Kruger's In The Middle

Timpanogos High School's star defensive tackle has two offers. One is from the University of Utah and the other is from Brigham Young University. The big 6-foot-5-inch, 270-pound senior to-be will be one of Utah's top D-line prospects for the 2008 class.

Rated as the fourth-best defensive tackle in the Northwest, David Kruger must feel like he's in the middle of a heated tug-of-war between two instate Division I colleges. But these aren't just any two colleges; these are universities with a long rivalry history that matches any rivalry in the country. So, what's it like being stuck in the middle?

"Yeah, it is kind of a difficult position to be in," said big David Kruger. "I don't know, BYU is so close you know and it's so tempting to just go to BYU. Then there is Utah and my family has been BYU and Utah fans.

"I don't know, my family pretty much just wants me to go where I want to go. It is kind of hard to decide which school is better for me and where I should go. I know both schools and the coaches there really well. I don't want to backstab anyone or anything like that. It's a hard decision and I'm still in the middle of trying to decide on things."

As Kruger is in the middle of evaluating the schools and his options, there are a few things that stand out to him concerning BYU.

"First off, I'm always impressed in talking with Coach Mendenhall," Kruger said. "He just speaks so well and always chooses his words wisely. I'm always impressed by him. Just listening to his speeches, I don't know, he just seems like a very humble guy. I think he's a great coach and he's obviously being very successful.

"He just seems like a great guy who is honest, loyal and an all around great guy. My family thinks he's a great guy too. They enjoy talking with him and being around him. I really like the coaches there, and I really like Coach Mendenhall and think that guy is awesome. You can go and talk to him about anything pretty much.

"I really like their facilities and they have some great equipment there. Everything is really close, which I really like that. They have their practice facility, they have their weight lifting room, and everything is really close and right there.

"I also think their players there really stick out to me. They're all a bunch of guys that don't go out drinking and partying and stuff like that. They're all a bunch of guys that stay in line and do good. How the players represent themselves on and off the field is a great thing."

Kruger understands that the players at BYU face a public and media scrutiny that might not come with being an athlete at another university. For him the added off-the-field responsibility that comes with the BYU territory isn't one that concerns him, and is something he feels as an LDS athlete is somewhat attractive to him.

"Yeah, this is definitely something that is attractive to me," said Kruger. "I think it's better because it's a life experience. It's kind of like going on a mission or something like that. It just teaches you the way of life and how to treat people and be respected and how to be respectful. The off-the-field responsibility stuff doesn't really bother me because this is who I am anyways. It's not really an issue."

Many of the same things Kruger likes about BYU, he also likes at Utah.

"I like their coaching staff up there as well, just like I do at BYU," said Kruger. "I know their d-line coach, Coach Anderson, pretty well up there. I like knowing all the coaches and seeing how I interact with them. It's cool up there.

Another possible attraction to Utah is David's older brother Paul, who plays for the University of Utah.

"Yeah, but having a brother up there doesn't affect my decision as much as people might think," said Kruger. "Everybody thinks I'm going to go up to the UofU because my brother's up there but that's not really true. I don't want to follow in my brother's footsteps and I want to live my own life. I don't want to go up there just because my brother's up there.

"Everyone has their own experiences and Paul hasn't really tried to convince me on where I should go. He wants me to make my own decisions and he hasn't really approached me and told me to come to Utah. He just told me to chose where I want to go and go there."

For the second year in a row, Kruger came down to BYU's Junior Day, but this year he had to leave a bit early. Despite that fact, he's fully aware of what goes on during BYU's Junior Day and the activities that follow.

"I had to leave early," said Kruger. "I went to BYU's Junior Day last year and was able to experience everything they do last year. I've been to the locker rooms and have seen all the facilities and stuff like that.

"I wasn't able to talk to Coach Mendenhall when I was there but I was able to talk with Coach Tidwell. I think Coach Tidwell is a good guy too. He can really pick them out. He's good with recruiting and he's a good coach. He's honest too and is someone who is loyal to you and will tell you the truth. He won't just put a bunch of stuff in front of your face and tell you what you want to hear. He'll tell you straight up what is going on and I like that about him. He's a good guy."

So while Kruger sits in commit limbo he is going to bide his time and see how the two programs fare over the course of the season. He also wants to try and get to know his position's coaches better, which will help influence his decision.

"I'm just going to handle it with time," said Kruger. "I'm going to see how the seasons go. I want to get to know the coaches a lot better. I need to know my position's coach better. I just want to kind of know what kind of coach Kaufusi is and get to know him better to know how he's going to coach me.

"That's really important to me right there because I'm going to be going to college for a few years and he's going to basically be my boss. I would really like to know if I'm going to enjoy my boss or not. It's also basically the difference between knowing if someone is a good coach or a bad coach. I've heard some great things about Coach Kaufusi, but I would like to learn more about what his coaching scheme is and how he does. So I want to get to know my position coaches better."

Kruger's plan following high school is to try and play one year if he can. If he can't play his first year he will redshirt and then leave for a two-year LDS church mission.

"I'm to either redshirt or try and play if I can my first year then go on my mission," Kruger said. "I'll probably try and play my first year to get some experience in if I can."

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