BYU Gets Commit from SoCal OL

BYU is down to eight healthy offensive linemen this spring. Come fall, those ranks will swell with incoming freshman and veterans returning from injuries. This morning, BYU coaches found out that they will have one more healthy body to throw in the mix thanks to the commitment of a recently returned LDS missionary from California.

A common concern for LDS D-I athletes who leave on fulltime missions is whether they will have a scholarship when they return. Schools outside of Utah often struggle with the logistics of keeping scholarships open for returning missionaries. Such was the case for Garrett Reden of Valley Center, California, who signed with UNLV and left on his LDS mission immediately after graduating from Valley Center High School.

"UNLV didn't hold a scholarship for me after my mission, so I had to look elsewhere," said Garrett Reden. "Fortunately, I had some options when I came home as several schools offered me scholarships."

Among the school that offered were Oregon State, Utah and BYU. Reden ultimately chose BYU.

"BYU just felt right," explained the 6-foot-3, 270-pound offensive lineman. "It's probably the spiritual factor more than anything. I love the spirit BYU has, and Bronco Mendenhall is just a great head coach. I could really feel the Spirit when talking to him and it made it easy for me to choose BYU."

Reden has now been home from his mission for nearly a month and was met with scholarship offers almost immediately upon his return.

"They saw my tape and I guess they thought I was pretty good," said Reden. "I don't know what they saw, but I guess I look better on tape than I do when playing live. I'm very thankful that BYU and those other schools offered me a scholarship."

Upon returning from the mission field, most missionaries have to make a huge adjustment after not playing or even watching football for more than two years. Reden is an exception to that rule. He got involved in coaching and even playing a little football during his mission.

"I served in New York and I got the chance to coach and help out with the team LaVell Edwards started back there," explained Reden. "They're called the Harlem Hell Fighters and it was an awesome experience."

New York is a unique place with not a lot of open land for football fields, so the Hell Fighters consisted of a conglomerate of players from different schools in the New York area. Reden was very thankful for the experience.

"I love football, so being able to coach while on my mission was a great experience," said Reden. "I mostly coached, but when a player went down I was very quick to fill in for them."

Reden is still in Utah after taking recent visits to Utah and BYU this week with his friend Trevor Reilly. Reilly, who was received looks from BYU, recently inked his letter of intent with Texas Tech. Reden was wide open regarding which school he was going to commit to upon returning home, but his visit to BYU and meeting with Coach Mendenhall as what sealed the deal.

"You look across his desk and he has a picture of Captain Moroni right there," said Reden. "He's a very spiritual man along with being a great football coach. I wanted to go to and play for a school that was close to the Spirit and BYU is that place. When talking to Coach Mendenhall it was just obvious that he was the coach I wanted to play for."

Reden also met with offensive line coach Jeff Grimes and was very impressed.

"He knows his stuff," said Reden. "He's a great position coach who will help me a lot. I met with most of the coaching staff when I attended practice on Tuesday and was impressed with all of them."

Reden will start two-a-days with the team this coming August and is anxious to get going.

"I need to work out some," said Reden. "I got a little bit bigger on my mission, but now I just have to get back into shape so I'll be ready for fall camp."


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