Year in 2002.

"He's gained some weight," Aaron said. "I think he's gained about 35-pounds and is around 235- or 240-pounds right now. When he left on his mission he was only around 205. His natural weight about that time was around 225, but he had lost about 20-pounds for the Ultimate Fighting Championships he fought in right before he left. He dropped some weight to fight in the lower class level. But he has a 6'5" frame and he's got wider shoulders than me so he can carry that weight like it was nothing."

At 6'5" and 240-pounds, Jadon would be close to the size of current BYU linebacker Paul Walkenhorst, who is currently around 250 pounds. Aaron Wagner thinks his brother will probably grow even bigger once he develops within BYU's weight program.

"He's never been in a Division One program yet and when he was playing ball up in Canada he was working eight hours a day and then going to practice and then coming home to go to sleep," Wagner said. "So he wasn't really eating and he was losing a ton of weight all the time. So I'm thinking if you get him into a program especially after his mission where he's matured a little more and his body has settled down, he'll be 260 to 270 in no time."

Though these two athletes may be from the same family in Lethbridge, Alberta, but Aaron feels their style of play is different and both could end up playing different positions on the field. Aaron Wagner feels his side to side ability may be quicker than his brother's. He did admit that Jadon beat him in a race before his mission so he may be faster.

"We're two different types of players," Wagner said. "We both definitely have our strengths and weaknesses. His burst is great and his length will make a big difference in a game because he has great leverage."

Because of his size and BYU's current depth at linebacker, there is a good chance that Jadon could play defensive end. Aaron compared him to former BYU defensive end John Denney. He said that coaches love ends with long arms and who are physical and fast.

Jadon has been in Colorado for about a year. The two brothers write and email frequently. Aaron shares information about how the football team is improving. While Jadon shares stories about members and investigators.

"I get emails from him every week," Aaron said. "I don't email him back every week and I know I should. When I was on my mission my brother wrote me about three times, and I thought, ‘Man, this punk. I write him every week and he never writes me back..' Now, I'm the punk brother than barely writes him back, but he's doing really well and he loves it out there.

"I email things about what's going on but to tell you the truth I think a lot of the members keep him pretty informed over there. There are a lot of members over there that are big BYU fans, and he emails me saying this and that about what's going on over here at BYU and how excited he is. I think a lot of members know he's going to be playing BYU football and keep him up to date. They know he's pretty interested in that kind of stuff."

One investigator Jadon has become very acquainted with is current Denver Bronco cornerback Karl Paymah. Paymah earned All-PAC-10 recognition as a two-year starter for Washington State. He was also best friends with his Aaron while both were playing for the Wazzou Cougars.

"It's a perfect mission for him," Aaron said. "He went to lunch last week with one of my best friends Karl Paymah. I played with him up at Washington State and he got drafted by the Broncos as a rookie corner this year. He just bought a house down there and took my brother to lunch, so he's doing really good out there.

"You know what? [Jadon's] working on it. Karl used to come to church with me at Washington State every Sunday. He's a real good guy and grew up in a family of faith and all that. So I think he's working on him and he'll be at my wedding in January, so we're still working on Karl."


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